The Performing Arts develop vital skills in communication, build self-confidence, aid presentation skills (vital in later life), enable pupils to work as a team and have pride in performance and perhaps, most importantly, have tremendous fun and enjoyment working together to create something magical.
We are tremendously fortunate to have some of the best facilities in the country for Performing Arts and the College is well known for its specialism in the area. The Queen’s Hall, a fully equipped 500-seat theatre complete with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, is used for all major productions as well for rehearsals and practices.
The Performing Arts Centre (PAC) with heated wooden floors, mirrored wall and retractable seating for 120, is an ideal performance area especially for dance, although it also serves as an additional performance area for music and drama performances throughout the year. The PAC is a very versatile space in which we run our Performing Arts Academy (click here for more information) and the number of dance classes on offer (including Street Dance, Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, Tap and Contemporary) is quite outstanding.
There is also a purpose-built, blacked-out Drama Studio with retractable seating for 75 used for Drama lessons, theatre in the round and more intimate productions.
In addition to our outstanding facilities, the Performing Arts staff are all ex-professionals who have worked in the industry themselves and are talented performers in their own right. Head of Department, Steve Eaton Evans and his wife Jane ran a touring theatre company for many years, taking productions which they both wrote to perform in the community. There is no doubt that the standard of improvisation and creativity seen in the older students’ work in particular reflects this professionalism.
Within the curriculum, Years 7 and 8 pupils gain grounding in improvisation, role play, building a character, voice workshops, mime, developing a script, freeze-framing, stage movement and chorus work.
These skills are developed in Year 9 where pupils also have the opportunity to create their own music and sound effects and to present their work publically.
The Middle School play (Years 7-9) is an opportunity for pupils to consolidate the skills acquired in their Drama lessons by taking part in a major production either as a performer or a member of the popular backstage crew.
All pupils taking Drama at GCSE follow the EDUQAS Syllabus. The two main components taken within the course are Scripted Acting and Devised Drama. Other performance areas such as Theatre in Education and Improvisation can also be studied.
There are also opportunities for those interested in the technical aspects of Drama to take options in Lighting, Sound, Stage Management, Costume Make-up or Set Design.
The GCSE course culminates in two assessed performances linked to written work and analysis.