The ethos At Bishop’s we welcome all students, of all abilities to explore, learn and develop knowledge in drama and the medium of the theatre.
The aim of the Drama department is to develop a curiosity and thirst for creativity within the theatre, television, film and other forms of the performing arts.
Participation and enjoyment are principal elements to Drama, whether as the writer, the performer or as the audience.
We provide a welcoming environment that is designed to build confidence and skill through verbal communication, which will benefit our pupils for the future.
Through studying humanitarian themes, all pupils become a respectful member of a local, national and global community; able to appreciate the broad cultural diversity across the globe through the medium of the performing arts.
Pupils will take opportunities to create and perform with, and to, others on an individual and group basis.
Research tasks provide opportunities for learners to explore historical and contemporary events that lead to creativity in informed performances.
Shared analysis and deconstruction of work provides opportunities for learners to qualify the work of themself and of others in a supportive environment.
We also encourage pupils to explore the performing arts further by offering enrichment clubs and productions; we believe in a total theatre experience that encourages the exploration of technical theatre alongside the skill of acting and scriptwriting.
We provide challenging texts, look at theatre from many genres and perspectives and emphasise a creative and supportive approach to learning.
Drama is taught in double lessons on a carousel. Pupils complete four 6 week modules, alternating between two teachers.
The girls study 3 principle areas: Skills, The history of the theatre (including Greek and Medieval theatre) and Situational Drama. The focus lies in introducing the girls to accurate performing and an appreciation of the origins of drama.
Drama is developed from the first year and leans towards a social message based content. Areas studied include: Discrimination, Pioneers, the environment and the Forms of Comedy, Tragedy and Mixed Form.
Subject content is linked directly to professional drama and the theatre, preparing girls for GCSE Drama or to have a mature appreciation of drama across a variety of media. Areas of study include:
Tension, The Media, Technical theatre (lighting, sound, costume and staging), From page to stage – Blood Brothers, Theatre in Education and devising an original play.
GCSE Drama is a successful and popular Options choice; there are 2 classes in Year 11 and a class of 29 on our current Year 10 course.
In a visiting examiner’s report, the examiner stated: ‘The new drama studio, with modern lighting, provided a truly professional atmosphere for the students to perform in.’
The GCSE syllabus is OCR Drama, J316. The course content includes: Devising from a stimulus, From Page to Stage and Theatre Review and Text in Performance. The students have visits to live theatre productions – this year Amadeus, study a prescribed text – Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and perform sections from a chosen text – Lorca’s Blood Wedding.
At A Level, the content is more demanding with heightened focus on professional theatre, practitioners and texts from different eras and genres. Students study a variety of texts ranging from classical theatre to contemporary works such as Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Practitioners include Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud and Berkoff; further playwrights and companies include Pinter, Wertenbaker, Frantic Assembly and The Kneehigh Theatre Company.
We have an extremely popular Drama Club that runs throughout the year. Our weekly club is separated into one for Years 7 and 8, another for Year 9 and above. The club offers girls of all abilities to explore drama in a supportive and creative environment; the content includes spontaneous and rehearsed improvisation and culminates in the summer term with workshops on technical theatre, such as lighting, sound and make-up.
There are plenty of opportunities for girls to audition and participate in performances to an audience. We provide a range of styles of productions including musicals and plays. In 2019, we presented We Will Rock You, the Musical and before, Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, with over 50 girls participating; in previous years we have presented productions including, Antigone, The Return to the Forbidden Planet and Little Shop Of Horrors. We have showcase events that provide a platform for devised work from our Drama Club, as part of the House system we will be running an Inter House Drama competition and our GCSE and A Level students present examination work to an invited audience. One of our most eagerly anticipated performances is the Staff Panto performed annually at the end of the Autumn Term, which is wonderful fun for the staff and the girls.