Drama at NOA
The Drama department’s aim is to inspire students, develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of playwrights and theatre practitioners, and share with students the passion for our subject.
We do this through exposure to a wide range of topics that are either drama specific, or focus on key themes and topics relevant to the year group. Students are given opportunities to develop their mastery in specific areas: from stage performance to the development of technical backstage skills. Drama develops character by building confidence and self-discipline and developing key life skills in leadership, communication, time management, organisation and creativity, all of which are key in helping to shape our students into emotionally intelligent, well-rounded individuals. We build these qualities through engaging and creative practical and theory-based lessons that encourage students to take risks.
The structure, content and assessment of KS3 is mapped out to ensure students are fully equipped to access and achieve success in Drama at KS4 and KS5. At KS3 we explore a diverse range of play texts ranging from Shakespeare through to more contemporary plays such as Noughts and Crosses and DNA, all of which are interleaved with the key knowledge and skills that students need to be able to explore and produce their own work and appreciate the work of others. Students are exposed to a variety of live performances, allowing them to appreciate the culture and wealth that theatre has to offer.
In year 7 and 8, our primary focus is on growing a love for the subject and the development of oracy to aid students’ understanding of how drama and theatre works. In year 9, this is built upon with the introduction and exploration of the theoretical aspects of Drama and Theatre.
At GCSE, students continue their journey over the two years, continuing to build on the practical and theoretical knowledge gained at KS3. We cover a range of skills and knowledge, explored practically, in written coursework and in a written exam. The course requires a great deal of commitment to extra rehearsal time, research and written work. The practical work is based on both original ideas and written scripts, and extends to include set design, costume, props, lighting and sound.
There is a smooth transition to A Level where the focus is to encourage students to become independent and mature learners through the study and detailed exploration of key theatre practitioners, dramatic texts and themes.
Drama is a subject that naturally lends itself to the development and continued growth of students’ cultural capital; opportunities are given to participate in lunch and after school clubs as well as attend live theatre performances and participate in workshops with professionals. Each year we stage several school productions in which all students are invited to participate. We also encourage students to direct their own plays and take on the responsibilities of running their own acting companies. In this way, students learn to both appreciate and value each other and a variety of cultures from around the world, helping them to become well-versed individuals for the future.