Everything the Drama department do is underpinned by their inspirational vision: ‘Logic will get you so far; imagination will get you anywhere.’
Consisting of three highly skilled, outstanding Drama practitioners, this department is characterised by dedication and passion. Collectively, our drama teachers contribute to achieving impressive results at both KS4 and KS5. Based primarily in The Octagon Studio, MB5 and Faraday Theatre, our Drama department teach all students in KS3 and over 50 students who have chosen to continue Drama at GCSE, as well as thriving Sixth Form classes. Resources and spaces in Drama are crucial to enable successful performance, and the department benefit from three purpose-built rooms: MB5 is a blacked out, open rehearsal space where the vast majority of Key Stage 3 lessons are taught, The Octagon is a small studio theatre, blacked out and fitted with lighting and sound equipment, and Faraday Theatre is a full working theatre space with black dance flooring and lighting and sound equipment. The team are also equipped with a full set of bespoke Trestle theatre masks and a collection of props and costumes, as well as a rich selection of scripts.
For many students making the transition from KS2 to KS3, Drama is a new subject and so with this in mind, each year students are invited to audition for PATCH, Ridgewood's own drama group for students with a keen interest and ability in the performing arts. As part of PATCH, they receive performing arts training and then showcase their talent as part of a range of performances and competitions. The Year 6 students who participate in this find the experience enriching and highly beneficial to their transition from primary to secondary.
A broad range of enrichment activities allow the Drama department to convey their vision across school and beyond. Our most exceptional PATCH members take part in competitions such as ‘National Connections’, a competition run by the National Theatre which gives young people the experience of professional theatre making. Their experience mirrors that of a company producing a new play in any theatre in the country and they create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards and stage-manage their performances. Last year the cast rehearsed and performed ‘Eclipse’, which was performed at both Ridgewood and CAST Theatre in Doncaster. Students also get the opportunity to take part in a range of other clubs and competitions, including Limelights drama club, and our Lighting and Sound group.
Overview of topics:
Students study topics connected with the Edexcel BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts in order to embed skills in Key Stage 3 which will be developed further at KS4. Initially students are asked to participate in a baseline assessment which targets skills associated with each topic being studied.
Following the baseline assessment, students work on improving their knowledge and understanding of the topic whilst also trying to master the associated performance skills. To support this process of mastery and to ensure each student gets the very best chance of improving their work, lessons following the baseline focus on exploration and analysis. Emphasis is placed on peer, self and teacher assessment and a very collaborative ‘no fear of failure’ atmosphere is encouraged.
BTEC TECH Award Level 1/2 in Performing Arts
Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts
For this component students will study three different styles of performance and explore the creative intentions of those involved in creating them. Styles of theatre studied will range from Physical Theatre to Verbatim and contemporary Naturalism. Students will explore these styles of theatre practically and chart their progress in the form of a research journal and presentation.
Component 2: Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts
For this component students will develop their performance skills through a series of workshops focused on vocal, physical and interpretative performance skills and apply them to texts for development. They will then focus on applying their developed skills to a short performance of a text in a chosen performance style. Students will finally evaluate their progress through the course of the component and their progress as a performer.
Component 3: Responding to a Brief
This component is a cumulative assessment of all the skills and techniques that students have learn throughout Component 1 and Component 2. Students are given a starting point from the exam board and work in small groups to create a short performance from this starting point. Students will also complete logs of their skills and ideas as well as an overall evaluation of the work created.
Component 1: Internal Assessment
Component 2: Internal Assessment
Component 3: External Assessment
Useful web links:
Overview of topics:
At KS5 we currently offer Performing Arts (BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate) which allows students to develop performance skills whilst gaining a deeper understanding of the industry. More details of our Performing Arts course can be found in the Sixth Form section of this website.