Drama plays an important part in the school curriculum as it increases a pupils' confidence and helps them to explore their feelings and express ideas through theatre productions. Drama is a timetabled subject in years 7, 8 and 9. In each year, pupils study an aspect of the history of theatre, scripted and unscripted work. The emphasis is on performance and enjoyment and Practical skills are combined with written work to prepare them for GCSE.
The Drama Department aims to:-
- help pupils gain an understanding of values and the communication of ideas
- increase pupils' confidence, creativity and knowledge and understanding of drama forms
- encourage pupils to create performances and work as part of a team
- develop opportunities for leadership and develop a lasting enjoyment of drama
- promote each pupil’s knowledge of drama in a social, historical and cultural context.
Students focus on creating characters and presenting themselves confidently on stage. They study Greek Theatre and the course culminates in a production of a short play in which the whole year group participates.
Students work on improvisation, the acting space and stage layout, poetry and choral speaking. They study Victorian melodrama and look at the difference between naturalistic and non-naturalistic theatre.
Students work on structuring a dramatic sequence and creating tension; analysing and performing monologues; performing scripted non-naturalistic excerpts from a variety of plays. Mask work is in the context of Commedia dell’Arte.
Between a third and a half of the year group take GCSE Drama. The school follows the AQA specification, which combines practical and written work to provide an academically rigorous course. Frequent theatre visits and student performances are an integral part of the course.
Extra Curricular Activities
There is always an opportunity for any pupil in any year group to take part in a performance. Year 7 pupils stage a production as part of their course and there are frequent Performing Arts Evenings to which pupils may contribute all manner of sketches, monologues, group or individual, serious and comic pieces. GCSE drama students give regular performances of work in progress in addition to their assessed examination work.
Theatre Visits and Workshops
The Drama and English departments work together to provide a busy programme of visits by theatre companies to the school and trips to local and London theatres for all year groups. Recent favourites have been The Woman in Black, The 39 Steps, War Horse, Much Ado About Nothing and Noises Off to name but a few. Links have been established with Rupert Mason who performs Gothic Tales and First World War Poetry, and Splendid Theatre Productions who give inspiring performances and lively workshops.
Outside School and post - GCSE
Many pupils at PGHS perform with theatre groups outside school and attend summer and holiday courses. We support Chickenshed where many of our pupils perform and KS3 groups enjoy performances and workshops. Students have recently enjoyed a combat workshop led by a former pupil who graduated in Drama from the University of East Anglia.
Speech & Drama
In addition to timetabled Drama lessons, girls can opt to take part in group Speech & Drama sessions as an extra activity at lunchtime or after school. Each group works towards a LAMDA exam in the Summer Term.