The Drama Department strives to nurture a love and passion for performance and theatre. The School has a fine and long standing tradition of excellence in dramatic art. A number of our past pupils have performed with the National Youth Theatre, gone on to train at leading Drama Schools such as RADA and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and secured professional careers in theatre and film.
Our pupils work to develop specialised skills and techniques in acting and technical theatre, in the process building up a range of personal and social skills that will enable them to go forward into their lives beyond as confident and co-operative young people.
We aim to teach a breadth of theatrical skills and techniques, ranging from improvisation and devising to textual studies and mask work. We also teach the important contributions made by theatrical practitioners both from history and theatre today. Our pupils are encouraged to appreciate how such innovations have inspired and changed theatrical horizons.
Two full-time members of staff teach in a dedicated and well-equipped Drama Studio. There is also access to an adaptable theatre space. Other visiting theatre professionals are invited to School at regular intervals to complement studio work.
In the Senior 10 year, pupils may opt to study Drama at GCSE level. We follow the Edexcel specification which provides a suitably challenging and enjoyable course with a good balance of practical and academic study.
The first part of the course covers a thematic exploration, such as ‘Protest’, whilst in the second pupils practically examine a dramatic text such as Metamorphosis by Steven Berkoff.
All pupils are externally assessed for the final component, the performance examination.
We are extremely proud of our excellent results, year on year.
We aim to foster in our pupils a sense of cultural appreciation and understanding. Given our close proximity to London theatres, we regularly take our pupils on theatre trips to the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and the West End. These visits form a vital part of enriching and developing the learning experience. In addition, local theatres such as The Lyric Theatre and Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, and The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, also make their own unique contribution and ensure that our pupils see a variety of interesting work in a range of different spaces.
Within School we provide an exciting and diverse programme of Co-curricular activities for our pupils. These include weekly Drama Clubs, House Drama Competitions, Speech and Drama lessons, and participation in exciting annual School productions. A specialist LAMDA teacher enters interested pupils for graded examinations in Acting or The Speaking of Verse and Prose twice each year. In recent years pupils have also participated with great success in external drama festivals such as the Shakespeare Schools Festival held at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith and in The Royal Opera House ‘Write an Opera’ scheme.