Subject Leader: Miss A Pelling
The Drama department at Cheam High School is made up of 3 Drama teachers including an experienced and outstanding subject leader and is based in its own Performing Arts building.
The department works closely with Music as a Performing Arts team with many cross curricular links between the subjects.
The leader of Drama is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, always looking for ways to innovate and create excitement about the subjects.
Student progress is very good in Drama. At Key Stage 4 Year 11 students achieved 64% A*-C in GCSE Drama in 2016 with positive value added. Year 9 achieved, once again, a 100% pass rate in the Bronze Arts Award. At A level, Year 13 students achieved 57% A*-C in 2016. Across both key stages students achieved positive value added results with many students achieving highly in both written and practical areas of the course.
The teaching is outstanding in Drama with student of all abilities showing excellent attitudes to the subject and being challenged to do their best. Differentiation is a strength with very mixed ability dramatic skills in a class! There is a great deal of collaborative learning and students of all abilities are appropriately challenged.
The behaviour in lessons reflects the students’ positive attitudes to the subject, students are focused on achieving their aspirational targets and always look for ways to improve their performance skills. In addition to this, students are given outstanding written and oral feedback about how they can improve.
Drama offers a broad and varied curriculum including the Bronze Arts Award in Year 9 and excellent enrichment opportunities throughout including whole school shows and other performances. Drama takes part in the London Curriculum project in Year 8 where students study dramatic topics with a London focus.
Students’ Views and Attitudes
Students are very enthusiastic about their learning in Drama and participate fully both in lessons and in extra-curricular clubs.
Students feel safe and supported in lessons and this enables them to feel confident to perform in front of their peers.
Students enjoy the practical elements of the lessons, working collaboratively with each other and also understand the importance of their written work with a focus on their literacy skills.
Arts leaders in Key Stage 3 and 4 meet regularly to discuss the needs for the arts subjects and provide students with effective leadership opportunities.
Enrichment and Intervention
The department have been working successfully this year on stretch and challenge work for all students across the ability range and this area of success has been noted through lesson observations and tracking of current student performance.
The department has continued to ensure that all students have a tailored route through the subject at Key Stages 4 and 5 through performance support work.
Drama offers many opportunities for students to involve themselves in both in school and out of school activities.
Drama currently offers two fully funded scholarships to Jigsaw theatre arts for students in Key Stage 4. Frantic Assembly also run a 2 hour workshop for students at Key Stages 4 and 5 which and the skills were in the students' final examination pieces.
The department is part of Kevin Spacey's Old Vic Theatre Scheme which gives 30 students the opportunity to take part in 4 professional workshops and see four shows at the Old Vic.
The department runs intervention sessions for those needing support with their written and practical work.
Drama led the amazing school production of High School Musical in 2016 with 140 students taking part and with 3 sold out performances.
Drama are currently rehearsing for We Will Rock You which will be presented in March 2017 and has students from every year group taking part!
Drama performs in the Advent Carol service in December.
Year 13 students go on to study Drama and related courses (e.g. Theatre and Performance Design) in further education, with some students last year entering primary teacher training with a drama focus.
To continue to work collaboratively with Music to ensure clear and practical cross over in skills between the subjects especially at Key Stage 3.
To use Growth Mindset principles to explore naturalism in practical rehearsals at Key Stages 4 and 5.