Welcome to the Drama Department
Drama at Nottingham Free School encourages students to become confident performers whilst learning key skills in presenting and group working amongst many other transferable skills they need for a bright, successful future. It also provides an ideal balance in students’ patterns of study, giving them access to a well-rounded educational experience. As well as meeting the needs of each individual learner through carefully planned theoretical and practical sessions; it is our aim to instil self-motivation, determination and resilience through the delivery of our ambitious curriculum, which encourages students to work collaboratively and resolve problems. We adapt resources in order to meet the needs of all learners, and promote inclusion by offering students the opportunity to pursue a design interest, as well as a performance focus, at both KS3 and GCSE level.
A love of reading, understanding and showing empathy, as well as reflecting upon the historical significance of specific events, are all encouraged through the study of playwrights and dramatic works both past and present. Emotional expression is also of paramount importance and is seen in the creation of students’ own unique performance work, as well as re-enactments of well-known scripted excerpts. With visits to the theatre being undertaken as part of our GCSE course, pupils are taught how to analyse and evaluate the work of others, as well as apply this important skill to their own work in order to constantly consolidate and deepen their understanding. The core British values – especially those of tolerance and respect – are at the centre of how we operate in the drama classroom. Our social, spiritual, moral and cultural responsibilities are frequently discussed and challenged in the work that we do.
We aim to harness the imagination and creativity that naturally evolves through the study of Drama and build upon it year by year. Retention and recall of information is paramount in this. We build in opportunities for students to take part in practical tasks, written quizzes or group work in each lesson, which encourages them to recall information that has been learnt previously. We also have a ‘working wall’ in the classroom which students can access and use at any time to help them remember key knowledge and terminology.
At KS3, students are taught about the areas of the stage, the audience and staging configurations, as well as an introduction to vocal and physical performance skills. A different design skill, be it costume or set design, is included each year and the students partake in scripted and devised performance work. At GCSE, these skills are developed further whilst understanding is deepened by drawing on the work of theatre practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht. Theatre conventions such as flash back and slow motion are explored, as well as other key theoretical knowledge about form, performance styles and genre. Students also undertake an in depth study of a set play text at GCSE in addition to learning about the roles and responsibilities of different people in the theatre industry. This is of great interest to the students and once again is an example of how drama helps evoke an interest in careers and an overall readiness for the world of work.