All students in Years 7 to 9 at Wetherby Senior School study Drama for one hour per week. It is an option for both GCSE and A Level. Drama lessons are mostly practical, with emphasis on creativity and teamwork skills. There are numerous visits from industry prefessionals, such as Frantic Assembly, Les Enfants Terribles and Splendid Theatre who run workshops at the School.
teaching and learning
The aims of the Drama Department are to encourage and maintain the boys’ curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Drama, enabling each boy to achieve his potential and produce work of the highest quality.
The Lower School Drama curriculum is entirely practical and skills based. It prepares students fully for the Drama GCSE and also covers plays taught on the English GCSE Curriculum (such as Macbeth).
At Wetherby Senior we teach the AQA GCSE Specification, which involves three key skills:
• Analysing Theatre: achieved through regular theatre visits and evaluation of set GCSE playscripts
• Writing Theatre: The GCSE involves students creating their own play and performing it to a live audience
• Acting in theatre: the GCSE involves acting in famous and reputable plays, such as The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter and 1984 by George Orwell (adapted for the stage by Duncan MacMillain)
The A LeveL, Edexcel A Level Specification, involves furthering the skills of analysis, playwriting and acting to a much more complex level. The A Level requires students to:
• Think like a director
• Perform in both group and monologue performances
• Create detailed academic theatre evaluations
• Write complex essays concerning play script and their context
• Consider the social, cultural and historical context of theatrical work.
Weekly revision sessions and pratical sessions, including rehearsals for performance examinations, are held by the department.
We have two large drama studio spaces and access to a professional lighting rig and sound system. There are opportunities for the boys to work with professional set designers, costume designers and lighting designers. These are hired each year for our shows and the students have the opportunity to learn from these industry experts.
The Drama Department offers three large scale productions a year – The Upper School Porduction, the Lower School Production and Trib Drama, the house drama event.
Numerous theatre trips are organised during the academic year. These have included ‘Come from Away’, ‘People, Place and Things’, ‘Things I Know to be True’ and ‘The Jungle’.
There are also trips abroad including Broadway in New York in 2018 and a tour of the Sony Studios in Los Angeles in 2019.