Drama ensures that every lesson students are using imagination and creativity to create practical work and through both verbal and written evaluations they are able to reflect on the work and their experiences. Drama allows a sense of awe and fascination as the students create imaginative work and respond to a variety of stimuli that helps them to see themselves and the world around them in a new way. In Key Stage 3 students are challenged to think about heroic qualities during the ‘Superheroes’ scheme and create their own Superhero with their own super power. They also explore a haunted house and discuss whether there are such things as ghosts. In Year 9 students meet an older version of themselves in the mirror to help them think about the future and how life may turn out for them. Ideas about what ‘Faith’ means to individual students are explored by a whole group non-naturalistic tableau. Feelings of death and loss of a loved one are examined by a dramatic representation of the poem ‘Stop all the Clocks’ at the end of Year 9. This is continued in Year 10 when we examine a range of human disasters and create the personal stories that could accompany them. The set text for GCSE, ‘DNA’, references Spirituality when one of the characters finds God as a way of escapism from the dilemma he is in.
The Drama curriculum explores a diverse range of issues which allow students to recognise right from wrong, understand the consequences of their actions, decide how to deal with a moral dilemma and investigate moral and ethical issues. In Year 7 students are challenged to think about how jealousy can lead some people to persecute others who are innocent during the ‘Dr Duban’ scheme. Questionable morals are in evidence in force in the Year 8 scheme on Soap Operas and students each create a character that is involved in a conflict of some sort. The moral thread continues as the students examine the emotions and mental torment victims of bullying go through. The scheme on ‘Fame’ at the end of Year 8 looks at the choices people make if they are determined to become famous and the issues of morality surrounding a fall from grace. The ‘Unsuitable’ scheme in Year 9 allows students to question what makes people unsuitable partners, parents, flatmates and job applicants. The ‘Home’ scheme in Year 10 allows students to explore the moral issues around why people become homeless and ideas regarding territory and land. The moral questions raised by the GCSE set text, ‘DNA’, surround framing somebody for something they didn’t do and whether it is better to stay silent to protect your friends or to always tell the truth.
Students are placed in mixed ability and gender groups in every lesson. This ensures that students are learning to work collaboratively and co-operatively on practical tasks with a range of different personalities. In Year 7 students explore Democracy by creating a Party Political Broadcast during the ‘Superheroes’ scheme. In the ‘Dr Duban’ Scheme of Learning students learn why sometimes we are unfair in treating people who are different from us in ways that we would not wish to be treated ourselves and why this is wrong. In Year 8 we look at Bullying and how Individual Liberty can be infringed upon by people treating others unfairly and unkindly. In Year 9 we explore aspects of the Law in a devised piece about a stabbing at a disco. We also use tableau to share ideas of ‘Faith’ during our ‘Physical Theatre’ scheme. During the GCSE course we do a scheme about Capital Punishment which looks at issues involving both Law and Democracy both in the past and in the present day. The students devise work around the subject of ‘Home’ and do a practical exercise about guarding homes and territory where we look at democratic issues involving conflict. The set text ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly examines democracy within social groupings and explores legal issues when a gang of teenagers try to frame someone for a murder. Students working in practical group work will have to resolve differences of opinion and accept the ideas of others in order for the work to be created.
Drama is by nature a cultural activity that leads to a broad range of cultural experiences. Throughout the year groups students are invited to devise work from a range of stimuli including visual art; music; film; documentaries; poetry; fiction and non-fiction writing. In the Year 7 scheme of ‘Dr Duban’, students investigate the response of fictional characters to characters that are from different cultures. They learn that just because people are different from us, there is no need for us to treat them as suspicious. In Year 9 students study the genre of Commedia Dell’Arte and learn how Italian street theatre originated. Theatre visits occur throughout the year groups both as curricular and extra-curricular cultural activities.