We are very proud to be able to offer curricular Drama to all year groups; Years 3-9 receive one lesson per week and Years 10-13 groups receive lessons in line with other options subjects. In Years 3-6, we focus on co-operation, communication and performance skills. In Years 7-9, we broaden our focus and investigate a number of social issues through Drama, as well as nurturing performance skills and extending the pupils’ knowledge of Drama as a cultural and historical art form. In Years 7-9, we also focus on the skills Drama has to offer individuals in the ‘real world’, such as creative collaboration, leadership and team skills, communication and persuasive skills and of course we put a strong focus on emotional intelligence. All curricular groups in Year 7-9 are offered the opportunity to participate in a performance at least once per year. Years 10-13 groups will perform every term.
On top of curricular Drama, we have a full co-curricular programme, offering opportunities to investigate the subject in more depth and gain performance (and performance support) experience. We put on at least three performances per term, all of which are supported by our in-house student backstage crew. We also participate in local Drama festivals including the Leatherhead Drama Festival and the Reigate and Redhill Music Festival (Speech and Drama Section). Small theatre trips go out at least twice every half term, attending performances both in the West End and at more local theatres.
We actively encourage our pupils to extend their skills in more diverse areas. With this in mind, we run a regular ‘Fight Club’ programme every spring, with an outside professional coach, which is available to all pupils in Year 10-13 and leads to a qualification from the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. We also have links with both amateur and professional theatres that are able to offer training and work experience to pupils in more specific subject areas, for example we have recently arranged for a pupil to spend three days working at The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, to gain experience in lighting design and operation.
We have a LAMDA coach who offers weekly individual and small group classes, working towards speech and Drama grade exams (which hold UCAS points at the higher levels). This is a paid activity which takes place during lunchtimes and is available to all pupils.
Former pupils have gone on to study both performance and performance support in both further and higher education, attending centres such as the Brit school (we currently have two ex-students there, studying Musical Theatre and Performance Support: Sound).