‘Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it…’
The aims of the Drama Department
- To give students a voice…
- To foster self-expression and creativity…
- To promote a love for learning through stimulating the imagination…
- To explore and discuss social, cultural and political issues…
- To enable students to learn and question the world in which they live…
- To initiate students into an important cultural heritage…
- To develop students emotionally in order for them to conquer the world around them…
Within Drama we:
- Encourage students to think, work, question, and perform creatively!
- Motivate students to challenge their own boundaries and take risks within a stimulating environment.
- Cultivate confidence and communication skills that can be transferred to any given scenario.
Why study Drama?
Drama is not only for those hoping to enter the industry as a performer- it has something to offer everyone. At the different phases of a student’s school career, Drama will aid in the development of emotional intelligence, political & historical knowledge, and creative thinking.
Drama is a practical and energetic subject in which students are empowered to drive the direction of their own learning. Students explore the three pillars of drama within each lesson. These include; the brainstorming process, the rehearsal process and the performance process. Every six weeks, students take part in a performance-based assessment in front of their tutor group. This is a fun and challenging experience and is not something students need to be fearful of. Drama at Woodbridge is a safe and inclusive space for all. After each half-term assessment, students are prompted to critically evaluate their work, celebrating their achievements and scrutinising what could have been better. From this, learners can become more independent, equipped at problem-solving, confident, resilient individuals.
Woodbridge Drama at key stage 3 utilises ‘process drama’ as an avenue for learning. This creative and immersive avenue projects students into various challenging and unique scenarios in which they must respond in role. Alongside this, the curriculum is robustly skills based to ensure that students are equipped with the appropriate vocabulary and techniques required for KS4/5. Students may become silent movie stars or find themselves exploring a haunted manor. Students will investigate topical and political events through Verbatim theatre and practitioner techniques. We will explore historical periods from the Italian theatre to Thatcher’s England. Students will explore controversial questions regarding poverty, human rights and wealth. Students will work with canonical play texts that will inform their opinions of culture and the way people live. The texts have been carefully selected to ensure that the stories we tell reflect the lives of those in our school community. We aim to create a rich curriculum that shapes the whole child, in addition to the acquisition of key dramatic skills and techniques. Whilst Drama is wholly practical, learners consolidate their knowledge by completing self-reflections and conducting peer and self-assessments. Students take part in a retrieval-based home learning task every six weeks that consolidates the vocabulary and skills acquired in lessons.
Drama at key stage 3 is a curriculum like no other! Students will enter a space where anything can happen, and the possibilities are endless! At key stage 3 students are expected to not only develop their skills and knowledge of drama but think compassionately and critically about events that take place in the real world.
Woodbridge Drama at key stage 3 utilises ‘process drama’ as an avenue for learning. This creative and immersive avenue projects students into various challenging and unique scenarios in which they must respond in role. Students may become silent movie stars or find themselves exploring a haunted manor. Students will investigate topical and political events such as the London Riots and the Refugee Crisis. We will explore historical periods from the Italian theatre to Thatcher’s England. Students will explore controversial questions regarding poverty, human rights and wealth. Students will work with play texts that will inform their opinions of culture and way people live, as well as this country's important heritage. We aim to create a rich curriculum that shapes the whole child, in addition to the acquisition of key dramatic skills and techniques. Whilst Drama is wholly practical, learners consolidate their knowledge by completing self-reflections and conducting peer and self-assessments.
KS4 – GCSE (EDUQAS Drama)
GCSE Drama is an outstanding opportunity for those who are passionate about theatre making and creativity! Studying Drama is an enriching and challenging endeavour- it is not just for those wanting to enter a career in the performing arts industry. Drama is a highly valued qualification recognised by employers and universities. Candidates with qualifications in Drama are thought to be excellent communicators, versatile, resilient and confident.
As a performer, you will be stretched in the skills and techniques you develop. You will explore various theatre practitioners that will expand your knowledge of style and theatrical practices. Among these practitioners may be Brecht, Berkoff, Frantic Assembly and Artaud. You will explore a range of texts for performance that will challenge how you interpret the character and deliver a role.
As a director, you will develop your own devised performances in response to a stimulus. You will share and develop ideas of theatre making with your peers to create outstanding performances. You will begin to acknowledge the impact of theatre and how it can shape cultures and generations.
