"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." - Oscar Wilde
Drama is a dynamic department with significant links to the creative industry. Two of the drama staff had careers as actors before becoming teachers and the HOD was Producer of Youth Theatre Programmes for the National Theatre before taking up her post at Hendon. This is also a training department which regularly hosts dramatists who are teacher training. RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) has a summer residency. As a part of the residency our students took part in preshow workshops before seeing their production of Othello in the Old Gym. Underpinning all of the work within the department is a commitment to developing skills, confidence, imagination and understanding through performance.
Drama is taught throughout the school and has outstanding GCSE results. Drama and Theatre Studies are also popular choice at ‘A’level. Students enjoy a range of theatre experiences from trips into London’s West End and South Bank to see shows such as ‘Hedda Garbler’ and ‘War Horse’ to fringe venues such as ‘Electra’ at the Gate Theatre and ‘Faustus’ at Manchester Royal Exchange.
Drama and Theatre Studies Edexcel (6DR01)
Entry Requirements: Drama B or Audition and English B or above
Unit 1 (40% of the total AS mark/20% of the total GCE mark internally assessed and externally moderated)
This unit introduces students to two contrasting plays. They will learn how to analyse them in a practical active way. One of the plays will be explored in the light of a recognised theatre practitioner such as Stanslavski.
A DVD of one practical session is sent off for moderation and a set of explorative notes on each play will be submitted.
Students also experience a live theatre performance and submit an evaluation.
Unit 2 Theatre Text in Performance (6DR02) (externally assessed. 60% of the total AS mark/30% of the total GCE marks)
The unit offers students the chance to demonstrate skills in a performance environment. The knowledge and understanding gained during the study of two plays in unit 1 can now be applied with a view of delivering a performance to an audience.
This is an externally assessed unit. The first section requires students to offer either a monologue or duologue. The second section requires students to act as part of the cast of a professionally published play by a known writer.
UNIT 3 (40% of the total A2 marks/ 20 % of the total GCE marks)
Exploration of Dramatic Performance
This unit requires the creation of a unique and original piece of theatre. The knowledge and understanding gained in the AS unit can now be applied to a specially created production. Students will be assessed on both the process of creation and the finished product which takes the form of a performance played to a target audience.
Students will be assessed on the research and development of their work as well as the final performance. They are also required to complete an evaluation on both the process and performance work.
UNIT 4 (60% of the total A2 marks/30% of the total GCE marks)
Theatre Text in Context
In sections A and B students explore a play from a selection provided by the exam board from the point of view of a director in both an academic and a practical way.
In section C a selection must be made from a choice of three historical periods of theatre history. A live performance of a play form the chosen period must be experienced and evaluated and a comparison made with the original staging conditions of the play.
Outside the classroom
The Hendon Youth Theatre rehearse after school on Wednesdays. Currently it is preparing two productions for Hendonbury School Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Daisy with Ken Campbell and Mugged by Andrew Payne
A range of workshops from industry professionals are programmed throughout the year. All pupils, staff, family, friends as well as theatre professionals have the opportunity to be part of the Hendon Community Theatre. The 2012 project was a specially commissioned epic reimagining of the legend of King Arthur. Five world class writers Philip Ridley, Mark Ravenhill, Dominic Francis, Judith Johnson and Nick Drake each wrote an episode that were performed in promenade across the site. ‘The Willow Pattern’ Community play was staged in a Big Top Circus Tent on the school field and was a circus style retelling. Students throughout the school will have the opportunity to be part of our next play.
Progression pathways and careers
Drama prepares students for all walks of life as it builds confidence, team building skills and problem solving. This said, many Hendon Students have gone on to successful careers in the Creative Industry.
Ms Suzy Graham-Adriani AdrianiS@hendonschool.co.uk