- Vibrant and energetic department, covering progression from KS3 all the way through to GCSE and A-Level
- Large scale annual production
- Many theatre trips throughout the year
Drama at Westfield is a much valued part of school life. Its activities range from whole school productions, smaller scale productions, cross curricular work and a dedicated Drama curriculum. The emphasis is on creating an atmosphere of trust where learning can be fun and enjoyable, building confidence and vital skills needed not only in their work in this area but throughout their school life at Westfield.
Every girl is encouraged to take an active part in performance work and we have a very full diary of taking girls to see the rich variety of theatre available in Newcastle’s several excellent theatres.
All in all, drama is a very important and exciting part of school life at Westfield.
Key Stage 3
We start with ‘Waxworks’ in Upper 3 which introduces the basic Drama skill of still images, builds to performing in front of an audience and ends with a written assessment, thus introducing the idea that theory is just as important as practical work in the subject.
We then move on to ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ which focuses on the concept of developing scripted work for the stage before moving on to ‘The Way West’. Here, more complex skills are introduced, such as whole class extended improvisation and creating and sustaining character, as well as reinforcing previously taught skills, such as teacher in role, whole class still images and written assessments.
In Lower 4, we begin with ‘Clowning’. This scheme focuses solely on physicality and pushes pupils to create character without the use of voice. It also allows pupils to explore the design aspects of the subject.
Next, we study ‘The Tempest.' Shakespeare is obviously a step up in terms of difficulty, but this scheme also includes the first time that pupils are required to perform a monologue.
The year ends with ‘The Queen and I’, another play. The focus of this scheme is refinement, looking at skills such as accents, posture and pace to add sophistication to characterisation. It also introduces more complex staging concepts, such as cross-cutting, again enabling pupils to refine their performances.
Both of the schemes covered in Upper 4 are an introduction to GCSE; for those pupils who want to pursue the subject further this provides an excellent foundation or, for those who don’t, it is a great Stretch and Challenge opportunity. Both schemes (‘Missing’ and ‘Teenage Pregnancy’) provide introductions to abstract techniques and ‘Missing’ shows how playwrights incorporate these through Mark Wheeler’s ‘Missing Dan Nolan’.
Key Stage 4 and 5
We follow the AQA GCSE Drama course and the AQA A-Level Drama and Theatre course. We are able to be flexible in terms of text choices and devising work as a result of our small classes and dedicated teaching.