Drama is a vital part of the students’ learning journey at Beauchamps High School. In Drama, we put the pupils at the core of all our work and aim to foster a sense of enjoyment and fun. It enables the student to develop the ability to have confidence and work together. The drama department is fully committed to support students in their academic and extra-curricular development in the subject. We develop imagination, commitment and creative thinking. We have a strong inclusive ethos, extended to all students in a positive, supportive environment. Our intention is to develop the students’ confidence allowing them to apply these skills both in performance work and also outside in everything they do.
Students are taught across Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level by the Drama Department.
We believe in the development of the child and so whilst it is important that the students do improve and refine their performance skills we place a lot of emphasis on the students developing skills for life. Our main aim is to widen the skill base for performance; using key skills such as narration, physical theatre, exaggeration and thought tracking. We aim to develop the creativity of our students and develop their communication, independence and above all aid their confidence in all aspects of school life. The curriculum exposes the students to a wide range of drama genres from Documentary Drama through to Physical Theatre. By the end of Year 7 they are well placed to move into Year 8 where they will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject.
The students study play texts such as Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. Drama skills and knowledge are expanded with an emphasis on creating atmosphere; this can be seen through our Murder Mystery and genre schemes of learning. Drama techniques are also developed through all topics and improvisation and movement sessions encourage students to use imagination when attempting to create dramatic meaning. We believe it is important to offer students a wide range of stimuli to work with and to engage them through variety and style.
During this year students continue to develop communication skills through group discussions and practical development, but they also begin to investigate more challenging texts and themes through the process of Drama. Students look at the play text DNA by Dennis Kelly and explore the issues and challenges that can arise within peer groups. Students explore the text using a variety of drama techniques and then students confront and explore social issues and themes such as peer pressure and belonging. Throughout years 7,8 and 9 in addition to practical tasks there is an opportunity for students to gain experience with technical aspects of theatre and direction to ensure all aspects available where needed.
The GCSE Drama course (Eduqas) is an active and diverse course which allows the students to expand their knowledge and understanding of theatre through a range of texts. The course introduces the students to different theatre styles and theatre practitioners, via a range of workshops. These workshops are the basis for Component 1 where they must devise their own piece of work for performance, create a portfolio detailing this process and then complete a written report evaluating the final performance. In Component 2 students study a text such as Blood Brother (Willy Russell), The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband (Debbie Issitt), Top Girls (Caryl Churchill) and then perform extracts from this to an external examiner. The final section is Component 3 which is a written examination based on a set text (DNA – Dennis Kelly) and live theatre review.
Throughout the course students are given the opportunity to attend theatre trips to provide a resource for their live theatre evaluation and are presented with workshops by external companies to aid their development in specific performance styles. Key life skills learnt throughout the course will arm students with a variety of skills that employers are currently desperate for including professionalism, resilience and independence. We aim to develop inclusion for all and offer non-practical elements such as costume design for students who want to gain a wider understanding of the performing arts industry.
Drama and Theatre Studies
Students study a range of practitioners and theatrical companies work from Brecht to Frantic Assembly. The practical work feeds from these areas of study. Students watch an array of live theatre in difference performance spaces to gain an understanding of the professional standard of work. Students prepare a range of devised performances and a written work to explore the research and development of their journey. Students complete independent research in order to develop their understanding of the texts studied and to give them material on which to base their devised performances.
Drama at Beauchamps High School is creative and challenging, it develops the overall confidence of students in all areas of their education and beyond, leading them to become self-assured, motivated and committed young adults in the pathway they choose. Drama students follow a variety of career pathways in many different areas, from Television, Scriptwriting, Stage Management, Theatre director, Teacher, Presenting, and Stage/Costume designer. The areas of study have been designed to challenge and create students who persevere and believe in themselves. Confidence we believe is the key to unlocking the positive future of our students.
Here’s what our students say:
Drama has allowed me to feel part of a wider school community and become the heart of my school life - Alicia year 12
I love the way I can become anyone I want to, I like to experiment with characters and enjoy attending Drama Club – Bailey year 10
I have enjoyed watching theatre productions in London and having professional companies such as Frantic Assembly come to work with us at school. Emily B year 12
I love being in the school productions and performing to large audiences, I have grown so much as a performer and developed my confidence, I am now performing in external shows outside of school Louise Year 10