Staffing: Ms Fyfe (and Mrs Osborne in Y7)
Drama can be hugely influential for students. The Drama Department at Bury Church of England High School works hard to establish a warm, supportive, mutually respectful learning environment in which students can develop self-awareness, confidence and self-control. Drama is an important tool in raising self-esteem, building a positive self-image and promoting assertiveness. Students develop their speaking and listening skills as well as learning how to express themselves physically. We encourage students to work outside their friendship groups, breaking down barriers through cooperation and negotiation. This empowers them to become independent, creative learners, developing skills that will support their learning throughout the curriculum and enable them to become well-rounded, confident citizens.
Key Stage 3
Students in Year 7 have one Drama lesson per fortnight. Over the year they have an introduction to a range of Drama skills and theatrical forms. They develop the social skills of communication and cooperation and learn how to present themselves appropriately and with confidence. They use their creativity and critical skills when creating, performing and responding to drama. They explore improvisation, scripts, physical theatre and creating a role.
In Year 9, students do two short courses of Drama that reinforce the skills learnt in Year 7. They get the opportunity to explore issues in a role-play activity which they create. Drama in Year 9 can help students raise their confidence and performance in Speaking and Listening activities in English, as well as give them a taste of GCSE Drama.
Key Stage 4
We follow the AQA GCSE Drama syllabus.
- Unit 1 (40%) Drama written paper, externally assessed examination
- Unit 2 (60%) Practical work, internally assessed and externally moderated controlled assessments (performances)
The exam asks questions on practical work completed during the course, the study and performance of a scripted play and/or the study of a live theatre production.
The options for practical work include acting, improvisation, theatre-in-education and devised work based on a theme.
Theatre visits are integral to the course and students are expected to attend.
Extra Curricular Activities
These are organised regularly, and although some are aimed primarily at those studying GCSE Drama, others are open to all, or targeted at specific year groups. I usually book evening performances, as I feel that being part of a mainly adult audience tends to give students a better experience of theatre etiquette.
Anyone can get involved in this, provided they have the two essential qualities of enthusiasm and commitment, and I would encourage everyone to! The teamwork and discipline required throughout the rehearsal process, the adrenalin rush of the performance and the resulting pride in their achievement can have a lasting impact on an individual’s confidence and self-esteem.
Our school productions, performed in the spring term, tend to be ensemble pieces, with all performers on stage for as much of the time as possible, as this requires greater discipline from the performers, encourages their creativity and independence and celebrates everyone’s contribution.
Students can also get involved in other areas, including set design, props, costumes, marketing and advertising.
In 2010 we performed Willy Russell’s musical, "Our Day Out". In 2011, our production was “The Rebels of Gas Street”, and in 2012 year we performed "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".
The Drama Department would love to increase the number of Drama lessons in KS3, should the constraints of the timetable and the school curriculum allow it.