Drama at LGS is taught as a subject to all Year 6 and 7 in one period a week as part of English. We look at ensemble building, communication, compromise and negotiation as part of key transferable skills. The students also learn key vocabulary, devise and unpick texts using performance and off text work.
In Year 9 students opt for Drama, they then have 4 periods of drama a week, beginning to study work that is the foundation for GCSE. Students explore physical theatre, slapstick, issues such as digital safety and devise work based on stimulus given.
At GCSE we follow the Pearson Edexcel syllabus, students are assessed on Devising, Performance in a group or duologue, as well as a written exam. In the written exam students answer as actor and designer on a set text, in this case 1984 adapted from George Orwell’s classics dystopian novel by Duncan Macmillan and Robert Icke. They also evaluate a Live Theatre Performance – for which we will visit several theatres aiming to see a wide variety of styles. This year we have also welcomed Theatre Ad Infinitum and Splendid Productions to perform in the Drama Studio to packed audiences of students.
At both AS and A level we again follow Pearson Edexcel, students will study text and then devise work using the style of Artaud and Forced Entertainment to create work for assessment. A written exam looks at a set text in AS and two at A level, these being Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Woyzeck. Students will also present a balanced analysis of a performance they have seen in which they argue for or against a statement from the exam board. The final assessed element is a performance of a monologue or duologue, as well as a group performance of an extract of text. Design candidates will select a drama medium – sound, lights, costume or set and design for a group and individual performance.
Our resident technician is on hand to design a concept for all performances to enhance the performances or to guide designers through their coursework.
When it comes to our main school productions again design is crucial and we also have the boys of Tech Team on hand to build set or props, rig lights, source sound and finalise projections. They have supported performances at Curve, as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival as well as our in-house shows.
All of Year 6 take part in a summer production, playing a variety of roles and in a range of styles. These have included Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Toad of Toad Hall and Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations.
All Year 7 work with a professional company to create a pantomime performed over 2 nights, these extravaganzas include flour, pyrotechnics, elaborate costumes and are a real highlight for the dames particularly!
In Year 8, a more stripped back and ensemble approach is taken to explore well loved tales, with boys being everything onstage – be it furniture or animals. The boys have performed the works and Roald Dahl, the Just So stories with Shakespeare next on the list.
Upper school productions have included Oliver, Joseph & his Technicolor Dreamcoat, Blood Brothers, Oh What A Lovely War and Grease, these take place in the LGS DS. Lower school productions have included It Snows, The Twits, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Swallows & Amazons. These usually take place in the Loughborough High School Drama Studio, however A Midsummer Night’s Dream took place in the Spinney, down the Walks, in the Sixth Form Centre at LGS after beginning at LHS DS. A fabulously intricate production, the group were invited to perform in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations – Dream in 2015.
Co-curricular activities also include drama club for Year 6 & 7 and 8 & 9, the New Director’s Season and Shakespeare Schools Festival, Actor’s Workshop and many theatre trips to venues including TheatreRoyal Nottingham, Curve, the West End, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Warwick Arts and more.
New Director’s Season is a festival that takes place across both LGS and LHS campus, students form theatre companies with older students writing or adapting scripts and directing a cast. These are then performed to friends and parents, this is a real highlight of the theatre calendar. As a result of this last year, the original writing if 2 students was taken and performed at the. Edinburgh Fringe Festival – an amazing opportunity for those writer/directors as well as the casts.
There are termly theatre visits for all year groups to Warwick, London, Nottingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Edinburgh and more. Shows seen include Things I Know to be True, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, John, The Play That Goes Wrong, The 39 Steps, Matilda and many more. Furthermore we regularly invite in specialist performers and workshops to support student development, these have included Stage Combat which lead to a qualification in hand to hand and knife fighting, Clowning Skills workshop, performances by Theatre Ad Infinitum, Splendid Productions and much more.