Drama and Dance
The Drama and Dance Department currently comprises of three teachers who between them possess a breadth of knowledge and experience. The teaching staff are:
- Mr N Milne
- Head of Performing Arts
- Mrs R Kirkpatrick
- Teacher of Drama
- Mrs J Thompson
- Teacher of Dance
The Drama and Dance Department benefit from being housed in state of the art accommodation, which is comprised of three separate studios that can be collapsed into one large performance space. Each studio is equipped with sound and theatre lighting systems and Interactive Whiteboards. Each room also has a suite of laptops which are accessible to pupils both within lessons and after school, to assist with independent learning and homework.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 drama lessons are used to establish ground rules, to build a positive working atmosphere in which pupils exhibit good self-control and mutual trust, and to have the confidence to take risks with ideas and in performance. Pupils develop the habit of reflection and evaluation and are taught to use a variety of dramatic techniques to explore ideas, issues, texts and meanings. They use different ways to convey action, character, atmosphere and tension when they are devising and performing in plays, through voice, language, movement, technique and stage positioning. The year 8 drama curriculum builds on the work in year 7 by aiming to develop the students’ dramatic eyesight in relation to character, atmosphere and structure. They increase their understanding of form and style, including the use of abstract techniques and physical theatre. They begin to experiment with theatre technology. In year 9 they begin to work with an increasing sophistication as groundwork for the transition to KS4, and encounter more challenging themes and performance situations.
In Dance, pupils are required to demonstrate ways in which performed dance works are constructed. They will also use choreographic devices and learn how other art forms can be integrated with performed dance, to complement and enhance expression. A range of performance styles are studied which increase the pupils' knowledge, skill and understanding of accuracy, control, spatial awareness, composition and communication through performance. As they progress through Key Stage 3 the pupils will be challenged to function in more sophisticated ways.
Key Stage 4
Pupils in years 10 and 11 receive three 1 hour lessons per week and follow the Pearson BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts. The qualification has three components: Exploring the Performing Arts 30%. Students reproduce existing repertoire and explore a wide variety of key performance styles and techniques. Developing Skills and Techniques 30%. Students gain physical, vocal and interpretive skills, apply them in performance and reflect on their progress. Performing to a Brief 40%. Students prepare two contrasting performance pieces for external assessment, based on a brief set by the exam board. Progress is tracked and monitored closely to ensure they receive personalised support towards their target grade.
Pupils in Years 10 & 11 receive three one hour lessons a week and follow the AQA GCSE Dance specification. There are three components to the GCSE Dance qualification: Dance Performance 30%. Demonstrate physical and interpretive skills in two different dance works. Dance Choreography 30%. Respond creatively to set stimulus to create own choreography. Dance Appreciation 40% (external exam). Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate dance work. Progress is tracked and monitored closely to ensure they receive personalised support towards their target grade.
After School Clubs
There are regular dance and drama clubs each week, for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. As well as other performance events, the department has produced many large-scale musical theatre productions such as Oliver!, We Will Rock You, and West Side Story with the aim of achieving professional quality.
For the upper school, the department organises support sessions each week in which additional rehearsal time, assessment guidance and academic support is offered. All year groups can access the computers and internet facilities which are always available for pupils to use.
The department runs several trips and visits a year. Recent trips have included local theatre visits, a visit to the BBC studios, a London residential trip and a dance residential weekend. Recently we have been visited by a local pop group and the Mighty Zulu Nation.