Drama

Albert Einstein famously said that “imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand”.

Drama is a key part of life at SVS. Whether students take part in productions, choose the subject for examinations or just engage in academic lessons, all students will gain important skills and make lasting memories in the Drama department. Like many other practical lessons, Drama is an excellent opportunity for students to express themselves in a creative way. They learn to develop confidence, teamwork, problem solving and resilience both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to helping pupils achieve their potential in formal examinations, we also encourage our pupils to explore their creativity and find their own individual ways of overcoming the obstacles placed in front of them. Group work is a crucial part of achieving excellent results on stage, and students are constantly challenged to work together to produce engaging and thought-provoking pieces of Theatre.

To succeed in the subject a student must have:

  • resilience
  • a strong work ethic
  • willingness to try new ideas
  • ability to work effectively with others
  • an eye for detail
  • a reflective approach to their own work
  • an interest in the Performing Arts
  • fearlessness

Junior curriculum and the Third Form

In the lower years of the School, the focus in drama lessons is to increase pupils’ confidence and allow them to develop a ‘toolbox' of skills and techniques that will help them express themselves clearly, both on and off stage.

As well as exploring play texts such as Macbeth and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, students explore social issues and historical events using Dramatic devices. Group work is a key element to performance and they will be expected to work in a variety of groups in order to produce the best possible outcomes.

Practical assessments take place every Term with students assessed on the progress they make in creating, performing and analysing performances.

IGCSE Drama

Board: Cambridge

As part of smaller and more focused classes, pupils face tasks such as scripted monologues, group scripted pieces and group-devised work. Through practical and theoretical study, pupils will develop their performance skills; understand the role of actor, director and designer in creating a piece of theatre; consider the ways in which
ideas and feelings can be communicated to an audience.

Components

Component 1: Written exam using pre-release material and three stimuli pieces and an extended play extract. (40%)
Component 2: Practical coursework: one individual piece - three to five minutes. Two group pieces of 15 minutes: one performance of an extract from a play and one devised piece. (60%)

A Level Drama and Theatre

Board: Edexcel

Drama and Theatre Studies A Level is designed to develop a students’ understanding of Theatre through history and into the 21st Century, as well as allowing them to explore what is required to effectively bring to life a variety of play texts.

Component One: Students are asked to study a play text and then devise their own piece of theatre using this text as a stimulus. For example, students could take a theme, the narrative or a moral within the text and develop this into their own piece of work. The work that they produce must be in the style of a chosen practitioner. They will also submit a portfolio of written evidence detailing the process as it happens. Design options are also available in this unit.
Component Two: Students will study two texts and perform these for an external examiner. One of the performances is either a monologue or a duologue and the other performance asks students to perform an extract as part of a group. Design options are also available in this unit.
Component Three: At the end of the Upper Sixth, students will sit a written examination. This will consist of the study and exploration of two play texts in relation to their historical context and an evaluation of a live performance.

Productions

Every year the School stages two major productions in the Theatre. The Senior production involves the students in the latter years in the School and is an excellent opportunity for them to show off everything they have learned in the department or even to showcase a hidden talent.

The Junior production allows students in the lower years of the School their time in the limelight. Giving them the chance to gain more confidence on stage. Each production is open to all students in the relevant year groups and all levels of experience are considered.

All productions are supported excellently by the SVS community and are a real sense of pride for all of those involved.  

In addition to this, the department leads numerous trips to the Theatre every year, making the most of our proximity to London and various local theatres.

Scholars

Our Drama Scholars are the representatives of our department across the School. They receive free one-to-one LAMDA lessons as well as being first on the list to Drama excursions and workshops. In academic lessons they are expected to model excellent practice and behaviour to other pupils.

Practical Workshops

In every academic year, we invite professional companies to perform for our students or to run workshops in the Baughan Theatre. Not only does this give them the opportunity to see high quality, innovative and exciting theatre, but it also gives students an insight into how the companies work with actors and directors.

Companies will often offer post-show talks and pre-show workshops, which also allow pupils to develop their understanding further.

In recent years we have hosted The Fall of the House of UsherHenry VThe Merchant of VeniceA Midsummer Night's Dream and Metamorphosis. We have also had taken part in workshops with Punchdrunk, Propeller, Men with coconuts and Frantic Assembly.

The best way for pupils to develop their own ideas is to take inspiration from others and visiting companies allow our students to do this with ease. 

Technical Team

Joining the Technical Crew is open to all pupils.  They learn about lighting and sound in a very practical way. All this knowledge will quickly be applied as there is a regular stream of productions demanding technical support. Of course, some pupils want to take on more creative tasks such as designing and making sets for the School production. Being part of a team and the buzz of a production make it all worthwhile. Whether it is moving props on and off stage or operating the follow-spot for a musical, every “techie” wants to be involved.

The Technical Team are a valued part of every production and frequently show us that you don’t need to be a typical ‘drama person’ to be a valued member of our department.

Staff

Mr Ben Fewson holds a BA (hons) in Drama from the University of Hull and a Postgraduate Diploma in Acting from the Liverpool institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). He brings his professional acting experience to the classroom as well as that of his teaching career, which has spanned over six years. 

Mrs Katy Buckland holds a BA from Wolverhampton. She brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the department.

 

Mr Ben Fewson

Director of Drama

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL

 

Tel: 01622 845200

Email: enquiries@svs.org.uk

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