Prep Drama

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.

After taking part in an all-year pantomime, 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 at the end of term in an “Open Rehearsal”, where friends and family are encouraged to attend.

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 “Open Rehearsal”, where friends and family are encouraged to attend.

Pupils begin to look at alternative ways to present Drama physically and vocally. This includes schemes on Physical Theatre and looking at Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The pupils complete the year with studying a scheme of work on, and performances of a short selected text, performed in “Open Rehearsal” where friends and family are encouraged to attend.

In Year 6, our pupils have the opportunity to develop their devising skills with a cross curricular link to PSHE 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 a short selected text, performed in “Open Rehearsal” where friends and family are encouraged to attend.

Our pupils look at a scheme of work designed to contrast and link social and historical drama; a fictional story of a troubled boy. This work underpins much work being done in other subjects, particularly PSHE and History. This is followed up in the Trinity term with performances of a short selected text, performed in “Open Rehearsal” where friends and family are encouraged to attend. 

Through a series of interviews and research, students focus on creating a piece of drama, utilising the genre of Verbatim Theatre. A final performed piece consolidates learning from their previous years, drawing upon techniques learnt.

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.

Junior Division Years 3 & 4
Senior Division Years 5, 6, 7 & 8

Using a published play script (no film or TV scripts), students perform, in a pair (both from same house), a chosen section of between 2 and 5 minutes in length.

There should be a spotlight on character development and conveying emotion through the use of a dramatic text.

Props or costumes may be used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author if they wish but is not compulsory.

Contestants must supply the judge with an original, unmarked copy of the script upon entering the room. Marks will be lowered if script is not supplied.

All selections must be presented from memory- no scripts will be allowed for performance

Marking

Each section will be marked out of 25 TOTAL /100

SECTION 1-USE OF VOICE

Candidates will be expected to show appropriate use of Pitch, Pace and Tone to convey meaning and interpretation of text. Diction and Clarity will be an important part of this.

SECTION 2-CHARACTERISATION

Candidates will be marked on creation of believable characters in both appropriate vocal choice and physicality including movement choices. The use of additional mediums including props and costume will be considered.

SECTION 3- FOCUS AND COMMITMENT

Candidates will be marked on their ability to sustain their characterisations, know their text and demonstrate their relationship to the audience.

SECTION 4-INTERPRETATION OF TEXT

Candidates will be marked on all their choices in respect of the actual text, including observing period, style and context.

Contest Dates

Heats: Starting Monday 27th Jan
Finals: Wednesday 5th Feb- Juniors and Seniors from 18:00

House points available for entering.