Drama at Holy Trinity Academy gives students the opportunity to develop creating and performance skills, whilst also encouraging students to be self -analytical, through observing and listening to their own and others’ work. All students have one lesson per fortnight of Drama at Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8), and then 5 lessons per fortnight at GCSE (Years 9-11).
In Drama, improvisation skills are practised throughout the key stage, with devising and script writing becoming a more significant aspect of students’ learning as they progress. In Year 7 we begin by focusing on the expressive nature of drama, to include expression, gesture and movement as well as the spoken word. It is important that students learn that drama is a visual as well as a spoken art. The second unit of work is based upon Oliver and the third is a Shakespeare unit, where we perform from several plays, to include Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In Year 8, we begin the year with a project which deals with a troubled teenager, whilst responding to various dramatic devices such as hot seating, forum theatre and teacher in role. This is when students begin to gain experience in staging the work they create and in practicing stage craft. We move onto a unit about Rosa Parkes and Martin Luther King, exploring human rights. Finally, in Year 8, we work with two plays in the studio; Face by Benjamin Zephania and Chatroom by Enda Walsh, both of which deal with different aspects of bullying. Having looked extensively at the theme, students then create short films about bullying, which are judged in an end of year film festival.
Drama is offered as a GCSE subject following the AQA Examination Board specification. These courses begin in Year 9 and are examined in Year 11, by which time students have had extensive experience in performing, devising and in written work, in preparation for the examination. The weighting in both subjects is 60% practical and 40% written.
Extra- curricular activity is fundamental to all that we do in the Performance subjects here at HTA. To date, we have produced three musicals, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wizard of Oz and Disco Inferno. Most recently, our Musical Theatre Society performed ‘Songs from the Shows’, singing, dancing and acting extracts from a variety of musicals. We strongly believe that any success in extra-curricular work feeds back into and enhances lessons within the curriculum. It provides our talented students with a platform for performance, to demonstrate their many skills, be they in Music or Drama, with many of them being skilled in all both disciplines.