The Drama Department teaches the Eduqas Drama and Theatre at GCSE and A Level, as well delivering an introduction to Drama course in the Third Form. The department is an exciting and vibrant department which has substantially grown in popularity and numbers in recent years. Typically there are two sets per year group in the GCSE years, and one set at A Level, although occasionally this can increase to two sets depending on uptake in the Sixth Form.
The Head of Department is Mr Jamie Brough, a graduate of LAMDA and award-winning playwright who worked as a professional actor and director for many years before entering teaching. Mr Brough is supported by a full-time drama teacher, as well as a part-time technician. The department is housed in a self-contained block with a black-box studio theatre and teaching rooms. We also have access to an excellently equipped dance studio.
The Eduqas course at GCSE and A Level combines both practical work and the rigorous academic study of text. The department boasts excellent results at both GCSE and A Level, with over 70% of GCSE pupils achieving A*-A in the last five years, and the A Level results boasting an impressive 100% A*-B over the last 5 years.
To further enrich the dramatic understanding of academic Drama pupils, the department regularly invites visiting practitioners to run workshops, offering the opportunity for pupils to work with, and be inspired by working professionals. Recent workshops have included Frantic Assembly and Rhum and Clay, and we are about to host Theatre de Complicité this year. The department also runs regular theatre trips throughout the year to a variety of theatres including those in Plymouth, Bristol, Exeter and occasionally London.
Why do Drama?
The department runs with a similar view to that of National Theatre Director, Rufus Norris, who says: “Creativity should not be perceived as an exceptional talent; it is a basic skill that can be mastered with the right teaching and approach”.
We believe Drama plays an essential role in the educational and social development of young people, teaching vital, transferable life skills, which pupils will benefit from for the rest of their lives. As the world moves towards further automation and growth in artificial intelligence, the human skills of empathy, emotional intelligence, humour, play and improvisation are becoming more highly prized.
With this in mind, Drama and Theatre is a highly facilitative subject for a vast range of courses and career paths. At the recent World Economic Forum, the ‘Future Jobs Report’ considered the top 10 skills required in 2020: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, co-ordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision making, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility. These are all skills which Drama addresses in abundance.
The UK has a rich heritage in Drama, and the creative industries are the currently the fastest growing part of the UK economy, one of the few sectors in which we are celebrated world leaders, and one in which there is huge employment growth. The sector returns more every year to the Treasury than the automotive, oil, gas, aerospace and life science industries combined! We are the world’s third largest cultural exporter, after China and the USA.