Drama at King's

Imagine. Explore. Create. 

Make mistakes. Don’t use your first idea. Change things. Listen. Share. Imitate. Process rather than product. Edit. Slow down. Speed up. Question. Collaborate. Take risks. Trust your instinct. Getting it wrong is getting it right. Beg, steal and borrow from other practitioners. Do something.

Express yourself. Acting is reacting. Just try it.

Through the practice of drama; King’s pupils develop life-long skills in communication, confidence and collaboration. They harness the power of their imagination and learn the art of self-expression whilst exploring the ideas that shape the world in which we live. At King’s our central aim is to instil in our pupils a life-long appreciation of drama and theatre; both as practitioners and audience.

Drama is a major element in the co-curricular programme of the school.  Pupils have the opportunity to work to refine their skills, prepare pieces and, eventually, to face the challenge of performance.  Drama is both dynamic and rigorous; expectations are high and much is demanded of those who undertake this testing but fulfilling activity.  The school enjoys a strong reputation for the quality of its public performances and our remit for productions is to encompass a range of genres: through musicals to Shakespeare and period plays – all alongside more serious and challenging contemporary drama.

Drama is offered as an academic discipline in the curriculum both at GCSE and at A-Level.  GCSE Drama entails both the development of a raft of technical dramatic skills in acting and devising alongside the ability to respond critically to performance as members of the audience.  Pupils have many opportunities to visit professional productions both locally and further afield, including London and there are regular visits to the school from theatre industry practitioners. 

It is contended that Drama is essential within a balanced curriculum in:

  • Developing the full variety of students’ intelligence
  • Developing the capacity for creative thought and action
  • The education of feeling
  • The exploration of value
  • Understanding cultural change and difference
  • Developing a variety of physical conceptual skills in relationship to the practice of Drama and theatrical art
  • Encouraging a disciplined work ethic

A curriculum which values and encourages creative abilities and individual insights will develop inquiring minds and a capacity to respond flexibly to a rapidly changing world.

Details of the syllabus content for GCSE Drama and A Level Drama & Theatre can be found in the respective school brochures in the further information section.

 

Head of Drama & Theatre – Mr Steve Mount

Steve Mount studied Drama at Bath Spa University, specialising in Physical Theatre and Theatre-in-Education. Since completing his teacher training, Steve has worked most recently at Rainham Mark Grammar School. As Head of Drama, he was responsible for instigating and producing whole school productions such as; Wizard of Oz, Cabaret, An Inspector Calls, A Doll’s House and a series of National Theatre ‘Connections’ plays.

Steve also co-ordinated the school’s Youth Theatre group who undertook regular theatre-in-education tours around Medway and Kent and the annual Rainham Mark Performing Arts Festival. Since joining King’s in September 2014, Steve has directed Metamorphosis and Three Tall Women at A level in the new Drama Studio and a Senior School production of The Tempest and Preparatory School adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of a long term Shakespeare project in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Steve has worked as both a director and a Drama examiner. His understanding of the world of theatre is distinctive within a school environment.  The richness of this experience, coupled with training and eighteen years teaching experience in the classroom, means that pupils are exceptionally well-prepared for eventual success at GCSE.  Steve’s passion is for theatre-in-education, storytelling and site specific work and he attends as many theatre productions as he can. Steve is a tutor in Parker House.

In addition, the school is fortunate to have the facility of a large stage with good technical provision, both in terms of equipment and a skilled Technical Society who support the Department for both teaching and co-curricular activity. The Technical Society is led by Karen Hebden who trained at RADA. Karen also coordinates pupils entering for the LAMDA qualification at King’s Rochester and has directed many highly successful productions herself. King’s also has a designated studio space in Vines Hall, a former church.

Co-curricular is at the core of the life of the Drama Department and allows us to support and enhance the dramatic education on offer.  The programme encompasses a full variety of activities that encourage and challenge the large numbers of pupils that regularly participate.

We provide a safe environment in which to develop skills not easily learned in the classroom: physical and vocal self-confidence; the social disciplines of working in a group; imaginative spontaneity through improvisation; an extended emotional range; the power of the pupils’ own creativity and a respect for that of others.  All this is achieved through learning to play and to perform. Moreover, we believe that learning the techniques of acting and theatre is simultaneously a source of relaxation and stimulation for the self as a whole.  It helps connect us to others, fosters creativity, flexibility, generosity and learning in general, skills that are ever more needed in an adolescent world full of isolating technologies.

The co-curricular programme includes:

  • Major whole school drama productions which in recent years have included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and in 2018 a production of Dennis Kelly’s contemporary thriller aimed at young audiences: DNA.
  • Regular whole school drama based events
  • LAMDA Acting examinations
  • Theatre trips to London and beyond
  • Drama clubs
  • Pupil led productions