Unlocking the creative mind

Head of Performing Arts: Mrs C Duffy
Telephone: 01344 423041
Email: cduffy@brakenhale.co.uk

Drama seeks to unlock the creative mind to promote critical thinking and inspire students to challenge their surroundings and engage with the world. Students learn confidence, empathy and reasoning through exercises that enable them to express feelings, communicate their thoughts and understand the cultural, spiritual, political, historical and social world that we live in.

Drama introduces the students to new ideas and concepts, encourages students to think and develop their own opinions and to demonstrate their individuality through a range of performance skills. From abstract symbolism to natural realism; drama provides a variety of mediums for students to express themselves and to impress important messages upon an audience.

Students develop a range of skills in Drama that not only provide them with a solid foundation for Key Stage 4 Drama GCSE, but promote an understanding of other subjects within the syllabus such as Literature and History; but also key skills that are of benefit across the curriculum, as well as life skills that will help them socially.

Students will explore Drama from a range of subjects including Fame and the Media, focusing on the morals and ethics of “celebrity status” and the role models in society; explore class and status, developing their understanding of the socio-political structures of society in the past and present; understand Shakespeare and his contribution to English Literature and the English Language; and explore the theme of leaving home, looking at runaways, evacuees, refugees and the homeless.

The Drama department offers both GCSE and BTEC Drama courses to suit the strengths and interests of our learners. Both courses explore devising, performing and analysing performances.

Through the AQA specification for GCSE Drama, students will develop their drama skills through practical exploration and through written response, evaluation and critical analysis. Students will expand their skills and experience in Drama and Theatre, exploring new mediums such as Physical Theatre, Musical Theatre and 20th Century Playwrights. Beginning with the analysis of signs in Drama through Semiotics; students will develop their communication skills to recognise the importance of non-verbal communication – facial expressions, gestures, movement, costume, props, lighting and sound, and music.

The Social, Cultural, and Historical contexts will be studied through a response to stimulus, enabling the students to research and investigate through a series of explorative strategies; providing students with a means to develop a unique understanding of events, concepts and ideas. Students will further relate their discoveries to a modern context to draw parallels with current events and critically analyse their surroundings with an intelligent and objective view considering the varying viewpoints and diverse opinions that comprise our society.

BTEC Drama offers students the opportunity to explore Drama as part of the Performing Arts industry. Students will develop an understanding of how different practitioners work is created and different performance techniques. The syllabus includes performing scripted work, training as an actor through workshops, devising to a brief and analysing three contrasting theatre works. Practical and theory is linked together through use of logbooks, presentations and reports.

For Drama and Theatre Studies, students will develop their skills in the study and analysis of play texts, and the creation and performance of plays. Students will utilise the skills they have learnt during GCSE Drama and explore texts through critical analysis to expand their Historical, Social, and Cultural understanding.

Students are also provided opportunities to study performance support skills: Lighting, Sound, Costume, Set Design and Directing.

At Key Stage 5 students study BTEC Drama to help prepare them for further progression in Drama or the Performing Arts. Students complete four units over two years focusing on developing skills and techniques for performance, investigating practitioners work, acting styles and group performance. The course explores a range of practitioners works and techniques whilst providing opportunities to perform and work creatively. Students work practically developing their theoretical knowledge and complete written reports, presentations and logbooks to support their learning and as part of their assessments.

Students develop their creativity through challenging lessons that stretch every student’s ability, encouraging them to take risks and exercise their imaginations. Confidence is developed as students interact in numerous roles, developing team-based cooperation and initiative on their own. Students are afforded opportunities to assume leadership roles within groups to direct performances and explorations; peer evaluation and self-evaluation are crucial in self-improvement, enabling students to develop problem-solving skills; objective analysis; and critical thinking.

Students will be encouraged to undertake independent learning through research, and Drama develops a strong discipline through group performances, as students rely on each other to perform their roles to deliver a successful performance.

School Shows and Performances

School Show 2019: Schools Will Rock You

“Wow, what an amazing show!” – audience feedback

Students from across Year 7 to 13 performed together and showcased their musical and theatrical talent. They were absolutely brilliant and we honestly cannot praise them enough! Lunchtimes, after schools, weekends and half term were consumed with all things SWRY and without their dedication putting on this production would have not been possible.


School Show 2018: School of Rock

Student of the week: Keir Buist – for being the most incredible lead in School of Rock and for inspiring the rest of the cast

Congratulations to the cast of School of Rock for their amazing performances. The students performed to over 300 primary school children from the local area on before their two evening performances to parents, staff and students. The energy was fantastic and the commitment since September amazing.
Thank you to everyone who came to support the show and all the staff who contributed to its success.