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Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School     
Merthyr Dyfan Road
CF62 9YQ
Vale of Glamorgan

Telephone: 01446 403500

Fax: 01446 403501

Email: brynhafrencs.bhcs@valelearning.com

Key Stage three

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups in years 7-9. The subject is popular with pupils at all levels of ability and pupils receive two hours of Drama per fortnight. Drama focuses on a huge range of skill, strategies and techniques in all aspects of group or individual work. All pupils are taught drama in years 8 and 9 and then they can select to study it for GCSE and A- level. Most of the lessons are taught in the lesser hall or C block and there are regular opportunities to work or perform in the Drama Studio. There are also regular theatre trips and workshops for all year groups.

In year 7 it is assumed that the pupils are starting from scratch and the focus is on developing a holistic understanding of drama rather than just seeing drama as a means of preparing for performance. The work generally focuses on performance skills, creating a character and the introduction to Greek Theatre.

In year 8 pupils are introduced to the works of William Shakespeare where they explore and perform three extracts from well-known texts. Pupils are then introduced to other genres such as Pantomime, Melodrama and Musical Theatre.

Drama in year 9 is very much focussed on scripted work. Pupils begin the year performing extracts from ‘Stags and Hens’, ‘Shakers’ , ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ and ‘Blood Brothers’. Pupils perform these extracts using technical elements such as set, lights, costume and sound effects.

Pupils are then introduced a range of stimuli in the form of DVDs to music, newspaper articles and poems. The pupils are expected to work in small groups and create interesting and innovative drama for a target audience. The application of existing skills is enhanced by teaching new more complex techniques and concentrating on the quality of the work rather than quantity. The aims are to develop ensemble work and acting skills through a range of strategies and techniques.

Key Stage four

Creative arts is a popular option which is based on practical knowledge of acting and directing combined with technical skills.  Pupils follow the WJEC specification for this qualification.  The course is divided into three units: two of which are moderated by the Head of Department and the final one takes the form of a practical performance in the presence of an external examiner.

The course consists of various units based on performing, students explore various acting styles, different genres of acting, perform many extracts from plays and explore musical theatre.

The course is split into the following units:

Creating a proposal in response to a brief

Creating an outcome in response to a brief

Skills development in stage acting

Skills development in TV/film acting

Skills development in physical theatre

Results over the past ten years have been superb in this subject area.



Key Stage five

For Key Stage five pupils study the Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in Performing Arts, this is an exciting , challenging course. Pupils participate in many practical performances as well as exploring the performing arts industry through research.  Lessons and assignments look at the industry in detail, cover exploration in theatre, musical theatre and various performance styles/practitioners.

Results are outstanding in both A-levels with 100% A-C pass rate in both qualifications with the majority studying Performing Arts, Drama, Stage Management and Musical Theatre in either the top Universities or Drama schools.

Extra-curricular Activities

The school produce a whole school musical as part of the Performing Arts Department every two years. Recent productions have included Annie, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, The King and I and Gypsy. The pupils are very fortunate to perform their productions at the Memo Arts Centre.

Theatre trips, visits and workshops form a regular feature of the drama programme of study and are open to all year groups. Recent theatre visits have included trips to London to see Wicked, The 39 Steps and The Woman in Black where pupils have been lucky enough to take part in workshops with cast members at Pineapple Dance Studios as well as seeing the performances.

The department has enjoyed participating in the Shakespeare for Schools Festival where they have performed in a number of theatres including:

‘As you like it’ at the Muni Arts Centre

‘Much Ado about Nothing’ at the Taliesin Theatre Swansea

‘Hamlet at the Welsh Millennium Centre

‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Riverfront Theatre Newport

‘Macbeth’ at the Welsh Millennium Centre