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The Drama department at George Salter Academy consists of a highly skilled team of practitioners who are equally passionate about the educational value of Drama in giving all young people a voice to express themselves. Drama is a very popular subject at the Academy that attracts both large numbers in Year 8 options and offers a wide range of pathways in Key Stage 4 and 5. It has recently moved into the flexible and creative Green Room Theatre, with a 200 raked seating that is fully equipped with a professional lighting rig and sound system. There is also a more intimate Drama studio adjacent to the theatre that is used for smaller scale projects and performances.
The Drama department takes the delivery of Drama activities outside of the curriculum just as seriously as what is taught within lesson time. All students are invited to audition for the whole school production that has previously included Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast' Little Shop of Horror and the upcoming We Will Rock You. We also offer LAMDA acting qualifications, Key Stage 3 Drama club, Talent performance opportunities and cross- curricular projects include Digital Storytelling. Performance events feature heavily within the Drama calendar and provide our students with a creative platform off which to share their many skills. Such events can typically include Drama Variety Night, GCSE/A’ Level/BTEC Drama Showcases, Year 6 Transition Evening and the Physical Fellowship.
Rehearsals and study support are also a vital part of what we do within the Drama department. Rarely a day goes by without our students shaping, developing and sharing their practical work or working alongside members of the department on improving their practice within written exams/coursework. Saturday school, twilight sessions and holiday programmes also feature within our programme of support to help students meet their potential.
Trials & Workshops
The Drama department believes that in order to create good theatre, it is essential that our students are given regular opportunities to watch live theatre and work with different practitioners. Recent and upcoming trips include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Lord of the Flies, Wicked, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Odyssey. We have offered workshops with an exciting range of high profile theatre artists including Frantic Assembly, Highly Sprung and Splendid Theatre Company. Established links have been made with universities and Drama schools to help prepare our older students for making that important next step into higher education such as Birmingham School of Acting, Birmingham University, RADA and LAMDA. Performing outside of the Academy has also become a reality for many of our young people who have shared their talents on the professional stage including Birmingham Rep and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. Further afield, we have been part of an overseas Performing Arts physical theatre trip to Paris, performing in outside venues and the stunning Minnack Theatre in Cornwall with a stylised production of Kes.
What the students say about the department
"Drama is where you can open up, share your ideas and create something unforgettable" (KO)
"Drama is an amazing subject because you create bonds with the students and teachers" (WA)
"Everyone respects each other" (WM)
"I am inspired through Drama and it helps me when I have had a bad day. The teachers help to bring us together to perform and enhance our ideas. The department brings out the true personalities of all the students." (KT)
"I am supported in being able to express myself when I am acting" (JN)
"The Drama department helps you to express yourself without having to do it in ways that could get you into trouble" (JT)
"The department offers excellent opportunities to the students such as performing to a live audience and taking trips to watch other performances." (SD)
Excellence in Performing Art (EPA) Scholarship
George Salter Academy can provide 20 places per year for students who have an aptitude for Music, Dance or Drama.
For more information about the EPA programme, please see our Admissions page
Mrs J. Clark (Head of Drama), email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)
Drama offers an interesting range of topics and styles of Drama in Key Stage 3 to encourage students to explore the subject through the eyes of an actor, director and designer. In designing our curriculum we have aimed to provide many different ways of exploring drama through devising, scripted and technical aspects of the subject.
Careful choices have been made about the issues and ideas explored through lessons so that they reflect what is happening in the world around us and allow all students to become critical audience members and engaging performers.
For every topic, a homework booklet has been created to develop literacy skills and encourage participants to evaluate the work produced. Typical topics that you can expect to study include:
Hamlet, Theatre History, Devising from Stimulus, Demon Headmaster, The Fog
Black History, Behind the Scenes, Darkwood Manor, Improvisation, Soap Opera
Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)
BTEC Performing Arts
Students have the opportunity to study the BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting Pathway). The BTEC pathway provides students with the knowledge to help them develop an understanding of employment opportunities within the industry, offers insight into the audition process and gives them the experience of organising and staging their own assessed performances. Coursework is completed alongside performance material that is internally assessed and externally moderated. Scripted material and devised performances allow students to explore many different approaches to theatre and encourage them to work closely as part of a team and independently. The BTEC PA units undertaken are as follows:
Unit 1: Individual Showcase - Students will prepare and present two contrasting monologues based on a set theme within an assignment brief. A letter of application will be written under controlled conditions in response to a Performing Arts advert that appears within the assignment brief.
Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production - Students will learn about the technical roles within the theatre such as Stage Manager and Costume Designer and undertake this role alongside an acting part. They will stage either a scripted or devised performance based upon a dramatic stimulus to a live audience.
Unit 3: Acting Skills - Students will take part in on and off- text rehearsal techniques to help them prepare for their role in a scripted performance. They will develop their vocal, physical and spatial skills as they work with others to create an engaging and original version of a play.
Students can also study GCSE Drama which focuses upon developing a breadth of subject knowledge within the performance strategies, mediums and elements of drama, as well as developing students understanding and interpretation of topics, scripts, characters and performance appreciation skills.
GCSE Drama will engage students through the use of their vivid imaginations, focus on practical work which reflects modern theatre and develop skills that will support progression to further study drama and a wide range of other subjects. The qualification has three components, one that focuses on devising, one that focuses on performing in or designing for a performance from a text and one that focuses on practical understanding of a performance text. Students will be assessed through a combination of internal moderation, live examiner marking and external marking of their written paper. The GCSE Drama components are as follows:
Component One: Devising - Students will create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus. They will analyse and evaluate the devising process and performance through the development of a written and/or oral portfolio of between 1500-2000 words.
Component Two: Performance from Text - Students will either perform in and/or design for two key extracts from a play that will be presented to an external examiner.
Component Three: Theatre Makers in Practice (Written Paper) - Students will complete a 1 hour 30 mins written paper based on a play they have studied and a theatre production they have watched.
We feel strongly that our students thrive from watching live performances on a regular basis. It allows the students to visit the theatre, maybe for the first time and aspire to be like the performers on stage!
It also allows students to develop an understanding of how professional performances are staged as well as develop their own creativity and enthusiasm for the arts. Past trips include:
- Lord of the Flies at Birmingham Rep
- Wicked at the Apollo Theatre, London
- DNA at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham
- Blood Brothers at Birmingham Hippodrome
|GCSE||89% A-C||90% A-C||86% A-C|
|BTEC Performing Arts (Acting Pathway||100% Merit-Pass||100% Merit-Pass||100% Merit-Pass|
|LAMDA (Out-of-School Club)||2 Distinctions;
Key Stage 5 / Post 16
At KS5, the Drama Department offers several courses.
Click on the links below for further information:
- Drama and Theatre Studies - A Level
- Performing Arts (Acting or Dance) - BTEC Extended Diploma (equivalent to two A Levels)