Drama & Performing Arts
The Blue Coat drama curriculum aims to provide highly creative, collaborative and fun learning experiences for all students. Our goal is to furnish students with the abilities required to interpret and realise script-based drama and likewise to create original drama from scratch, as young performers, designers and directors. Students move from project to project with application of a spiral curriculum through which skills, knowledge and understanding are established, revisited and added to over their seven years with the school. Our approaches are underpinned structurally by the whole school curriculum design, our CHRIST values, the KS3 national curriculum and the DFE’s ‘Drama Objectives Bank’.
We have selected the AQA GCSE & A Level Drama specifications at Key Stages 4 and 5 as this exam board offers the greatest amount of choice to teachers and students in terms of choice of texts, specialisms and theatre practitioners. Our ambitious project-based approach levers creative experimentation with wide ranging performance and design skills, ever increasing in challenge as students move through the key stages. It likewise levers engagement with multiple styles/genres of scripts, stimuli and issue-based topics offering learning opportunities and insight into a broad range of social, cultural and historical contexts.
We are connected to the professional theatre industry and offer students opportunity to engage with professional artists through seeing live performance, attending workshops and collaborating on projects. We aim to offer “something for everyone”, appealing to and broadening the specific interests of students through the diversity of opportunities drama and theatre has to offer.
Teaching and Learning
In drama we believe in delivering an ambitious yet highly inclusive curriculum to all. Our vision for Teaching & Learning is to ensure all students access the “full” curriculum and learn the breadth of content.
Our staff have high expectations of all pupils and focus on embedding our 3Rs:
All lessons focus on embedding the whole school Blue Coat approach:
- Explaining and Modelling
- Do & Practice
- 4forAll Toolkit leading to inclusive practice:
- Key words/Reading
- Use of time
- Chunk and check
- Appropriate verbal, written and visual feedback
Reading is an essential strategy within lessons. You will see staff applying the three reading strategies of:
How can parents help?
Taking students to see live theatre. There are a number of fabulous venues right on your doorstep with performances suitable to all needs and tastes:
- Belgrade Theatre
- Warwick Arts Centre
- Royal Shakespeare Company
- Birmingham Rep
- Birmingham Hippodrome
- The Alexandra, Birmingham
- Royal Spa Centre
- Priory Theatre
Reading to and with pupils. Encouraging them to read play texts alongside other important literature will help students to explore skills like characterisation and textual analysis. Encouraging students to read aloud is vital for effective literacy development and play texts can be a really imaginative way of doing that.
For GCSE students, websites like the BBC’s GCSE Bitesize have some useful breakdowns of the course’s main areas of study https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zrnjwty
Theatre websites often have interesting resources that can help students and families develop their understanding of literature. The RSC learning areas is a good example of this https://www.rsc.org.uk/learn
Most importantly, encourage everyone in the home to experiment with their use of voice, physicality and creative expression. It is only though practise that we can develop as performers.
- AQA GCSE Drama
- AQA A Level Drama & Theatre
- Edexcel Level 3 Performing Arts (Acting)
Enrichment & Experiences
Blue Coat Theatre produces at least three annual dramatic productions. There is an annual musical open to all students, recent productions include ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘The Wiz’ and ‘Hairspray’. There is a production for students in key stages 4 and 5 such as ‘Lord of the Flies’, ‘ The Lady Killers’ and ‘The Good Person of Schezuan’. Also, an annual production for students in key stage 3, recently ‘The Comedy of Errors’, ‘Ignite’ and ‘The Canterbury Tales’. The school took a production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, ‘One Good Soul’. There are also bespoke community drama projects in partnership with a range of organisations and student directed productions.
Recent/Upcoming trips include
Regular theatre to local and national theatres including:
- Blood Brothers: Belgrade Theatre Coventry 2023
- Kin (Gecko): Warwick Art Centre 2022
Team & Facilities
List the names of the team, qualifications, exam board experiences, industrial experience relevant to the subject.
Destinations of students that took A Level Drama
- University of Warwick to study Theatre and Performance
- Birmingham University to study Media Production
- Coventry University to study Film Production
- Cardiff University to study English Literature
- Manchester Metropolitan University to study Fashion Marketing