“The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life”
Drama is an art, a practical activity and an intellectual discipline. It involves the creation of imagined characters in a designated space. “A drama education which begins with play may eventually include all the elements of theatre. Like all the arts, drama helps us to make sense of the world.” (Drama in Schools). All students should be able to enjoy and participate in drama.
At Heathfield, Drama aims to develop self-esteem, self-confidence and the capacity to express ideas, thoughts and feelings. Students are encouraged to think imaginatively, using a range of dramatic skills, including voice, facial expression, movement and gesture, to understand a range of techniques, strategies, forms and conventions used in drama.
The GCSE course is an exciting, inspiring and practical course which compliments the aims of Heathfield School in a number of ways. The specification promotes involvement in and enjoyment of drama, as both performers and/or designers, and encourages collaboration between students due to the presence of group practical work. The course supports students in becoming reflective young people who have high expectations and are ambitious in their work ethic.
There is also the opportunity to attend live theatre performances and develop skills as informed and thoughtful audience members. This extends to a wider experience of current affairs and encourages students to have invigorating discussions regarding subjects they feel passionately about, sometimes even creating work based around important factors in today’s society.
In a more academic sense, the specification gives learners the opportunities to participate in and interpret their own and other’s drama, working practically as performers or designers across Components 1 and 2. The expectation within performance level and application of technical skills is extremely high, and students are expected to work both collaboratively and professionally with each other and any adults involved in the technical elements of the course. This means they develop the confidence to lead and support in any group, again striving to achieve excellence whilst acquiring theoretical skills and experience.
The students’ experience of drama is not confined to the drama lesson. There are a number of events on the school calendar in which drama students will be asked to participate and perform, such as Open Days and productions. Scholars in the Upper School run a Drama Club for Key Stage 3 students, in addition to which, many drama students are involved in the Inter-House Drama Competition, either as a Sixth Form Director or as cast and crew members. Many students are also involved in the annual school productions, and lower school drama showcase, and the termly LAMDA/Music concerts.
The English Department take part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival with a cast of Lower School students, and there is also our annual production which alternates between a musical or a play run by the Drama and Music Departments.