From Year 6 through to Year 13, Drama productions are a prominent and frequent part of Ratcliffe life. They engage children of all abilities in activities ranging from performance to technical and costume support. Led by Claudette Caven-Henrys (Head of Drama), the Department is well-supported by Bethany Bennett (Drama Teacher) and the backstage team.
Pupils are given the chance to take part in regular workshops, which even include sword fighting! There are frequent opportunities throughout the year for anyone to get involved, from assemblies and year productions to Saturday workshops, theatre tours and extra-curricular trips to see professional performances.
Creative expression is integral to the successful development of character, self-esteem and confidence; the Drama Department encourages everyone to have a go. The ability to communicate with others and knowledge of how to work within a team are invaluable life skills learnt through this medium.
Our Department is always looking to develop opportunities for students to move into the professional field. Some Ratcliffe students have gone on to Performing Arts schools such as E15 and Arts Education. Others have undertaken work experience with the world tour of ‘Chicago’ and, within the BBC, ‘Whitechapel’, as well as BBC Radio Nottingham. Other students have performed at Curve Theatre, The Little Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse.
Students cover a wide range of topics, styles of drama and backstage management. Production styles include pantomimes, comedies, physical theatre, thrillers and epic dramatisations, many of which are devised by the students themselves.
Year group specifics:
Year 6 have their first opportunity to perform in front of live audiences and get to grips with the stage experience.
Year 7 begin to diversify their acting abilities, learning new skills such as mime and script work, culminating in an end-of-year production.
Year 8 further their script work and physical theatre, developing more drama techniques which lead to a whole-year production. The study of Shakespeare and performing techniques are key aspects of this year’s syllabus.
Year 9 study pantomimes and other theatre genres, developing a wide range of acting styles. Backstage theatre skills including lighting, sound, stage and prop management, scenery construction and stage make up are also key subjects available to students at this level.
Year 10 have their GCSE mock exam performances, learn more about the fundamentals of Drama and are involved in a wide range of GCSE performance workshops.
Year 11 study all aspects of plays and take part in their GCSE marked productions. Backstage technical and stage students also take exams this year.
Year 12 expand on their knowledge and experience from Year 11 with monologues, duologues and an end-of-year production.
Year 13 sees the students developing into confident young adults through a range of challenging devised pieces, whilst also building an in-depth understanding of the workings around performances.
Scholarships in Drama for Year 9 are available and if students have a passion for acting and are prepared to go that extra mile, it is worth considering applying.
We have a wide range of extra-curricular activities for all students to take part in.
Our annual Senior School production, in collaboration with the Music Department, offers all students the opportunity to take part in something truly special.
LAMDA lessons are available to any students wanting to improve their performance skills. Those of a more technical mind have the opportunity to work on a number of productions and events throughout the year with a specific focus on sound and lighting.
Theatre trips are also available for every year group, offering the chance to enjoy a range of performances in London and Stratford, amongst other venues.
It doesn’t stop there:
- Make-up demonstrations
- Auditions for local theatre companies
- Bespoke training for auditions…and much more!