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Drama at the Cathedral School seeks to develop confidence, coordination, imagination, mutual respect and understanding.
For Primary pupils, lessons are practical and incorporate lots of team building warm up games and exercises. Pupils are encouraged to express their own ideas and opinions freely and to listen courteously to others. Most lessons incorporate improvisation exercises which culminate in end of session performances to the rest of the class. Pupils learn to assess their own and their peers' work constructively with respect.
Performance work is encouraged throughout the year in class work, assemblies, services, concerts, and larger productions. Participation is open to all, both for performers and backstage and technical crew.
The Drama department works closely with the Music department, and over the course of each academic year they produce Harvest Festivals, Christmas concerts and plays, a variety of assemblies as well as both Senior and Junior Productions, including The Tempest, Mystery at Magpie Manor, High School Musical, Great Expectations and Fame! For photographs from these productions, please click here.
Drama lessons in both the Primary and Senior sections, give pupils the opportunity to work together to develop their key skills, using a variety of topics and genres to develop performance and creativity. Using a range of theatrical techniques within the creative environment of the Roald Dahl Studio, pupils' imaginations are stimulated and developed, allowing them to gain confidence in their own abilities.
All pupils in Year 7 and 8 are taught Drama, but can then opt for a creative pathway in Year 9 leading to Drama GCSE in Years 10 and 11 should they wish to continue. At GCSE we teach the Eduqas course, which is a mixture of practical, scripted and evaluative tasks, aimed to give pupils a broad understanding of the subject in preparation for further study. Pupils study a range of practitioners and genres such as Brecht, Stanislavski, Physical Theatre and Theatre in education to help enrich their work. Coursework involving group performances and supporting portfolio evidence comprises 80% of the course. There is a written exam based on a set text; we currently study 'DNA' by Dennis Kelly and pupils are given a range of opportunities to visit the theatre, to enhance their appreciation of live performance and gain a detailed insight into the decisions made by designers, actors and directors. Recent Theatre visits have included Blood Brothers, War Horse and A Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time. Pupils also have further opportunities to see other productions through the Theatre Appreciation Society, who recently visited the WMC to see Wicked, Matilda, Macbeth and Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet.
At KS5 pupils study Eduqas A level Drama which involves advanced study of Theatre in all it's forms through the practical exploration of practitioners such as Berkoff, The Paper Birds (verbatim theatre), Artaud and a deeper investigation in the practitioners studied at GCSE. Pupils have the opportunity to produce devised and scripted performances, explore reimagination of texts and support their work through creative logs. Pupils will practically study set texts in preparation for their written exam and have many opportunities to view live theatre to influence their work.