Drama and Theatre

Drama and Theatre

Drama allows pupils to explore and make sense of the world in which they live, developing core skills needed for future study and employment.  

Pupils learn how to communicate with audiences effectively, become confident presenters and develop their creative intellect. 

The drama department aims to:

  • Offer a challenging and coherent curriculum that introduces pupils to theatrical skills, texts and practitioners.  Skills and techniques are reinforced and extended each year and applied to a range of individual and group performances. 
  • Develop and nurture confidence, co-operation, creativity and independent thinking.
  • Develop and nurture appreciation and enthusiasm for performance art as well as developing pupils’ skills in all aspects of performance, production, analysis and evaluation.
  • Develop and nurture empathy, self-awareness and understanding, through dramatic exploration of the experiences of others.
  • Develop and nurture understanding and interest in the historical, cultural and social context in which drama is created and performed.
  • Offer opportunities for all pupils to be involved in theatrical productions as a performer, a technician, production team, backstage or front of house.
  • Allow pupils access to drama in the wider community through theatre visits, residential trips, performance in external venues and links with other schools.

 

Curriculum Drama

Creative thinking, analysis and communication are central elements of this curriculum, encouraging the development of key skills that will support learning across all subjects. 

In the First and Second Years pupils have one lesson of drama per week.

1st Year Drama

Drama lessons in the 1st year focus on developing imaginative and improvisation skills and understanding key drama techniques.  Students are encouraged to focus on the preparation process as well as performance. 

1st Year schemes of Work

  • Mime and Movement
  • Improvisation
  • Macbeth
  • Storytelling

2nd year Drama

Drama lessons in the 2nd year focus on the application of dramatic techniques and conventions within students work.  Students are encouraged to extend their understanding of theatrical genres and focus on sustaining a character.  

2nd year schemes of work

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Conflict
  • Style and Genre
  • Advertising

3rd year drama

Pupils may choose to continue their study of drama in the Third Year with two or three lessons per week.

Drama in the Third Year is designed to strengthen creative skills, performance skills, confidence and pupils’ ability to engage an audience.  The course introduces pupils to concepts and techniques that will be developed further at GCSE, such as improvisation techniques, script work and approaches to devising. Drama in the Third Year supports the development of key skills used throughout the curriculum, such as, greater confidence in presentation, analysis of impact, evaluation techniques and problem-solving.  Through a theatrical approach, pupils are able to realise their ideas in performance, learning resilience, determination and self-awareness.    Theatre practice and technique are explored through live theatre and practical drama, refining performance skills and encouraging appreciation of drama as an art form. 

The modules studied in the Third Year are:

  • Mask work
  • Theatre of war (complementing schemes of work in English and History)
  • Theatre Practitioners
  • Shakespeare
  • Improvisation
  • Introduction to GCSE (exploration of theme and text)

GCSE Drama

Drama is offered at GCSE and A Level. At GCSE pupils have four lessons per week. At A Level pupils have between six and eight lessons per week.  Both GCSE and A level follow the AQA specification.

Drama GCSE offers pupils the opportunity to experience all aspects of theatre, developing performance skills, a thorough understanding of drama and theatre, highly toned analytical and creative skills, and the ability to communicate effectively with others. Pupils will explore the interpretation and performance of texts and have the opportunity to create original devised drama. As a creative and performance subject, we explore a variety of techniques theatre uses to communicate meaning to an audience.

Pupils may choose to be assessed as a performer or designer. Design options include: lighting, sound, set, costume and puppetry.

Over the course of the two years pupils will explore:

  • The characteristics of performance texts
  • Character development
  • A wide range of theatrical styles and genres
  • Interpretation of text
  • The social, cultural and historical context of drama
  • Performance and stage conventions
  • The roles and responsibilities of performers, practitioners and designers
  • The evaluation of live theatre
  • The creation, development and performance of devise

Assessment is via two practical units (60%) and a written examination (40%). The practical components include a group devising project, supported by a written devising log, and the performance of scripted drama. The written examination focuses on practical work covered during the course and the evaluation of a live theatre production. The emphasis throughout the course is on practical exploration. Pupils’ written responses analyse both the learning and outcome of practical work and live productions, informed by their theoretical knowledge of drama and theatre.

