A central aspect of the Drama curriculum is a focus on collaboration and ensemble, which provides students with experiences and opportunities that develop communication skills that are so vital in today’s technology obsessed society. Our schemes of work are designed to engage students, teach them about theatrical styles and introduce them to new worlds which help them to view the world from a different, and more informed, perspective.
Students at Gable Hall benefit from brilliant arts facilities. The school houses two purpose built Drama studio’s with lighting facilities and a range of large performance spaces. There is also a proscenium arch stage with room to seat 400 people and an excellent range of technical theatre equipment. The theatre is used almost exclusively by the Performing Arts staff. This allows pupils to gain valuable stage time during lessons helping them both to aspire to a greater standard of practical work and become familiar with the surroundings and workings of a theatre. In addition to specialist teaching, students have the opportunity to watch live theatre performance and participate in workshops from industry professionals so they are exposed to the realities of the Arts Industry.
Key Stage 3
At Gable Hall School Drama is compulsory for all students at KS3. Years. 7, 8 and 9 have one 75 minute Drama lesson a week. At this level, the Drama curriculum has two objectives. The first is to cultivate well-rounded and confident individuals through their understanding of Drama. Each lesson students rehearse, perform and respond to a stimulus which promotes self-esteem, fuels the imagination, provides a sense of achievement and allows students to explore issues and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Students work in groups to provide them with the opportunity to develop their communication and collaboration skills. In particular, the ‘Ensemble’ units of work fosters this as students have to perform as one.
The second objective is to develop the skills necessary to be successful at KS4. Students explore and create work covering a wide range of theatrical styles, skills and techniques. These include script work, devising, creating character, building atmosphere and using lighting and music. In Year. 7 students develop a tool kit of Drama skills and learn about different genres of theatre including melodrama and ensemble. Later in the year there is a cross-curricular link with English as students study Matilda in both English and Drama. This enables them to explore the story practically so they have a deeper understanding of the characters and themes. In Year. 8 students cover a wide range of topics including Silent Movies, Shakespeare and Myths and Legends. This allows them to gain a better understanding of the mediums of Drama and characterisation. In Year.9 the topics have been selected to make students think about social, emotional and cultural issues in even more depth to ensure they create more sophisticated work at this stage.
Throughout Key Stage 3, we encourage pupils to work independently and CARR skills are reinforced in every lesson.
Key Stage 4
If students choose to study Drama at KS4, they will learn about a combination of rich theatrical traditions and the innovative and inspiring work of new Drama practitioners. We ensure that students explore a wide range of plays, playwrights and practitioners so that we open their eyes to creative possibilities and teach students to appreciate the perspectives of others. This develops emotional intelligence, creativity and performance skills. Students are able to form an opinion and justify it, whilst also valuing the concept of diversity within the professional work or repertoire they are studying.
Our current Key Stage 4 students are completing the Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts, Drama. This course is worth the same amount of points as a GCSE but allows us more freedom in the themes, styles and plays that we study. The two year course is assessed in three units. Two units are internally assessed and the third unit is externally assessed by the exam board. Students in Year. 11 find out the topic for the external unit at Easter and will then spend their time creating and rehearsing their devised piece for the assessment. There is a written element that requires student to document and evaluate their creative process. For each internal unit students will be assessed on their practical work and on their written portfolio. During the course students will be required to complete research, look at new styles of theatre and learn about Drama practitioners who have shaped theatre over the last 100 years. In addition to their lessons, students will have the opportunity to take part in performances inside and outside of school to further their performance skills.
Pupils are keen to participate in the range of extra-curricular activities offered. Last year students were entered for LAMDA exams and all passed with brilliant results. We have a musical theatre club, Key Stage 3 performers club and rehearsals for school musicals. Pupils interested in technical theatre play an important role in school productions and events and a ‘Tech Club is also offered; they work alongside teaching staff gaining experience in lighting, sound and crewing. Prefects have an important role to play within the department too offering mentoring to younger students and running lunchtime clubs.
Miss K Latham - Lead Practitioner for Performing Arts
Miss J Stacey – Department Leader of Drama
Miss K Harrington - Head of Year 11