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- Drama Department
Performing arts is one of the academies specialisms and students here at Harris Peckham enjoy a broad and rich drama curriculum that enables students to improve communication skills, develop self- confidence as well as learn about the world around them. We have two specially designed drama spaces for practical work as well as a large scale performance space for productions.
Here at the academy we strongly believe that drama allows students to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment harnessing skills of social development, empathy and understanding of the views of others. Drama allows people to engage with the world around them exploring language, emotions whilst learning about whom we are and the values and beliefs of others.
In lessons students primarily work in small groups to explore theme based and script work and develop a wide range of skills using drama specific vocabulary as well as performing work to others in assembly and the local community.
Key drama skills
Students learn how to effectively work in groups
How to develop characters and roles for performance
Perform work for an audience
Analytical and evaluative skills
Some student success stories are students working with the Royal Opera house on a media project based on “Alice in Wonderland,” Students auditioning and being accepted to the “BRITS school of Performing arts,” as well as appearing in the West End production of “Oliver.”
We aim to foster a culture of appreciation for drama and the dramatic arts
To promote understanding and sharing of work
To develop self confidence
To develop students social skills and respect for others
To enhance good communication skills
To explore the world around us through drama
To be able to self- reflective and analytical
Students study a wide range of topics and themes looking at the world around them making cross curricular links with History, Science, Music and Citizenship. We draw on the world around us to create resources and lessons that stretch student’s imaginations as well as develop key performance and social skills relevant to the world of work.
Some topics studies include;
The Black Death- History
The Merchant of Venice- English
Students get performance opportunities at the end of every term in assemblies to celebrate the work they have been creating.
Homework and extended learning
Homework is set every two weeks and supports in class learning and character development. All homework is published on SHOW MY HOMEWORK.
Students begin their key stage 4 journey in year 9 so they can fully develop their skills and develop stronger subject knowledge over 3 years rather than 2. Students look at how professional performers work and look at skills both in voice and communication as well as physical and movement work. Students can study various pathways that will help them in their self-expression, leadership and commitment to the arts. Work at key stage 4 delves deeper into the work of acting and looks at different styles and genres of performance. The Key acting styles explored are naturalism and symbolism. We use various techniques and workshops to help students learn more about the history of drama and theatre and look at different play texts and ways of working. Students will perform monologues on their own as well as work in small and large groups for productions.
BTEC Performing Arts- performance
BTEC Performing Arts- Acting
Themes and topics explored;
Theatre in Education
Performing scripted plays
Students perform work to invited audiences twice a year as well as performing in assemblies and local primary school.
Homework and extended learning
Homework is set at least once a week across the subject to support coursework and performance texts. A high level of independent learning has to be done to learn lines and develop character analysis to make sure high standards of work are achieved.
Students have to complete a daily working log to reflect on activities completed in class as well as evaluate performances they have seen. Homework takes on many forms including, rehearsing and learning of lines, research, creation of dialogue, evaluative writing.
At key stage 5 students work as professional actors and have the responsibility as actors do to take part in a wide and extensive range of acting and performance workshops. Work at this level is to a high standard and involves students performing their work publically at least 4 times to invited audiences as well as local primary and secondary schools. Students will also be expected to take part in the whole school production which is usually a musical number seen by a wide range of parents and local community groups. Students get to explore a range of different theatre styles and genres in year 12 and 13 learning about key drama practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht and Brook. Work is highly practical in nature and students must wear suitable clothing as workshops develop both the actors’ vocal and physical skills. With have good links with world renowned theatre companies like “The Royal court “and the 2Old Vic” and often have visiting tutors come in or workshops at local venues. Students also take part in specialist singing and dance workshop to enhance their performance skills and support their work on various units. Lots of work is videoed as evidence for coursework so students get used to working with a range of I.C.T and media equipment. Students also get to work with a range of source material including masks, period costumes as well as specialist sound and lighting equipment. Productions at key stage 4 are allowed more freedom and can be more experimental and use a wider range of play texts that prepare them for university or the world of acting and performing arts. Students also learn key auditioning skills and about the business elements of performing arts.
Pathways on offer:
BTEC National extended diploma performing arts- acting
BTEC National extended diploma performing arts- performance
Key company/ theatre links:
- The Royal court
- The Old Vic
- National theatre
- Royal Opera house
- Shakespeare schools festival
- Scoop London
- Mousetrap London
Students will perform several pieces of work throughout the year both formally and informally in workshop settings. Work will be taken to both primary and secondary schools as well as work for film and media projects. All students take part in the whole school production as their major performance musical theatre unit.
Homework and extended learning
Students have to complete a daily log of workshops activates to reflect upon the learning and build up a working diary of tasks and exercises. Students also take on research projects in conjunction with their performance roles to support character development and performance work. Work involves lots of theory work on different practitioners in the field of drama and students have to work in their own time to complete research tasks as well see live theatre and attend extra workshops. Students are encouraged to become independent learners and be responsible for their own progression allowing for stretch and challenge as the course progresses.
Students are also encouraged to run a drama workshop for younger students to further enhance their skills and mentor and support younger students.