What makes the Drama curriculum so special?
Our scholars are given the unique opportunity to study Drama and Theatre at CMA, an opportunity that isn’t afforded to every young person in the city. Over three years we focus on mastery of key dramatic techniques, knowledge of theatre genre, devising and script work. There are also opportunities for scholars to explore design and production elements such as lighting, sound and costume. The curriculum works to introduce the basics in Y7, adapting skills in Y8 and building to a more GCSE style practice in Y9 so that scholars are well equipped to take on GCSE Drama if they wish. The vocabulary used and introduced throughout the curriculum stays the same and is revisited throughout Y7, 8 and 9, meaning that scholars can be confident in their ability and rich theatre knowledge by the end of KS3. Not only does the curriculum empower scholars to pursue Drama further in education, it allows scholars to be more equipped for life beyond education and teaches them valuable life skills.
How is the Drama curriculum enacted in a way that honours its beauty, richness and distinctiveness?
Drama is taught practically, so that there is opportunity to act and perform built into every lesson; scholars are continually building their confidence, communication, problem solving, leadership, teamwork and performance skills. Although practical, the Drama curriculum does not deviate from the provision the scholars will be receiving across the school and is still taught through regular retrieval practice and invigorating instruction. Teacher and peer verbal feedback happens regularly, to ensure that scholars keep progressing and can feel empowered to improve and build their character and can ultimately strive for the excellence that every scholar is capable of. The curriculum offers richness through variety; variety of scripted text, variety of theatre genres, variety of skills meaning that scholars explore a complete overview of society through many different perspectives and experiences. Extra curricular activities are a huge part of our Drama and theatre provision at CMA, with a school production every year, regular theatre trips and opportunities to work with the Curve Theatre, scholars have plenty of opportunities to build their passion for and experience of theatre and their performance skills.
How does the Drama curriculum equip scholars with knowledge that provides them with new ways of thinking about the world and has the capacity to take them beyond their own original experiences?
As well as subject specific knowledge about theatre genres, working with scripted text, performance skills and production elements, the Drama curriculum taps into real world issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement, peer pressure and bullying, celebrating individual differences, discrimination and prejudice, world conflict and many more. These topics help build empathy and emotional intelligence so that scholars can grow to be impressive and compassionate people in society long after they have left the school environment. The aim of the Drama curriculum is to learn the basics and the art of adaptation so that scholars can take on the experiences of others, and perspectives different to their own.
How does the Drama curriculum reflect intelligent interdisciplinarity, to allow scholars to explore meaningful connections?
As mentioned previously, through Drama scholars will explore a range of different issues and topics. These topics and issues are carefully considered so that scholars can use their knowledge and skills learnt in Drama in a range of different subjects across the school. For example, studying the playtext ‘War Horse’ in Year 7 equips scholars with useful knowledge of WW1 and exploring the perspectives of people that lived through this time. There are also many cross-curricular links with English, including Shakespearean knowledge, the structure of plays, and exploring characters intentions and emotions. There are also many links with our PSHE curriculum, where we study social issues such as racism, discrimination and prejudice, peer-pressure, bullying and many more.
Miss L Gaisford