"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.

Yr7 and Yr8 students will have an average 10 lessons per term on a rotation between the Creative Arts subjects (art, dance, drama and music)

Yr9 students opt to study 3 of the 4 Creative Arts subjects and will receive one lesson per week.





Year 7

Intro to Drama and Harry Potter


Howling lodge ghost story

Year 8

Status and Greek Theatre

Shakespeare and Comedy

Physical Theatre and Devising

Year 9

Melodrama and Naturalism

Shakespeare and Tragedy

Soap Opera and Genre

Students will develop a range of skills

Year 7

  • Pupils learn to work confidently in groups using a range of drama techniques to explore situations and devise dramas for different purposes.
  • Plan and structure plays that make use of techniques and forms to express their ideas
  • Actively interpret the work of playwrights
  • Write and perform their own simple scripts
  • Select and operate a range of simple theatre technologies 
  • Learn lines, collaborate with others and organise simple presentations
  • Experiment with their voices and movement, to create or present different characters in performance
  • Demonstrate an awareness of some theatre traditions from different times and places e.g. Elizabethan Theatre
  • Discuss the themes or issues in the drama and the way they are presented
  • Reflect on and evaluate their own and other pupils’ work, suggest improvements and use correct basic theatre terminology
  • Comment on how intended effects have been achieved e.g. use of silence

Year 8

  • Pupils explore and interpret ideas, issues and relationships and turn it into drama using appropriate forms e.g. documentary, conventions such as the aside
  • Combine their skills and knowledge of drama to devise plays of different types for different purposes
  • Sustain a defined character for a reasonable amount of time
  • Select a range of available technical resources for dramatic effects, eg Sound and lighting
  • Interpret and rehearse extracts from a range of scripted plays
  • Write scripts or short plays based on devised work, using appropriate theatre conventions
  • Organise a short coherent performance for an audience
  • Improve and refine their acting, directing or technical contribution to the rehearsal process
  • Relate, compare and contrast their work with drama from other times and cultures e.g. the use of stock characters drawn from commedia dell arte
  • Discuss the way that ideas are presented and represented, how plots are developed and characters portrayed
  • Compare different interpretations of the same text
  • Use technical terms when talking about dramas they have seen or in which they have participated in.

Year 9

  • Devise dramas in various forms based on a range of challenging issues and themes such as knife crime, mental health, global warming
  • Give and accept suggestions and ideas through the rehearsal process
  • Make plays which employ symbolic representations or effects to communicate meaning
  • Create and represent clearly defined characters from the written word, add depth and consider motivation
  • Organise and present performances in a range of styles (e.g. melodramatically, naturalistically)
  • Make good use of available technology to enhance and support the productions
  • Select and control appropriate vocal and movement skills, with some subtlety and develop them in rehearsal
  • Discuss and give reasons for their preferences in drama, based on a knowledge of theatre past and present 
  • Use correct terminology to describe their work and begin to analyse how actors, technicians and directors have achieved specific effects or communicated ideas, emotions and feelings

Outside the classroom

The Hendon Youth Theatre rehearse after school on Wednesdays. Currently it is preparing two productions for the Hendonbury festival; 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. 

Useful links



Head of Creative Arts

Ms Catherine Nicholas nicholasc@hendonschool.co.uk

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