The Drama department at Outwood Academy Shafton aims to provide a safe and inclusive environment where students are inspired to work both together and independently to create and to see a wide variety of drama and theatre work.
Through Drama students will develop both drama specific skills and transferable skills such as empathy, teamwork and confidence which will prepare them for life after school, whether or not they should choose to pursue a career in drama.
The Drama department encourages students to explore and take risks as well as developing a sense of responsibility thereby becoming independent learners.
The Year 7 curriculum begins with a unit of work focusing on Harry Potter as a theme where students are introduced to basic performance skills and techniques. In the first half of the second term students will study Matilda by Roald Dahl. They will explore characters, themes, narratives and performance style as well as continuing to develop their performance skills. From February half term students will take on the role of an investigator within a scheme focused on the disappearance of a teenager. Here they develop their enquiry skills and develop further as performers. In the final term students will study a script where they will begin to understand the role of the director as well as understanding technical elements of performance.
In Year 8 students begin studying the stage version Kes by Barry Hines and Allan Stronach. This helps students to explore characters in detail and gain some experience of interpreting scripts which is an essential part of the KS4 curriculum. The second term continues with a devising unit focusing on the theme of conflict where students are encouraged to develop character, context and plot as well as exploring a number of themes that affect young people such as teenage crime and relationships. In the third term students are encouraged to develop their use of techniques that will be used within the KS4 curriculum with a different theme each year.
In Years 9 and 10, students study the Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Performing Arts (Acting). The qualification allows students to focus on the development of personal, learning and thinking skills in a performing arts context.
The qualification also provides opportunities for our students to develop their communication skills as they progress through the course. This can be achieved through presentations and in discussions where they have the opportunity to express their opinions. From the knowledge and skills developed in this qualification our students may expect in due course, to seek employment at a junior level working with companies in the performing arts and related sectors in a range of roles, including performing in its various forms; stage management, production and set design; and related administration and technical roles.
There are three units to complete within the BTEC. Two that are internally assessed then externally moderated and one unit that is externally assessed. Unit 3 focuses on developing students’ acting skills and Unit 2 gives the students an opportunity to plan and perform in a production of their choosing. The final unit is an externally assessed unit where students will prepare and perform 2 monologues, and complete a letter of application for work or further education within the world of performing arts.
Many students enjoy attending drama as part of the school’s enrichment programme. Performances have included full school productions of Bugsy Malone and Our Day Out, A Harry Potter themed English presentation evening performance, plus Christmas concert drama performances based on the student’s own ideas. In April 2016 we will be putting on a production of Alice in Wonderland. There are also several opportunities for supportive enrichment for students who are studying the BTEC qualification.