At St. Augustine’s, we believe that every student has the capacity for creativity. Our vision as a department is to engage all pupils with a passion for Drama, whether they wish to explore the subject as a designer or a performer. We aim to develop our pupils’ understanding of dramatic theory and practice whilst enhancing their life skills, through a broad and varied Drama curriculum. We also believe in the importance and value of a stimulating and full extra-curricular programme of activities. We encourage all pupils to become involved in clubs, performances and workshops regularly produced by the department.
Through engagement in an exciting and rigorous programme of study at Key Stage 3, pupils develop many transferable skills including collaboration, co-operation, creativity and confidence. Both our GCSE Drama and A Level Drama & Theatre course incorporate opportunities to explore a range of dramatic skills as well as being a rigorously assessed academic qualification. Drama students also get the chance to experience some of the finest theatre in the world. Students have had the opportunity to watch performances at the National Theatre, the RSC, Bath Theatre Royal and Bristol Old Vic, amongst others. We also offer LAMDA lessons for pupils who wish to have peripatetic lessons in Speech and Drama
The skills we develop in Drama are essential in all workplaces and walks of life as we encourage our pupils to be articulate and work as part of a team. At St Augustine’s the Drama department is at the heart of the college community with its annual school productions helping to bring together students of all ages. With our Drama, Dance and Tech clubs running at lunchtimes and after school, we truly believe that any pupil who wishes to get more involved in the performing arts will be able to find their place through the many exciting activities offered in the Drama department at St Augustine’s.
Dr H Barnsley, Head of Drama
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 and 8 pupils are introduced to a variety of styles and genres. In Year 9 we introduce pupils to the format and language of the GCSE course, enabling them to make an informed decision about further study of this subject.
Term 1: Mime & Movement
Term 2: Storytelling
Term 3: Melodrama
Term 4: Melodrama (with costume design)
Term 5: Devising Drama
Term 6: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo/Kneehigh Theatre (with puppet design)
Knowledge and Skills: Mime and Movement
Knowledge and Skills: The Amazing Story of Adolphus
Knowledge and Skills: Devising Project - Friendship
Knowledge and Skills: Melodrama
Knowledge and Skills: Storytelling
Knowledge and Skills: Sweeney Todd
Term 1: Commedia dell’Arte
Term 2: Commedia dell’Arte
Term 3: Mask Work & Mask Design (with other design elements)
Term 4: Shakespeare
Term 5: Ensemble Physical Theatre (including The White Feather by Paul King)
Term 6: Darkwood Manor (with lighting, sound and set design)
Knowledge and Skills: Commedia dell’Arte
Knowledge and Skills: Darkwood Manor
Knowledge and Skills: Mask Work
Knowledge and Skills: Ensemble Physical Theatre
Knowledge and Skills: Shakespeare
Knowledge and Skills: Wendy and Peter Pan
Term 1: The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow
Term 2: The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow (with design elements)
Term 3: I Love You Mum, I Promise I Won’t Die by Mark Wheeler/Verbatim Theatre
Term 4: Devising (with optional design focus)
Term 5: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens/Frantic Assembly
Term 6: The Work of Theatre Practitioners (acting and design focus)
Knowledge and Skills: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Knowledge and Skills: Devising Project
Knowledge and Skills: I Love You Mum - Verbatim Theatre
Knowledge and Skills: Practitioners
Knowledge and Skills: The 39 Steps
Programme of Study
At GCSE we follow the AQA specification which breaks down into three components allowing pupils to develop their practical and theoretical knowledge.
Component 1: Understanding Drama (40% of GCSE)
Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre.
Study of one set play
Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre-makers.
Assessed by a written exam of 1 hour 45 minutes.
Component 2: Devising Drama (40% of GCSE)
Process of creating devised drama.
Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer).
Analysis and evaluation of own work.
Assessed by a devised performance and the production of a devising log.
Component 3: Texts in Practice (20% of GCSE)
Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer).
Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1.
Assessed by performance of both extract 1 and extract 2.
A Level Drama & Theatre Studies
There is never a dull moment in the Drama Department and our black box Theatre with full sound desk and lighting rig is busy most lunch times with clubs and rehearsals. We offer a Year 7 Drama Club, a Year 8-9 Drama Club, a Tech Club and a Dance Club. We aim to produce a whole school or upper/lower school production annually and most recent productions include 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' (lower school), 'The Memory of Water' (upper school), 'Wendy & Peter Pan' (lower school), 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (whole school) and 'Arabian Nights' (lower school). We are currently rehearsing a whole school production of 'Grease' for October 2023!
We run regular theatre visits to see award-winning and cutting-edge theatre by companies such as Wise Children, Frantic Assembly and Theatre Complicite in places as diverse as Bristol, Bath, Southampton, Cheltenham and London and we frequently welcome professional actor workshops in school to widen the theatrical horizons of our actors and designers. Throughout the school year one can see devised and scripted theatre performed by GCSE and A-level students in our Theatre and we offer some theatre in education sessions each year for primary school students in conjunction with our productions. We love to include dance in our productions and we run an extremely popular Dance Club. We are lucky to have a Dance Studio and students love to rehearse their own work there as well as rehearse for our shows. Cross-curricular collaborations with the English Department have included a recent Shakespeare Festival, with each Year 7 class performing their own Shakespearean extract. We love performing in many genres and for many types of audience so we are always open to ideas from students about what they would like to do next! We are fortunate to have Mrs. Hollie Pike, our expert LAMDA teacher, working in school each week tutoring pupils in LAMDA Drama for grades, festivals, competitions and auditions. Our LAMDA students gain consistently excellent results. Please enquire if you would like a letter about this opportunity to extend your child's learning and build their confidence in Drama.
For a listing of all clubs including drama, tech and dance please see our Clubs page.