Drama enables our students to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which help them to make sense of the world and their place in it. Drama is both a life skill and a creative art form.
Students develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, in acting, mime, dance drama and improvisation. They learn to express and manage their thoughts and feelings, sharing them with other people, while working in a safe and controlled environment. Through practising and developing these skills, they gain both self confidence and self awareness. Both primary and secondary students have access to three great performance spaces: our 400-seat Auditorium, our Primary Theatre and our Studio 'Black Box' Theatre.
Drama is part of the taught curriculum throughout the school, but there are also lots of opportunities to act or be involved backstage in a range of performances, large and small. In recent years, secondary students have put on performances of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Russian dramatist Nikolai Gogol's satire 'The Government Inspector', and Gozzi's 'The Love of Three Oranges'. This year's main play is Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible', performed with a double cast over five nights.
Primary students have put on stunning performances of 'The Wind in the Willows' and 'Alice in Wonderland', introducing children to different ways of looking at literature and how performance can bring stories to life. These productions are based on a year long extra-curricular activity, working towards a full stage production performed in June. The first term is focused on learning and developing drama skillsm and the second and third terms are where parts are chosen and children attend extra rehearsals to prepare for the performance. Children learn about all aspects of theatre and being part of a theatre company. Teachers look for ways to challenge as many students as possible and the results are great fun, with packed houses every night in the Primary Theatre.
Drama springs up in all sorts of other places too. There are opportunities in class and year assemblies, within Literacy and English lessons, and informally in many aspects of school life. It is a great way of promoting the development of each individual in a group context. Students discuss and agree roles and ideas with other students, and they solve problems and make decisions together. There are opportunities for working on scripted and unscripted performance pieces, and students have to be able to look carefully and critically at their own work and that of other students.