About the Department
Drama at King’s is a practically taught subject delivered to all students in Years 7 and 8 for two periods per fortnight. Both teachers of Drama are trained performance specialists and have a range of professional experience in the world of theatre.
The emphasis is always on developing key communication skills that will be essential through life. Drama is an option in Year 9 where, whilst still focusing on the development of communication skills, there is also an emphasis on learning about the history of drama and a practical exploration of different styles of theatre.
Students can then opt to take GCSE Drama where they will futher their knowledge of improvisation and script work through the practical creation of assessment performance pieces. They will also have the opportunity to choose technical options such as lighting, sound or costume design.
In the Sixth Form, there is the opportunity to study AS Theatre Studies, which involves working practically on a group performance of a scripted play as well as preparing for a written exam based on practical work seen and completed.
The department is an extra-curricular ‘hotspot’, offering many opportunities in the shape of lunchtime drama clubs, Lower School pantomime productions, as well as Main School productions in both the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions.
We are also an examining centre for LAMDA and have many students successfully completing a range of awards. In the Lower School tuition is available during lunchtime sessions, whilst Year 13 students have the opportunity to choose LAMDA as a Wednesday afternoon activity in which time they prepare for Bronze, Silver or Gold awards. These can then be translated into valuable UCAS points.
We organise trips to a variety of theatres throughout the year. These include: The Royal Exchange, The Lowry and The New Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.
GCSE 9 - 6: 59%; 9 - 4: 100%
AS A-C: 100%
Subject Content & Syllabus
Key Stage 3: Physical Theatre, Commedia dell‘arte, Naturalism, Pantomime – all used to develop the key personal learning skills of teamwork, creative and reflective thinking, effective participation and independent learning. All of these are fundamental elements of King’s Learning Habits.
Key Stage 4: 60% practical exam in which students present both improvised and scripted pieces, choosing an individual skill on which to be assessed.
Monitoring & Assessment
KS3: Students are monitored and assessed every half-term in accordance with the Arts Council of England ‘levels of attainment’ structure. These incorporate three broad areas ‘Making’, ‘Performing’, ‘Responding’ within which all the ‘Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills’ are covered. There is also a clear overlap and integration of King’s Learning Habits: collaborating, being resilient, reasoning, questioning and reflecting.
There are many enrichment opportunities within Drama: lunchtime drama clubs are run in both Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions and there is the Lower School Boys’ pantomime for those in Years 8 and 9 as well as the main Girls’ production and the Main School production involving Sixth Form and Years 7 – 11. Last year our joint Music and Drama Department production was the memorable and hugely successful ‘Les Misérables’.
For those wishing to pursue a career in Drama or any other creative medium, it obviously makes sense to study the subject at least up to GCSE. However, the innate creative, communication and thinking skills inherent in any drama course are being increasingly seen by universities and employers as desirable and indeed vital.