“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.”
The Drama department aims:
- to enable students to engage creatively, reflectively and critically with the contents of the drama curriculum.
- for students to work responsibly and being accountable for their work.
- to provide opportunities for students to develop their acting, presentation and writing skills with enjoyment and a positive outlook.
- encourage and foster a love of theatre
- help pupils to develop as effective communicators
- develop creativity and independence of thought;
- equip pupils with the ability to be confident and an effective member of a team and later in the wider community;
- provide pupils with the opportunity to develop their self-confidence through presentations and performances;
- equip pupils with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to create and perform plays;
- broaden the experiences of pupils by visits to theatre productions, streamed performances and visiting practitioners and companies;
- promote empathy and understanding of others;
- provide enrichment and nurture talent.
The key skills that we teach in drama and require students to practise and learn are:
- performance skills: using physical and vocal skills to express and carry a characterisation;
- group work: creating performance pieces as a team, developing resilience in working with others;
- devising: adapting stories and facts to create theatre pieces;
- set texts: interpreting drama texts;
- design skills: set design, lighting design, costume design, sound design;
- writing skills: writing about how to deliver lines and extracts, interpreting them according to a character and aim for the audience;
- creativity: to work with limited sets/props/costumes and to create effective performances with limited means;
- risk-taking: developing the courage to perform in front of others.
What is taught?
The same skills are taught in the Sixth Form:
- Texts in Practice.
- Interpreting Drama and its Design through the lens of a Theatre Practitioner.
Academic Literacy in Drama
We read academically acclaimed plays such as Blood Brothers and DNA and read secondary literature that complements these plays in order to study them in greater depth. We read academic texts about Theatre Practitioners or types of theatre, such as Greek Theatre. We encourage students to use technical terminology for drama from the start, such as the names of theatre techniques (hot-seating, tableau, thought-tracking etc.), of set pieces (rostrum etc.) and of concepts (such as acting skills: gait etc.) and to use these when they discuss and write about theatre.
Students are encouraged to extend their interest in Drama by…
Mayfield students are encouraged to extend their interest in drama and theatre studies by regularly encountering theatre performances through live recordings and live theatre visits. We aim to foster a life-long appreciation of this art form and all that it entails, from performers to director and behind the stage designers and crew.
We offer a range of enrichment opportunities, mostly consisting of theatre visits, screening of live recorded theatre and school productions. We were very proud to stage a fantastic production of Roy Williams’ Antigone – a modern version of the ancient Greek tragedy. In November 2022 we visited The Orchard Theatre, Dartford to see the production of Blood Brothers.
Equally we offer a lunchtime Drama Club, ‘pop-up’ performances, drop-in support sessions, workshops and plan on many more enrichment opportunities as the department continues to grow.
This year (2022-2023) we will be introducing The Catarina Ferreira Drama Prize as a mark of excellence across the subject. The prize commemorates a wonderful drama practitioner and teacher at Mayfield Grammar School for Girls who sadly passed away in March 2021. This award is designed to honour Ms Ferreira’s work and passion for the Arts, and to continue her legacy of promoting outstanding dramatic achievement.