Our school’s ethos is to welcome all students, of all abilities to explore, learn and develop knowledge in drama and the medium of the theatre.
For more pictures of school drama and music theatre shows, visit our Drama & Music Theatre Shows Photo Gallery
The aim of the Drama department is to provide an enjoyable and diverse curriculum that challenges all students to creatively explore themselves and the world around them, whilst developing skillful ways to present ideas through performance and discussion. However, it is important that our students understand Drama is not just about performing but being able to work well in a group, being a good communicator, having empathy for others, lateral thinking, having ideas, taking risks and expressing oneself. Ultimately, the subject aims to help students grow and develop a confident and curious character, enabling them to participate in a meaningful way throughout the process of study, whether as the writer, the technician, the performer or as the audience.
Not only do students develop the practical knowledge and performance skills needed to create and evaluate compelling performances, they also explore a range of humanitarian ideas and topics which encourage them to think more laterally and empathetically about the content of their work. Therefore becoming more respectful members of a local, national and global community; able to appreciate the broad cultural diversity across the globe through the medium of the performing arts. Furthermore, research tasks provide opportunities for learners to explore historical and contemporary events that lead to creativity in informed performances.
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.
In year 7, the focus is on students developing their skills and knowledge in Drama. The four units taught explore the structure of performances, developing characters, and theatre around the world. By the end of the year, students should be able to accurately perform, have an appreciation of the origins of drama and the skills needed to develop in Drama.
In year 8, Drama is developed from the first year by focusing on stylisation and character. Areas studied include: Discrimination and Expressionism, Forms of Comedy, Tragedy and Mixed Form, Verbatim Theatre and Script Writing. The aim is to extend the knowledge gained in year 7 by exposing students to a wider variety of theatre styles whilst exploring how to create meaningful and interesting characters.
In year 9, subject content focuses on performance and audience, aiming to give the students transferable skills, encourage risk taking whilst preparing them for GCSE Drama. Areas of study include: Technical theatre (lighting, sound, costume and staging), From page to stage – Blood Brothers, Theatre in Education and devising an original play. By the end of Key Stage 3, students should have developed confidence and character which they can apply across the curriculum whilst having an appreciation for Drama as an art form.
GCSE Drama continues to be a successful and popular Options choice.
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, study a prescribed text – Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and perform sections from a chosen text.
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. This open Drama Club is designed for Key Stage 3 students who enjoy Drama and want to do more of it! You will play Drama games, complete acting exercises, create your own plays and get to perform using the lights and sound. It’s good fun, gives you the opportunity to build your confidence, make new friends and potentially develop your Drama skills.
The BATs (Bishop’s Acting Troupe) is like a theatre company in that we work on a play which is performed in the spring term. The troupe is open to all years and admission is by audition only. Auditions take place in September. However, if you wish to explore the more technical side of theatre, then we welcome people who have an interest in costume, lighting, sound and set to help us put our production together. Since their creation, The BATs have successfully performed twice last academic year, Find Me by Olwen Wymark and Our Day Out by Willy Russell.
There are plenty of opportunities for students 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. In the spring term of 2023, the junior production of Matilda The Musical was performed. We have showcase events that provide a platform for devised work from our Drama Club, 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 students.