Head of Teaching & Learning: Mrs K Robertson
Miss S Green
Drama at Downlands is an exciting, creative subject taught throughout the whole school. It helps to build confidence and creativity, improves public speaking skills, specialises in team-work, and encourages a range of other skills needed for life during and after school.
Drama is taught fortnightly to years 7 and 8, and once a week to year 9. Students in Key Stage 3 focus on some of the fundamental key skills of the subject, studying Physicalisation, Use of Voice and working with script and Devising original drama. Topics covered include Mime, Stage Combat, Soundscaping, Improvisation, Radio Plays, Murder Mystery and Exploring Script.
Downlands Drama productions are exceptionally popular, and are fully inclusive of the whole school from Y7-11 in both performing and backstage roles. We alternate Musical and Play formats to allow all students to participate to their full potential. Over the last 5 years, we have produced the following incredibly successful sell-out performances;
2016’s ‘Alice’, 2017’s ‘Blues Brothers’, 2018’s ‘Our House’, 2019’s ‘Wind in the Willows’, 2020’s ‘Bugsy Malone’.
Enrichment and trips are organised regularly and have included trips to London, Chichester, Brighton and Eastbourne theatres and studios.
Students who decide to take Drama GCSE can benefit from more school trips. In the past, we have visited many theatres including the National Theatre, the Globe Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith, and seen productions from outstanding theatre companies, such as Kneehigh, Frantic Assemby, 1927, Traverse. We aim to visit the theatre 4 or 5 times over the course. Most the trips are optional and we aim to see diverse, inspirational, ‘off the West End’ productions, as well as mainstream West End productions.
Students have also been given opportunities to take part in various workshops, most recently a lighting and sound workshop offered to Y10 students.
During Key Stage 4, students follow OCR GCSE specification which has had outstanding success. This includes studying 2 ‘coursework’ units through the 2 year course; one where students work in groups devising original drama from stimulus and the other on scripted performances, to make up 60% of the GCSE. 40% of the GCSE is a written examination that covers a playscript that we study and explore in class and reviewing a live performance that the students have seen.
For more information about events and schemes of work, please visit the Drama SharePoint page.
Awarding Body: OCR
OCR GCSE Drama
Scheme of Work for Years 7, 8 and 9:
Wind in the Willows 2019
Our House 2018
The Blues Brothers 2017