Drama at Tuxford Academy offers students a unique opportunity to access a rich and challenging curriculum, whilst also developing a range of invaluable transferable skills. From year 7, the subject challenges students to take leadership roles, develop their verbal confidence and learn how to collaborate with peers. As their journey through the curriculum progresses, they are challenged to consider drama as a means for social change and eliciting empathy. Teamwork remains at the heart of our curriculum, so much so that it is one of the key areas on our learning ladder. We strive to develop well-rounded young people, with an empathetic view of their world. Our curriculum explores issues and themes within our society, both past and present and encourages students to develop an open mind. Units of work challenge students to view events, opinions, and emotions from multiple perspectives, as well as exploring the impact of real-world events on people’s lives and society. Other units of work push our students to be creative and expressive, exploring a range of stimuli that encourages the use of imagination and allows students to an adopt an innovative approach to their work. Our main aim is to foster a passion for creativity and experimentation. We encourage students to be curious, to take risks and not be afraid to make mistakes. In lessons, students are encouraged to be supportive and respectful of their peers, as a safe environment is crucial if a student is to feel comfortable expressing their emotions.
Throughout the drama curriculum, students will build on a number of key creative and analytical skills. Throughout key stage 3, they will approach work from three perspectives; performers, directors and designers, the latter appearing during the final year of the key stage. These three disciplines reflect the main strands of the GCSE specification, which leads appropriately onto a broader A Level course. They also provide students with a broad dramatic experience. As a performer students will learn how to shape a character, interpret emotion and communicate meaning to an audience via physical and vocal techniques. As directors, they hone their skills in utilising a wide variety of dramatic devices from varying styles and genres. Devices range from non-naturalistic techniques, practical conventions and how to use the space to communicate character relationships. As directors, students must first master the skills, before applying the appropriate device to suit a performance intention. As keys stage 3 designers, students begin to understand how semiotics (the signs and symbols of theatre) add layers and depth to a performance. This involves creating mood and atmosphere via lighting, establishing status and context through costume design and reflecting social, cultural and historical setting through varying forms of set design.
At key stage 4 key stage 5 we teach beyond the prescribed specifications. We believe in harnessing the passion and curiosity gained from key stage 3 and challenging students further to explore a wider variety of styles, genres, practitioners and published texts. We encourage debate, constructive criticism and subjectivity. Students are encouraged to enjoy the art of performance and the analysis of live theatre. Our extracurricular programme plays a crucial role in fostering our ethos of passion and exploration. The wide variety of theatre trips, residentials and extra-curricular performances we offer allows students to not only contextualise their learning, but also to broaden their experiences. Anything can turn into a stimulus and even a tiny spark of an idea can become a piece of theatre. Drama leaders provide key stage 4 and 5 students with an opportunity to grow as directors, devisers and designers. They are treated with respect and given genuine responsibility.