“King's prides itself in being able to offer expert tuition in all aspects of drama – from devising to lighting design, and musical theatre to costume.”
Why Study Drama?
Drama at King's is a thriving part of the curriculum and is taken as a compulsory subject at Third Form, before pupils can opt for popular GCSE or A level courses. Pupils do not just study acting but learn about the history of the theatre and study some of the great plays and directors. They also learn about how theatres work and all the different aspects of putting together a production. Drama is primarily a practical subject and the majority of the learning comes through getting up and doing, and is focused on the play in performance.
The Eduqas and Edexcel courses are structured to allow a great deal of personal emphasis in the way pupils can approach them, and it is possible to concentrate on acting or on design. King's prides itself in being able to offer expert tuition in all aspects of drama – it is possible to study a wide range of aspects, from devising to lighting design, musical theatre to costume. Drama is necessarily a collaborative art and also requires a great deal of independent learning, fostering transferable skills of teamwork, planning and decision making, yet at the same time forms a clear basis of training for the profession.
By far the highest priority at King's though is that good learning is:
- Pupils are encouraged and supported whatever their ability to do their absolute best.
Drama Brought to Life
Head of Drama and Performing Arts, Harriet Agg-Manning explains more about the course content at A level.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Pupils have gone on to study the subject at drama school and university, and work in the profession in a number of careers both on stage and behind the scenes.
Ours is a working theatre, at the heart of our community, and pupils are actively encouraged to involve themselves in its day-to-day running, thereby learning new skills. We try to offer a wide variety of performances in which to participate. For example:
- Large-scale musical Grease
- The Scholars’ Murder Mystery
- Classic drama in the form of The Great Gatsby
In addition, pupils are encouraged to produce their own projects and it is open to all year groups to audition for plays and musicals.
The school is very fortunate in having a 250-seat dedicated theatre fully equipped with computer lighting desk, a large inventory of lanterns, up-to-date sound systems and flexible staging plus a full-time theatre manager to which the drama department has full access.
The department itself also has a black box drama studio with dance floor, staging and computer lighting desk and sound system. In addition it has a dedicated teaching space and extensive costume and prop stores, which enable pupils to access equipment easily in daily drama classes and this is encouraged.
Our wonderful amphitheatre, is an exciting facility that gives us an excellent opportunity perform outside and in the round.
Our pupils are afforded every opportunity to challenge themselves creatively during their time at King’s. Many take their acting and performing incredibly seriously, and a handful of pupils take the decision to pursue this as their chosen career.
In recent years, Janet K gained a place at the National Youth Theatre, and more recently, Sixth Form pupils Cerian C and Daniela M have gained places at a prestigious drama school for acting.
Pupils often expand their knowledge and skills by entering events and competitions. We’re fortunate enough to have a number of festivals in our home town of Taunton (music, drama, and dance), but a little further afield, the Exeter Northcott Theatre continues to develop events and opportunities for young people to get create. Ralph H has entered the theatre’s short film competition and has attended two interviews so far, with the winner announcement pending …
Commenting, our Head of Drama and Performing Arts, Ms Agg-Manning, says: “We are very lucky to have such talented students at King’s who are extremely driven, when they put their mind to it, and more often than not they succeed. The Performing Arts Department sees many successes and we are so fortunate to have the resources to help support them in their journey, be it acting or technical. I am thrilled with having two students this year accepted to drama schools, and I cannot wait to see Ralph’s film in all its glory."