Drama is an exciting, creative and rewarding subject that allows pupils to develop an enormous range of skills. Students who study drama in the curriculum or co curriculum: grow in confidence; are able to present their ideas successfully; have empathy and compassion; collaborate well with others and are resilient in the face of challenges.
"My favourite thing about drama in Dame Allan's is all the amazing opportunities we're given and having the chance to work with a range of students from different years as well as some industry professionals. Doing drama at school has made me feel more confident in acting in front of bigger audiences and I've been inspired to carry on drama into sixth form.”
Ella, Year 10
In the Junior School we are very fortunate to have Drama on the timetable as a separate subject from Year 1 to Year 6. These lessons provide a safe and supportive space for expression and imagination and encourage creativity, critical thinking and team work. From an early age children learn the skills of voice projection, clarity and expression and combine these with movement and gestures to begin their acting journey. There are many small scale performance opportunities on offer as well as one yearly major performance for each year group. This year, pupils in Year 1 and 2 have already performed with aplomb in the Christmas nativity play. Reception pupils performed their own nativity and Nursery told the story of a very clumsy angel in 'Woopsy Daisy Angel'. Years 3,4 and 5 recently performed 'Dancing Through the Decades' and Crash Landings' in their respective combined arts shows. Year 6 will perform their final drama production in the Summer Term before moving up to the Senior School.
Pupils in Years 7 to 9 have the opportunity to get involved with a summer production, while older pupils work toward their own piece performed in March. A number of smaller performances often take place during the year and all pupils are encouraged to take part in drama events and activities, either on stage or behind the scenes. Recent whole school productions have ranged from musicals such as The Addams Family to dramatic performances like Noughts & Crosses.
We offer LAMDA lessons with our specialist LAMDA coach who meets with pupils in small groups on a weekly basis. These pupils go on to take graded examinations where they excel with a number achieving the prestigious gold medal, a prerequisite for drama schools.
Lunchtime and after school drama clubs encourage pupils to build their confidence while introducing key elements of drama such as improvisation and script work. All Year 7 students are invited to take part in a weekly drama club exclusively for their year group in which they play drama games and work towards the Christmas Extravaganza evening. In Year 8, students learn a range of performance and production skills in a dedicated fortnightly lesson in our state-of-the-art drama studio where they are introduced to improvisation, scriptwork, lighting and sound.
Drama continues to be a highly popular subject in Year 9 where students can continue developing their skills and prepare for GCSE in a weekly lesson; work is regularly performed and evaluated culminating in a written examination at the end of the academic year when pupils reflect on their progress. GCSE and A Level Students follow the AQA drama and theatre studies course at GCSE and A Level. Here students take part in written and practical work allowing them to hone their drama abilities while equipping them with a varied range of skills. Live theatre experiences are an important part of both courses and the schools subscribe to a number of platforms to ensure pupils experience a wide range of theatre.
"I love the variety of plays. We’ve done gritty and serious as well as singing and comedy. It's an all around good laugh, especially on rehearsal days."
Tom, Year 12
Previous drama pupils have gone on to secure places at prestigious drama schools while others have used the skills developed in drama to secure degrees in a wide array of subjects.