A creative outlet that provides practical and academic training in all areas of theatre arts.
The Senior School Drama Department is a lively and inclusive environment that challenges pupils to open their minds and encourages them to express themselves by sharing their stories.
Whether enhancing verbal and literacy skills through reading and reciting from scripts, learning practical skills in the experience of a variety of production crew roles or practicing fine motor skills, coordination and muscle memory through on-stage activity, Drama pupils are constantly developing their skillset.
Studying Drama encourages team working, collective responsibility and self-discipline, while allowing for individual creativity and flexibility, challenging pupils to be adaptable and to think on their feet! Our pupils gain confidence and self esteem, flourishing as they explore the the characters they inhabit and, by extension, themselves.
As an academic subject and as an arm of the extra-curricular life of the School, Drama acts as a pivotal part of our creative arts offering.
Our pupil are fortunate enough to learn within a purpose built Drama Studio with dedicated hair and make up, props and costume rooms, as well as state-of-the-art light and sound systems. The studio acts not only as a learning space, but also as the setting for a number of productions and performances each session, featuring the acting talents of a large number of Senior School pupils.
Drama pupils are introduced to the subject during timetabled lessons from Transitus through to Second Year.
Transitus pupils learn about stock characters, character creation, voice and movement, while First Year focusses on the types of theatre genre and how actors to respond to stimuli.
Second Year acts as an introduction to performance and the various production skills that are expanded upon throughout National 5, Higher and Advanced courses, namely, sound production, lighting, hair and make-up, costume design, props and set design.
The SQA-assessed National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses are highly popular amongst pupils, with consistently excellent results achieved each year.
The National 5 course is split into practical and written components, with candidates required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both the dramatic process and of performance, while continuing to learn the ins and outs of important production skills such as costuming, light and sound design, make-up and hair, props and set design.
The Higher course sees candidates delve deeper into the world of the dramatic arts, discovering more about performing to an audience and continuing to gain experience in practical roles that are crucial to staged productions. Our aspiring actors sample roles from prestigious plays in order to gain an understanding of character and interaction, voice and movement, while the study of set design and production roles also continue for Higher learners.
Candidates complete practical and written assessments to decide their overall grade. The externally assessed practical element requires pupils to either perform to an audience or develop a set design concept for their chosen play, giving a presentation on its development from initial research and design, to final concept.
Advanced Higher Drama is a highly practical continuation of the teaching of theatre arts. At this stage, pupils require dedication both within and outwith timetabled lessons. Candidates are expected to demonstrate advanced levels of practical performance skills and creativity in theatre design.
Pupils work towards an overall assessment in which they will be expected to either perform two contrasting acting roles (interactive and learned monologue) or produce a set design for a play that allows for one significant set change. If working towards the latter, knowledge and understanding of the themes, issues and characters within the play should be used to inform performance concepts related to the design of the set and two other areas of design for the play.
While there is no final written examination for the Advanced Higher course, a project and timed assignment makes up 40% of pupils' overall grade. Candidates will be required to demonstrate depth of knowledge and understanding of a relevant performance issue, informed by the work of a current or historical theatre practitioner or company, in a 2,500 - 3,000 word dissertation. Candidates also complete a timed assignment in which they analyse a professional theatre production and the work of a practitioner (actor, director and/ or designer) involved in the production.
The study of dramatic arts is one of the few subjects that truly allows for, and embraces, creativity, one of the core skills that potential employers seek.
Our offering develops quick thinking and adaptability, important transferable skills for senior pupils heading to university interviews or entering the workplace.
Drama pupils go on to study a highly diverse range of subjects. Wile some choose to pursue a career as a professional actor, set designer or other production-related role, the range of skills learned throughout the course prove highly valuable within a wide range of other potential occupations.