Drama is taught from the start of the Juniors up to GCSE level. The course emphasises practical work, encouraging children to explore different characters and scenarios through role play and to analyse the effectiveness of their drama, focusing on different techniques, such as still image, thought tracking and dialogue.
The early work in the Juniors encourages pupils to take on roles and interact with each other in the role. They explore how characters think and feel and how this impacts their actions. They learn to develop characters in the role and suggest how a scenario could progress, bearing in mind the characters present in the scene and their likely actions based on knowledge of the character. Pupils are also encouraged to explore different theatre techniques, such as physical theatre (becoming props, furniture etc using their bodies) and choral speaking.
This is progressed in the Senior school with a more explicit use of drama terminology, including extending writing to describe, analyse and evaluate their work in preparation for the written GCSE paper. Pupils use drama both to develop and explore character and to look at how to create effective drama through exploring different genres and styles of theatre. In addition, each unit of work has its own design element, allowing pupils to explore set, lighting, sound and costume design and to choose to complete practical assessments in design rather than acting, as this is permitted at GCSE.
The GCSE course is very much focused on practical exploration of the set text and the production we use for the Live Performance section of the written exam and, again, there are opportunities for pupils to practise written exam answers as well as refining and developing their practical skills in preparation for the Non-Examined Assessment requirements of the course, which are completed during the final year of study.
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“A positive, supportive and encouraging environment for all children to thrive in. “
Beech Hall School Parent – Summer ’23