GCSE (new specification)
Some 30–40 pupils each year opt for Drama at GCSE. We will be following the new Educas specification. This places considerable emphasis on the practical exploration of ideas and texts and leaves considerable freedom and flexibility to choose materials, texts and focus for the work. Over the first year of the course we investigate in theory and practice the work of key practitioners (Stanislavski, Brecht), branch out into physical theatre and explore how lighting, sound and set design contribute to creating the world of the play. The pupils will be encouraged to develop their own understanding through performance projects. Towards the end of the year, we introduce text based work in preparation for the study of the set and performance texts in Year 11. Although the second year will be dominated by specific preparation for the exam components, we aim to ensure that this happens through a wide range of varied and exciting approaches, allowing pupils as much freedom of choice as possible even over their final performance texts and subject matter for their devised work.
A level (new specification)
Each year we have one set of around 8–10 students for Theatre Studies A level. We follow the AQA specification which we feel has a rigorous academic structure as well as enabling our students to explore the practical side of the subject with genuine creativity. The new specification strongly encourages the in-depth practical and theoretical exploration of a number of practitioners and we see the first year as one in which we can lay very broad and wide-ranging foundations, offering pupils a diet well beyond the requirements of the specification in order that they may increasingly take ownership of the work which will feed into the A Level assessment in Year 13. During Year 12, work engaging with practitioners as varied as Katie Mitchell, Grotowski, Berkoff and Artaud will lead to a number of small-scale performance opportunities throughout the year. Alongside this we shall be introducing pupils to the role of the director in all its complexity and focusing all our work on the study and practical exploration of a number of related texts. In Year 13, the focus will shift to the detailed preparation of the key components of the exam itself: reviewing, study texts, devised and text-based practical work.
There is a thriving drama community at St Paul's that regularly put on plays in our three theatres. With more than fifteen productions each year, there are ample opportunities for boys to try something new or to hone existing skills. See our full range of activities on our Arts - Drama page.
Drama Staff Members