As a practitioner, you will be a part of several live theatre trips and workshops that will fuel your ideas. You will learn about all that encompasses outstanding theatre, such as staging, lighting, sound, costume and set. You will analyse a set text and review live theatre productions.
As a designer, you will be able to analyse the world of theatre and film through creative lenses. Considering the ‘backstage’ world of theatre that we see but rarely consider. You have the opportunity to delve into an area you may never have experienced and want to know more about. You will get opportunities for work experience and support on live show and even design for your exams!
GCSE Drama is a highly challenging and demanding course. We expect students taking this option to have outstanding attendance, behaviour, and teamwork skills. GCSE Drama is equally weighted between written and practical assessment. Students whose attendance falls below the expected 95% attendance are discouraged from choosing this option due to the nature of the commitment needed.
KS5 – A-Level (EDUQAS Drama & Theatre Studies)
A Level Drama & Theatre studies is for those hoping to explore the wonderful diversity, purpose and potential of Drama and Theatre. The course will develop your ability to analyse situations, read people, build your confidence, and improve your ability to present to an audience, making it an excellent choice for those hoping to go into any field or further study at university. The course demands practical, creative and communication skills in equal measure. The nature of the course gives you the freedom to be creative and experiment in working with others to expand ideas, make new discoveries and take risks to create original and scripted theatre.
On the course you will challenge the boundaries of theatre making and classical text, develop knowledge of how theatre is created, and implement your style as a practitioner. You will work with text, stimulus and live theatre influences to perform and write about your original ideas.
Whilst A Level is rigorously academic, it is essentially practical and offers a unique approach to learning. It is an active and creative course which aims to nurture your enthusiasm for and interest in theatre, both as an audience member and as a participant. Through the study of different play texts, practitioners and the history of theatre, you will gain the theoretical knowledge and practical understanding to take to the stage.
Drama is a highly valued qualification recognised by employers and universities. Candidates with qualifications in Drama are thought to be excellent communicators, versatile & resilient, and confident.
Woodbridge Drama offers a rich and diverse extra-curricular programme. The programme comprises a full-scale annual musical and external & residential trips.
The annual school musical is a much awaited and celebrated extra-curricular opportunity. Those that are chosen to take part in the musical demonstrate high standards of commitment and professionalism. The musical is announced in October and performed in March each year. Previous performances have included ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, "The Sound of Musicals", "The School of Rock" and this year we are proud to be performing "Billy Elliot."
Alongside this, we have an annual play which is new for November 2023. This year, the sixth form team are leading a production of Shakespeare's "Macbeth". This is an opportunity for those wanting to potentially study drama beyond Woodbridge and those wanting to challenge themselves at the highest level! Students involved will have the autonomy to mentor, direct and perform a canonical text - refreshing it's themes and ideas for a contemporary audience!
Throughout the year, the department arranges trips across all key stages. Previous trips have been to see ‘Matilda,’ ‘School of Rock,’ ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Wicked’. Last year, we were lucky enough to be selected for the Old Vic Schools programme. Students participated in three workshops across the academic year and attended four productions at the Old Vic theatre for free. There is an annual pantomime trip and several others for key stage 4 & 5. Accessibility to the theatre is something that is fundamentally important to us at Woodbridge Drama. We will always ensure that there are no barriers to a student's experience of theatre, with many of our trips being heavily subsidised or completely free. Alongside this, we hire industry professionals from West end shows such as "Little Big Things", "Heathers", "Newsies" and "Chicago" to come in and deliver workshops of the highest standard.
Previous trips for the Drama department include: Disneyland Paris, Stratford Upon Avon and New York. We are looking forward to our next trip to Athens in 2024!
Last year, 70% of the A-level cohort went onto to study at prestigious arts conservatoires or Russell Group Universities. Some of our alumni have gone on to study at institutions such as, The BRIT school, East 15 and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Some of our students have entered straight into the performing arts industry, working immediately as professional actors for shows at the BBC and Sky Arts. Students who have studied Drama are ideally suited to pursue careers in a wide range of areas. The study of Drama is an excellent preparation for a degree in Drama or Drama School training; however, the skills developed through this course are relevant to many different academic and professional areas. It combines well with other Arts and Humanities subjects, including English.
Drama offers the opportunity to acquire and develop skills many universities and employers look for. It can give candidates the edge, setting them apart from other candidates by demonstrating a diverse range of skills and qualities.