At Notre Dame School, the Drama Department’s philosophy is to nurture each individual’s ability and develop their potential within the scope of the performing arts and wider appreciation of dramatic literature and theatre history.
We aim to create enthusiastic and confident learners who have an understanding and appreciation of the possibilities of drama and theatre.
Drama lessons encourage discussion, creativity, and co-operative group work in a safe environment, ensuring the development of skills and techniques through a stimulating and diverse programme. We pride ourselves on empowering students to achieve to the highest performance standards in the many drama productions and enrichment events which take place throughout the school year in our purpose-built professional theatre. In addition to the showcase productions of Drama GCSE and A Level performance there are three extra-curricular annual productions: the Inter-House Drama Festival (Years 7 to 10), the Lower School Play (Years 7 to 9) and the Christmas Musical (Years 8 to 13).
All students study drama from Years 7 to 9. The focus in Key Stage 3 is on exploring a variety of performance styles, skills and techniques ranging from group devised thematic drama, improvisation, character development, expressive and physical theatre styles inspired by Le Coq and Frantic Assembly, Melodrama, Commedia dell 'Arte and masks. The aims are to develop the expression of ideas through dramatic form, to master dramatic techniques and cooperative skills and to be inspired to create original work, reflecting on the effectiveness of both process and performance.
We follow the AQA syllabus at GCSE, developing students’ practical skills with an awareness of social and historical influences through the study of practical work in performance and written exploration. Studying the theories of contemporary practitioners; students will realise their ideas through original group devised productions. In addition to performing a variety of play texts, they will also augment their knowledge with regular reviews of live theatre. The works of Shakespeare, Brecht, Churchill, Wertenbaker, Max Stafford-Clark, Berkoff and contemporary writers feature as part of the course, which is both academic and creative. Year 10 GCSE Drama students also direct the House Drama productions and take part in a variety of practitioner-led workshops designed to develop their subject knowledge and enable them to succeed in examinations.