Welcome to Drama
The Drama Department at Reading Blue Coat fosters and celebrates the gifts and talents of all students. It aspires to provide inspiring and effective access to Drama across the curricular and co-curricular provision. All pupils participate in formal academic Drama lessons in the Lower School and have the option of Drama in Year 9 as a one-year pre-GCSE course. As part of the GCSE & A Level Drama curriculum, the department offers both acting and technical/theatre design pathways to ensure all students can reach their potential within the GCSE & A Level courses.
Mr Devin Möller, Director of Drama
Year 7 and 8
Students in Year 7 and 8 are currently being taught one lesson a week of Drama. The focus here is on the introduction of key drama terms and the foundation of theatre history.
At Year 9, students will explore genres and plays as a foundation to GCSE Drama, as well as developing key skills in both stage lighting and sound.
Years 10 and 11 will receive four periods of teaching per week as part of their GCSE as they follow the Eduqas specification. As part of the course, students learn about key practitioners such as Bertolt Brecht, Constantin Stanislavski and Augusto Boal. Students explore plays as a director, actor or designer and they learn to reinterpret work to create their own devised performances.
Year 12 and Year 13 Drama candidates will be following the Eduqas specification at A Level.
Extending student learning and engagement comes by enabling educational visits as regularly as possible. This is partially achieved through Theatre Maker Days. Students visit a range of theatre and performance venues in order to see different genres, styles and companies. London and Oxford are visited during the academic year as well as smaller local venues such as Nordan Farm and the Theatre Royal Windsor.
Here at Blue Coat, we aim to stage three annual productions. A larger Drama production is directed in the Autumn Term which is open to Year 9-13 students. The production is aimed at giving students an opportunity to perform at the best standard.
Senior students participate in House Drama at the beginning of the academic year. This is a student-led thematic festival which focuses on an agreed topic area for each year.
Every Spring term there is a large school musical which encourages mass participation across the Middle and Senior Schools. Past musicals include; Les Misérables, Anything Goes, Grease, Little Shop of Horror and Our House.
A significant Lower School Production starts rehearsals in the Spring Term and is performed outdoors in the Summer Term. The cast is made up of boys from Year 7 and 8.
Technical Theatre Co-Curricular
Every production at Blue Coat is supported by a student crew. The crew build skills in lighting, sound and set design. They are mentored by our Theatre Technical Director. The highest standards in Health and Safety are adhered to when working with young people in the performances spaces of Way Hall and the Drama Studio.
There is currently two specialist teachers in the department, one who is the Director of Drama, and the other being a Drama and English teacher. We are also supported by an additional Drama teacher who teaches in the Lower School. Technical Theatre training is currently delivered by the Theatre Technical Director.
Blue Coat is proud to be able to offer LAMDA lessons as an opportunity for our students to further develop confidence in a safe, encouraging and fun environment, whilst working towards vital personal skills, such as developing a clear and expressive voice, a strong physical presence and creative performance. LAMDA lessons are available in a variety of disciplines, including public speaking, acting, verse and prose, reading for performance, and even mime. Pupils are offered one 35-minute lesson per week, conducted during the school day, and the lesson times are rotated weekly, to avoid continually missing the same lesson period.
"Hi, I’m Maddy and I’m a Year 13 Drama student at Reading Blue Coat. Over the last two years, my time in the Drama department has been incredible, helping me grow out of my shell and become a better, brighter person. All the Drama teachers are kind, helpful and enthusiastic and the extra resources from the school are amazing. The Drama Studio is well equipped and the school has fantastic sound and lighting support to really bring our Drama to life. All of these things continue to enable me to reach new heights as a young actress and director, and I have been stretched and challenged to create drama performances greater than I ever could have hoped for. As a class, we have been able to visit the West End and many other theatres as part of our course, which has been a real treat for us to all enjoy! With regards to co-curricular Drama, the Drama department is also amazing at getting all kinds of students involved in the frequent productions; last year the musical ‘Our House’ was great fun to be part of (and a great success)."
Facts and figures
Grades 9-7 at GCSE in 2020