Acland Burghley School

Acland Burghley School

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Wizard of Oz

“Theatre is a form of knowledge. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” Augusto Boal

Head of Drama: Rachel Board
Teacher: Lana Bel Robinson

KS3 Drama

The Drama curriculum at ABS explores Drama as an exciting art form and a tool for understanding and examining the world arounds us. We give our students a wide range of opportunities to learn and utilise various practical strategies that reveal a greater appreciation for others’ beliefs, experiences and circumstances; enabling our students to grow in empathy and knowledge. We also develop their rehearsal and performance skills and broaden their appreciation of theatre history, play texts and dramatic styles and thus we encourage our students to engage with the rich theatrical culture that surrounds us.

At KS3, our curriculum is varied and broad with students developing techniques such as physical theatre, soundscape, monologue and slow motion; learning about deforestation of the rain forests, ancient Greek theatre and WW2 evacuees; exploring issues such as oppression, business ethics and social exclusion and bringing to life texts by popular writers including Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Willy Russell. Students learn about the role of the actor, director and spectator as well as experiencing the value of drama as a process of exploration rather than simply an end product. There is a focus on inclusion and cooperation in our lessons, where every child is encouraged and expected to join in to fulfil their potential and gain confidence and teamwork skills, as well as build trust amongst their peers. All students are timetabled for one lesson of drama every week, however in Y9 they have an option to take an extra class with more of a performance focus and opportunities to shape this curriculum themselves. At KS3 homework is set each half term but comes in a range of forms, from research tasks to learning lines; all of which feeds back into their classwork in order to improve and deepen their own and others’ work.

KS4 Drama

Why it is a great choice:
You will have lots of diverse and creative opportunities to:

  • explore issues, beliefs and texts using different drama techniques to encourage a deeper understanding of the world we live in and those we live among, making us more empathetic towards others in and outside of our communities.
  • be involved in practical, creative work, especially when working as part of a team, which can be liberating and exciting and will often provide a healthy contrast to your other studies.
  • show employers and universities that you are a candidate with a wider outlook on life and a willingness to ‘think outside of the box’ as GCSE Drama encourages this broader thinking. Employers are often interested in people who have studied GCSE Drama, as communication, presentation and teamwork skills are essential in all forms of employment. 
  • see live theatre and take part in professional workshops!

What you will be studying:

  • a variety of contrasting plays, texts, issues and stimuli through practical exploration.
  • drama mediums and elements e.g. the use of movement and mime; language; characterisation; symbolism and dramatic tension.
  • different ways of making drama, e.g. verbatim, storytelling, physical theatre, naturalism.
  • how drama develops understanding and communicates meaning to all involved in the process or the performance.
  • how to appreciate the drama work you have seen or been involved in and produce portfolios of coursework.
  • how to cut and adapt text for performance.

The skills you will develop:
You will develop the ability to:

  •  improvise and devise, direct and perform. This will involve you expressing your ideas and feelings, discussing options and viewpoints, solving problems, making decisions and working and communicating effectively in a team.
  • be confident at evaluating and analysing drama and developing the written communication skills needed to express this effectively, within a timeframe.
  • work empathetically as a leader and team member, develop individually as well as within a diverse group.

One thing you can do now to get ahead in this subject:
Take advantage of living in Camden and go to see something at one of our local professional theatres. You can visit Jacksons Lane, the Pleasance Theatre, the Hampstead Theatre, the Almeida, the King’s Head and many more that are only a bus or train ride away and have great offers for students. And on the Southbank, as the weather gets warmer, there are often free performances or theatrical events to experience!