Drama at St Margaret Ward Catholic College is taught as a subject to be explored, understood and appreciated. It aims to:
enrich students’ appreciation and knowledge of Drama, Theatre and Performance and to provide opportunities for students to develop their practical skills as actors, directors and practitioners.
be ultilised as a means to allow students to develop and flourish on a personal level, gaining confidence and life skills through the exploration of the subject.
The Drama curriculum is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to progress fluidly to A Level and beyond, while providing opportunities for students to develop socially, morally and culturally.
Key Stage 3: Year 7
Year 7 Drama is taught as a discrete subject with the aim to introduce students to drama as well as to help improve literacy and social skills. Students focus upon developing an understanding of storytelling and have the opportunity to make and perform with their own puppets, other styles studied also include: slapstick, pantomime, and physical theatre. Students are assessed both practically and through written work.
In year 8 students follow more project based work which is designed to not only strengthen their skills as performers, but to also develop their written analysis of Drama. Students currently explore scripted plays, which they will interpret and rehearse as well as devising their own piece of drama based upon a current topical issue.
Students also study backstage elements such as set, costume and lighting through exploring Harry Potter and we run a trip to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour each year.
Key Stage 4:
Our G.C.S.E. students enjoy a varied curriculum where they not only devise their own performances, but they rehearse a larger section of script. This practical element of the course is coursework that is completed during both year 10 and 11 and is assessed in front of an invited audience, in our specially equipped studio. At G.C.S.E. students also complete a written examination, for which they analyse performances they have seen at theatres across the country during the course, as well as by discussing their work during the course and plays studied.
Key Stage 5:
Drama and Theatre Studies is an exciting course that allows students to not only engage in practical lessons exploring Drama, but also focus on the academic side of performance by taking a close analytical look at theatre as a wider platform. Students learn through a mix of practical workshops and theoretical lectures.
Throughout the course of study, students will create, rehearse and perform in both a scripted and devised performance, taking creative responsibility for co-ordinating the full lighting, set and costume required for their performances. Throughout both processes students will learn about influential theatre practitioners and theatrical styles.
Students will also study a wide range of texts from different historic periods, exploring each text through a mix of practical workshops and theory lessons. This enables students to analyse texts and decide how they would direct and stage them, in preparation for their written examinations.
The final element of the course focuses on students watching live theatre performances and evaluating each production they see. This enjoyable part of the course allows students to see many different productions across the country, exposing them to a varied range of plays and theatrical styles.
Extra curricular clubs are offered on a weekly basis for all year groups. Work from the clubs is showcased during performances throughout the year. There is also a yearly whole school production of a famous musical, which all students are invited to audition for. Past productions have included; Grease, The Sound of Music and The Wizard of OZ.
We have recently founded our own school theatre company called “Studio One”. The company will put on a production each year, where students can opt to have an acting role or opt for a backstage role.
Roles available include: Director, Playwright, Lighting Designer, Make up Artist, Costume Designer, Marketing Manager, Front of House team, Set Designer. Students have training sessions in their chosen field and then are responsible for their area during the production process. This is an invaluable experience which enable students to learn about Drama, but also gain excellent skills ready for life.
Trips play a big role in the Drama department. Year 8 students have the opportunity to go on the Harry Potter Studio tour, while each Christmas we also visit the New Vic Theatre, to watch their critically acclaimed Christmas show.
Other trips are offered throughout the year.