This course encourages pupils to challenge themselves personally and creatively. It requires pupils to identify a clear intention and to work together to communicate this successfully to an audience. It requires them to be open-minded and to explore alternative approaches to overcoming challenges. Commitment to rehearsals, the creative process and support for other group members is essential.

Theatre visits and workshops are an important part of the course. Pupils are actively encouraged to visit the theatre and participate in workshops independently, extending their understanding of performance styles and skills.

A Level Drama

Structure of course:

Sixth form Drama and Theatre is a demanding, challenging course, offering students the opportunity to study the history of modern theatre and explore influential practitioners through practical work. A heavy emphasis is placed on applying theoretical ideas to performance and devising work showing the influence of key playwrights. This demands a high level of commitment and maturity and a positive attitude to teamwork and problem solving. An important element of the course is to experience theatre at first hand, working with theatre professionals in workshops and visiting live performances.

The A Level course is divided into three components, assessed through a combination of written exam and practical and written coursework. The specification requires students to demonstrate a practical and theoretical understanding of theatre.

Component 1

Component 2

Component 3

40%

Written exam – 40%

Section A: set text 1 – Ibsen

Section B: set text 2 – Tennessee Williams 

Section C: live theatre – choice of 3 shows

 

Creating Original Drama

30%

Practical coursework

Devised performance

Working notebook

Study of practitioner  1- Verbatim or Brecht 

Making Theatre

30%

Practical coursework – AQA examined

Exploration of 3 key extracts from contrasting play texts

Study of practitioner 2 – Stanislavski 

Reflective report

 

Beyond the Curriculum

The department benefits from the new Centre for Performing Arts which incorporates The Humphreys Theatre, The Deayton Theatre, a purpose build dance studio, an outdoor theatre and additional rehearsal spaces. 

Our performers engage in a wide range of Co-Curricular Drama Productions, including House Drama Competitions, Performance evenings, Leatherhead Drama Festival, LAMDA Examinations, Technical Theatre Team, Film Club, musicals, the Edinburgh Fringe…..  Please see the co-curricular and production pages for more information about performance opportunities. 

LAMDA tuition

LAMDA is a nationally recognised theatre qualification.  Tuition focuses on preparation for LAMDA performance examinations, which take place at least twice a year.  Performers can choose to perform monologues, duologues, public speaking or devised theatre.  Additional information regarding LAMDA tuition can be provided by our LAMDA co-ordinator Alexandra.yankova@caterhamschool.co.uk  

Open to all Years – taught by specialist LAMDA teachers

There is a charge for LAMDA tuition

 

Biographies

Mr Andy Godfrey BA (Hons) – Head of Drama and Theatre

Mrs Louise Fahey BA (Hons) – Drama teacher and Head of Third Year 

Louise is a graduate of Bretton Hall College of Performing Arts where she was awarded a BA(Hons) in Dramatic Art and Dance and a PGCE in Drama, English and Special Educational Needs. She has previously been Head of Drama in Northgate High School, Dereham, Costessey High School, Norwich and The Archbishop Lanfranc School, Croydon. Louise has broad experience in directing, producing and performing in a range of venues and theatrical genres.

Mrs Lynn Lobb, Teacher of Drama, German Assistant 

Mrs Alexandra Yankova BA (Hons), Teacher of Drama and English, LAMDA Co-ordinator 

A graduate of the University of Bristol with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the University of Cardiff and a PGCE from Roehampton, Alex has previously taught English and Drama at Hinchley Wood School, Esher, The British International School in Cairo and St John’s School, Leatherhead.

Ms Chloe Cooper BA (Hons) –  Drama Assistant

Chloe is a graduate of University of Hull, having studied Drama and Theatre Practice.  Chloe has extensive experience in both performing, stage managing and directing. 

Mr Paul Irving, AV and IT Technician

 

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