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 Jessica Monk (Head of Drama), the Department is well-supported by Claudette Caven-Henrys (Drama Teacher) and the backstage team headed up by Dave Ricks and Fi Viccars

Pupils are given the chance to take part in regular workshops which include visits from world renowned theatre company ‘Frantic Assembly’.  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 The Globe, The Curve Theatre, The Little Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse.

Academic Programme

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 study Commedia Dell’arte before creating their own mini pantomimes. They also learn about devising and script work developing a range of acting styles.

Year 9 study theatre in education, developing a performance around the topic of bullying. They then develop their devising skills working as part of a group. 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 hone their acting/design skills whilst learning about various theatre practitioners before devising their own original piece of drama which is examined internally.

Year 11 rehearse and perform extracts from play texts in preparation for their practical examination and learn about acting, directing and design in preparation for the written exam at the end of the year.

Year 12 study various styles and genres of theatre, learning about new practitioners and studying a text from the point of view of actor, director and designer. They then re-interpret a scripted extract to perform for an internal assessment.

Year 13 sees the students developing into confident young adults through a range of challenging devised and scripted pieces, whilst also building an in-depth understanding of the workings around performances. These skills are demonstrated in both practical and written exams at the end of the year.

Scholarships in Drama  for Year 7 and Year 12 are available and if students have a passion for acting and are prepared to go that extra mile, it is worth considering applying.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We have a wide range of extra-curricular activities for all students to take part in.

We run a weekly Drama and Musical theatre club with performances taking place at various events throughout the year.

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!


Jessica Monk, Head of Department -  jmonk@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk
Claudette Caven Henrys - ccaven@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk