Drama is a compulsory subject in KS3 and an option subject in KS4 and 5.
Why do we do drama?
Key Stage 3
Drama serves a very important purpose at Brentford in developing our vision of the Brentford Girl. At the heart of this are the values of inquisitiveness, flexibility, confidence, courage, ambition and reflection and all of these are developed in drama. Students are encouraged to explore human emotions and situations, improve their verbal and non-verbal communication skills, reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, build their confidence in standing up in front of others, to be brave in the decisions they make and not to fear making mistakes.
Key stage 4
GCSE Drama is a popular option and highly successful. It is not an easy option and students find it both challenging and very rewarding. It is assessed through a combination of controlled assessment, performance and exam which stretches the most able. It is not just a course for actors but also for those who would like to improve their communication and interpersonal skills; skills vital in the world of work. Drama also involves theatre trips, these are an essential part of the process and really help build the students’ cultural capital; often leading to a life-long love of theatre and performance.
Key stage 5
A Level Drama and Theatre Studies takes students deeper into the processes whereby drama is created through the study of the main theatrical traditions and the work of individual practitioners from across the globe, both past and present. As with GCSE it is testing and rigorous but the independent and group study often leads to significant personal growth for the students and really enhances their skills. It is a little known fact that A Level Drama is the strongest facilitating subject for students who want to go on to study Law at Russell Group Universities. This is unsurprising perhaps given how vital it is for lawyers to understand human nature and be able to communicate face to face and with a critical audience. A Level drama is assessed through a combination of performance, coursework and exam. As with GCSE, the expectation is that drama students will see as much live theatre as they can and based as we are in London our opportunities are extensive for this.
Each year Brentford mounts an ambitious School Production. In 2014/15 it was The Jungle Book and in 2015/6 it will be Bugsy Malone. All year groups are encouraged to get involved - either on stage or behind the scenes. In year 7, there is a panto trip, while other opportunities occur throughout the year including trips to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and visiting companies coming into school.