Drama is a dynamic practice which introduces students to a world of wonder and play. It encourages them to continue questioning, exploring and teasing out new ideas and ways of living and thinking. Drama is not about being the best performer or the next Hollywood star, it is about creating and making, exploring and responding in the search for our true selves and for meaningful connections with others and the world around us. At St Michael’s Prep we endeavour to equip our students with the skills to explore the subject in their future schooling without losing sight of its value for their development.
Year 3 scaffolds our pupils’ learning towards the end of year performance by looking at creating characters, creating stories and how to break down a text and the mechanics and dynamics of the performance space. The performance, using devised pieces, created through ideas generated through our drama sessions, takes place in an afternoon session entitled “Teatime Theatre”, where friends and family are encouraged to attend, bring along a cake and enjoy the performances with a cuppa!
Your son/daughter will explore the various Strategies, Elements and Mediums of Drama used for analysis of text and character. There is an emphasis here on starting to use the terminology of the theory of Drama. Our pupils complete the year with performances of a selected text in “Teatime Theatre” where friends and family are encouraged to attend, bring along a cake and enjoy the performances with a cuppa!
Pupils begin to look at alternative ways to present Drama physically and vocally. This includes schemes on Physical Theatre, Greek Theatre and looking at Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The pupils complete the year with studying a scheme of work on, and performances of selected scenes from a selected text, performed outside (weather permitting) in “Teatime Theatre” where friends and family are encouraged to attend, bring along a cake and enjoy the performances with a cuppa!
In year 6, our pupils have the opportunity to develop their devising skills with a cross curricular link to PSCHE and the theme of Bullying in the story of Barry. This leads them onto a scheme of work with a focus on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, where attention is on a classical approach to developing character. This is followed up in the Trinity term, having completed a scheme of work on the play, with performances of selected scenes from a selected text, performed in “Teatime Theatre”; where friends and family are encouraged to attend, bring along a cake and enjoy the performances with a cuppa!
Our pupils look at two schemes of work designed to contrast and link social and historical drama. The first, a fictional story of a troubled boy, the second with the plight of World War Two’s Evacuees. This work underpins much work being done in other subjects, particularly PSHE and History. Your son/daughter will complete the year by studying a scheme of work on, and attending a performance in London of The National Theatre’s production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog In Night-Time”. This is followed up with performances of scenes from a selected text, performed in “Teatime Theatre” where friends and family are encouraged to attend, bring along a cake and enjoy the performances with a cuppa!
Outside the classroom Drama enthusiasts are kept busy too! In the Lent term, our pupils battle it out amongst their houses to win the Drama Duologue Competition; for which a Junior and Senior Division exists. On alternative years we host the “St. Michael’s Got Talent” competition.
St Michael’s drama scholarships are available for Year 7 and 8, and these provide recipients with in-depth opportunities to be involved in all aspects of drama, including operating sound and lights for the Year 3 Christmas production, as well as field trips to meet professionals working in the industry. Payable LAMDA coaching and exams are also available in school. For all students, there are trips to see local productions, as well as further afield including opportunities for friends and family to join. Finally, all St Michael’s pupils have an opportunity to be involved in school productions. These alternate on a 3-year basis between a large-scale production (often a musical) and two more moderately-sized plays, which will be offered to selected year groups and subject to audition, and usually alternate between and comedy and straight drama.