Albert Einstein famously said that “imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand”.
The Drama department at Wellington School fully embraces this philosophy. We teach the skills and the theory, we look at theatre through history, practitioners, classical and modern plays. However, we also encourage our students to explore their imagination; we give them freedom to be creative and we help them to overcome the obstacles that they are faced with on the way. Drama is about being able to characterise a role as well as entertaining an audience, but it is also about communicating effectively, working as a team and building confidence.
In Year 7 students focus on improving basic skills, such a mime, mask work, voice and movement. In Year 8 students look at theatre through history and learn to perform in a number of different styles, including Greek theatre, Commedia dell’arte, Shakespeare and melodrama. Above all else, in the first two years students have the opportunity to work as a team and build key skills such as listening, communicating and presenting.
In Year 9 students explore a range of techniques and styles that will help them to prepare for GCSE. These include physical theatre, naturalism, stage fighting and explorative strategies. We also expect students to grasp their use of voice and movement when developing a role and characterisation is a key focus. In addition, we encourage an analytical approach that asks students to evaluate their own work and the work of others.
In 2016 we switched our Drama GCSE course to the Cambridge IGCSE. With all the changes taking place within education, the IGCSE offers the most practical course for students. As part of the course students perform a monologue, a scripted piece and a devised piece of work this is worth 60% of the final grade. The other 40% is a written examination based around the practical work done.
A Level curriculum
A Level Drama is split into three components. The first two components are practically based and students devise their own piece of theatre and also develop a scripted piece. The final 40% is a written examination that puts students into the role of Director, Actor and Designer.
The skills you learn as you do the course are applicable to a very wide range of careers. The ability to work as part of a team, to think creatively and to write critically in a clear and cogent manner will be of enormous value in most walks of life. Drama can also help to instil confidence and teaches students to present themselves and their ideas in a positive and creative way. The course is also ideal for those hoping to study Drama or Theatre Studies at University or Drama School.