Drama

 Drama plays a significant and valuable role at Orley Farm, both as a curriculum subject and as an exciting extra-curricular opportunity, and benefits from excellent facilities. Lessons are taught by a specialist teacher in a purpose-built drama studio equipped with mirrors and stage lighting. The school hall hosts a large stage and tiered seating for the use of school concerts and productions.

Methods of Teaching

The department aims to structure every lesson to include activities and teaching styles which will appeal to visual, kinaesthetic and auditory learners.

Examples to aid VISUAL LEARNERS:

Colourful power-point presentation including the lesson objectives and visual images will accompany every lesson in each topic.

Teacher and pupil physical demonstration of performance skills

Examples to aid KINAESTHETIC LEARNERS

Drama games to enhance concentration, cooperation and communication

Drama techniques such as hot-seating, role play and improvisation used to explore characters and themes

Examples to aid AUDITORY LEARNERS

Lessons begin with a discussion about previous learning and a clear explanation of the learning objectives

 

Rebecca Gascoigne

Head of Drama

The department aims to create an encouraging and inclusive environment for study in which pupils can develop self-confidence, trust and the ability to work collaboratively. The curriculum is structured to enhance performance and evaluation skills so that pupils can apply them to the practical exploration of literature, plays and poetry.

Use language and body to imagine and recreate roles, stories and experiences

Year 1

Explore familiar themes and characters through improvisation and role-play

Act out their own and well-known stories, using voices for characters

Discuss why they like a performance

Year 2

Adopt appropriate roles, individually and in small or large groups

Present parts of traditional stories, their own stories or work drawn from different parts of the curriculum for other members of their class

Middle School pupils have 1 lesson of drama each week. Lessons are focused on developing characters, group work skills and gaining confidence in performance and public speaking.

Objectives:

Year 3

Present events and characters through dialogue to engage the interest of an audience

Use drama strategies to explore stories or issues

Identify and discuss qualities of others’ performances

Year 4

Create new characters and present them in group performances

Develop scenes based on improvisation

Comment constructively on other’s performances, identifying facial expressions, body language, actions and gesture

Year 5

Develop performance and evaluation skills

Explore the process by which an actor inhabits a new character

Explore the art of effective storytelling

Create and sustain a role during performance

Year 6 pupils have one drama lesson per week, Years 7 and 8 have 1 Drama lesson every week, every alternate half term. Lessons are focused on developing performance and evaluation skills, practical exploration of play texts, poetry and topical issues, whilst gaining

Year 6

Darkwood Manor, Character Magic, Forum Theatre (issue-based drama), Voice & Poetry (preparation for verse-speaking competition in the summer term), Working with Text (Oliver Twist)

Year 7

Improvisation (spontaneous & rehearsed), Mime & Movement, Voice & Poetry (preparation for verse-speaking competition in March), Characterization, The Importance of Being Earnest.

Year 8

Blood Brothers, Physical Theatre, Choral Speaking, Narrative Poetry (preparation for Year 8 Narrative Poetry Competition in March), Working with Scripts, Media.

 Extra-curricular opportunities

All year 3 & 4 pupils take part in an annual  joint year group production organised and directed by the Drama and Music department. Every pupil in Year 5 will take part in the annual Year 5 Showcase performance in which they demonstrate scenes rehersed in their drama lessons. Upper School pupils are offered the opportunity to audition in January for the Upper School production which takes place annually in the Summer term.

Recent Upper School productions include ‘The Wind in the Willows’ , ‘The Railway Children’ and ‘The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe’ & ‘Peter Pan’.

 Cross Curricular Links

There are many opportunities for cross curricular projects, particularly with English – Drama enhances speaking and listening skills and provides an opportunity to approach text, and explore characters and themes in a practical manner. The drama department also organizes an annual visit form the Young Shakespeare Company in which all pupils in year 6 are introduced to Shakespeare through an interactive an accessible workshop. This enhances their understanding and appreciation of Shakespearian text, characters and themes which will be further explored in their English lessons.

Furthermore, drama also has important cross-curricular links with the subject PSHE – all pupils from Reception to year 8 are encouraged to work in mixed sex, ability and cultural groups aiding positive inclusion amongst the pupils.  Drama lessons can also provide a forum in which pupils can express their thoughts, feelings and opinions in a disciplined, organized and inclusive environment.