Drama

Drama classes take place in the fully equipped black box drama studio, which is equipped with professional stage lighting and sound equipment. Drama lessons offer the girls a release from the traditional classroom setting and a safe environment in which to explore structured plays, ranging from the classics to modern-day writers, as well as harnessing the girls' creativity through devised projects and engaging workshops. The department prides itself on developing the girls' confidence and team skills and seeks to establish good practice for practical work and encourage a love of theatre.

STAFF

Head of Department

Miss V Jackson - vjackson@morehousemail.org.uk

 

Mrs S Fischer - sfischer@morehousemail.org.uk

 

Ms S O'Callaghan - socallaghan@morehousemail.org.uk

Aims

As a department, we aspire to:

• foster an appreciation for and sensitivity to the theatre in all its diverse and fluctuating forms;
• equip pupils with the range of dramatic and analytical skills they need to succeed;
• weave an awareness of current affairs into the curriculum, to instill in pupils an understanding of and empathy for the issues of the wider world around them;
• create a safe space in which pupils can build their self-confidence, particularly with regards to verbal and non-verbal communication;
• provide a supportive environment that assesses and responds to the individual needs of each pupil while maintaining high expectations; and
• continuously build on our professional strengths as a department, identifying areas for improvement and adapting accordingly.

KS3 (years 7, 8, and 9)

The department introduces and explores a range of theatrical styles and approaches. Through performance work and written assessments, pupils explore: an introduction to drama skills; devising (based on a theme); contemporary scripted theatre; practitioner exploration; and a play by William Shakespeare.

The condensed lessons in year 9 aim to prepare pupils for some of the components in the GCSE course.

KS4 (years 10 and 11) – GCSE Syllabus (AQA)

The GCSE course involves many creative and challenging activities. Pupils are required to prepare and perform two controlled assessments: a devised piece and a scripted piece. At the end of the two-year course, there is a written exam.

Currently, the girls learn about the theories and practices of Frantic Assembly and stage a performance based on a set theme using Frantic Assembly’s rehearsal techniques and exercises. Scripted work varies from year to year depending on the cohort and the interests of the girls – previous controlled assessments have featured plays by William Shakespeare, Mike Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, John Godber, Caryl Churchill, and Charlotte Keatley. Assessment takes into account the girls’ contributions during the preparation period as well as their final performances.

The department puts a great deal of emphasis on the importance of live theatre productions and organises at least two trips a year. In the past, trips have included The 39 Steps, Blood Brothers, The Woman in Black, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Choices will vary dependent on current productions in London. These extracurricular trips encourage girls to explore a variety of theatre analyses.

KS5 (years 12 and 13) – A-level Syllabus (WJEC)

A-level drama is 60% non-exam assessment and 40% exam assessment.

The curriculum for A-level drama requires candidates to study a minimum of two complete performance texts and three key extracts from a range of periods and contexts. Candidates will also participate in a minimum of two performances: one devised and one scripted performance. The girls will need to consider the working methods of a theatre practitioner in their devised performance work.

Previous A-level texts have included A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Blue Remembered Hills at AS level and Uncle Vanya and The Rose Tattoo at A2 level. At AS level, girls will be expected to write about live theatre in their exam while at A2 level, girls will be expected to write about an unseen script.

Current AS pupils will explore Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams for their written exam and Ash Girl by Timberlake Wertenbaker for their “Reinterpretation of a Text” unit. They will perform extracts from Sophocles’ Antigone for their scripted performance. Assessment takes into account the girls’ contribution during the preparation period as well as their final performances.

The department puts a great deal of emphasis on the importance of live theatre productions and organises at least four trips a year. In the past, pupils have been taken to see plays in a range of theatres such as The Royal Court Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, The National Theatre, The Almeida, and various other West End and Fringe productions. These extracurricular trips encourage pupils to explore a variety of theatre analyses.

Clubs and Activities

Whole School Musical

In previous years, productions have included:
The Mikado
Into the Woods
Guys and Dolls
A Little Princess

Junior Play

A variety of scripted and devised productions, including an adaptation of Snow White, Macbeth, and Alice in Wonderland.

Drama Club

This is run for the lower school by drama mentors in the sixth form.

LAMDA

Lessons are available on a weekly basis. Please visit www.allsortsdrama.com for more details.

Theatre Trip

The department organises numerous trips throughout the school year, fully exploiting the enormous variety of theatres and productions on our doorstep in Central London.