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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 AQA GCSE programme 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 Level 2 Performing Arts

Unit 1: Individual Showcase: Students are expected to create an individual performance or presentation AND a letter of application in response to one of the progression opportunities which are released by BTEC each year.

Unit 2: Preparation Performance and Production: Students are expected to devise a performance piece as a member of a fictional performance company. Currently Ridgewood students are using ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ as inspiration for their work.

Unit 3: Acting Skills: Students will explore important acting skills and will learn about the specific demands that acting places on the body and the mind. Students will participate in an array of practical workshops to develop their skills and they will use scripted work to evidence their ability in a final performance.


Unit 1: For this unit students are externally assessed on both their practical performance and their written communication in their letter of application.

Unit 2: Students are assessed on three main areas

  • Their exploration and research strategies in preparation for a live performance
  • Their contribution to the devising process and the quality of their response to the given stimulus. They must apply relevant skills to make positive contributions to the overall preparation process.
  • The quality of the final performance in terms of skills and techniques applied.

(This unit requires students to create a written portfolio to evidence their developments)

Unit 3: Students will be assessed on two main areas

  • Their ability to explore and develop acting skills and review their practice
  • Their ability to apply their acting skills in rehearsal and performance

(This unit requires students to create a written portfolio to evidence their developments)

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.