The majority of the Drama Department’s activities take place in the school theatre. We also have a small, black box studio, use of a large hall with proscenium arched stage and a classroom for undertaking theory and written work. The theatre, studio and hall are all equipped with lighting and sound facilities. We also have a large storage of props, set, costumes, books and other resources for use in lessons and in productions.
The priority is to maintain a well ordered and stimulating theatre environment with key vocabulary and photographs of student performance work from all Key Stages. We also place great importance on giving students responsibility for developing their skills in terms of all aspects of technical theatre, directing and devising, as well as performance.
Throughout Key Stage 3 all pupils receive two hours of drama teaching per fortnight in mixed ability groups. Core performance skills are established and developed, alongside building of pupil confidence and teamwork.
At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to opt to study drama at GCSE level. We currently follow the Edexcel specification which is 100% practical and coursework based. Drama in the context of live performance is explored, using a wide variety of stimulus material, dramatic techniques and dramatic texts.
In Year 9 students undertake a range of activities to develop their skills. During Year 10, students apply these skills in a series of projects designed to boost their ability to create performance work independently. In Year 11 students’ practical exploration of drama and coursework is then assessed. Students are taken to see a professional theatre show and usually participate in an actor led skills workshop. In May, students take part in a final performance examination. Students of GCSE Drama receive four hours teaching per fortnight.
At Key Stage 5 students have the opportunity to study Drama and Theatre Studies at A-Level and receive nine hours of teaching per fortnight. During the AS year, students undertake practical exploration of two plays for Unit 1: ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ (Brecht) and ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ (Fo). Students also submit coursework notes based on these plays. In addition students are taken to see experimental contemporary theatre productions and must write an evaluative review of one as part of the coursework. For Unit 2 students rehearse and perform a monologue or duologue as well as taking part in a group production of a play directed by their teacher. Previous productions have included: ‘The Visit’ (Durrenmatt), ‘No Exit’ (Sartre), ‘Fen’ (Churchill) and ‘Not in My Name’ (Bartlett).
During the A2 year, students create and perform a devised piece and prepare for a written examination on their directorial ideas for a production of ‘Woyzeck’ (Buchner) and comparing a live production of a play by Shakespeare with the original performance conditions.
The Drama Department at Blue Coat provides highly effective teaching and learning in drama, theatre studies and live performance. It aims to equip each student with a wide range of practical skills; a thorough knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre from a variety of periods and cultures; the ability to form opinions about their own and other’s work; develop self confidence in performing and presentation; and the desire to appreciate live theatre as both a performer and audience independently.
After School Activities
The Drama Department aims to stage at least three productions per year. In October, a traditional/classic text performed by the upper school, such as ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Waiting for Godot’. In February, a large scale, whole-school musical production, such as ‘Les Miserables’, ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Oliver!’ In July, a lower school production such as ‘The Insect Play’, ‘King Matt’ and ‘The Snow Queen’.
A lower school drama club takes place after school once a week, primarily for those students who enjoy practical workshop style drama. A KS4 drama club is planned to launch later this year. The department also runs a large number of theatre trips throughout the year.
Event & Production Tickets
Tickets can be purchased for events by following the link provided below.