Maria Pereira

Mrs. M. Pereira

Head of Department

‘I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.’ Oscar Wilde

To have confidence and to communicate expressively in a way that engages an audience, will open many doors for our students. While some drama students might want to be a budding actor, the study of drama is not limited to the field of Theatre. The skills developed in Drama support the demands of most creative and modern careers. Just think about how performance skills are used in a commercial and competitive world; in a boardroom, on a committee, competing for promotion, doing a sales pitch on the Apprentice!

At Ferndown, the drama studio is a place of challenge where valuable lessons are learned about how to work together and communicate effectively. In creating original plays, young people are given a voice, so others might listen. Honing and developing an appreciation of the playwrights that scan 2500 years, captures our history, our sociological change and the human connection between us all. It is a joy to support students in developing their confidence, their character and their creativity through the study of drama.

The Curriculum

All students in Year 9 have two lessons of drama every fortnight.  Students work together in a safe and encouraging environment to build confidence and develop their voice in preparation for professional and creative careers.  Students write inspirational speeches, take part in workshop presentation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet plus develop work from plays that are watched and explored in lessons.  Students are encouraged to opt for drama during year 9 to continue to develop these most important personal communication and artistic skills.

In Year 10, students practically explore the theatre practitioners; Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud which gives them a good reference source for written work and a sound understanding of dramatic style. All students are then involved in a community play to exercise their performance and group skills – the subject matter is inspired by current community issues and or events; this year the community play is about ‘Refugees’. Students then study a published play which is ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell and see a streamed theatre performance, both of which are written about in the Summer written examination. By the end of the year students would have created their first original piece of theatre. We are hoping that families will be able to watch live performances throughout the year through the wonders of modern technology.

In Year 11, Student develop their original piece of theatre for examination and provide a devising log (2,500 words) noting down the research, the journey and rehearsals that led to their final performance. This year students are working on a monologue performance. This is followed by a scripted performance that is selected to maximise the acting potential of current group. And finally students prepare for their written exam by revisiting Blood Brothers and reviewing a streamed performance.

By studying Drama, students will develop:
• Their confidence in communicating with imagination and expression
• Their social skills in negotiation and team work
• Their performance skills in producing pieces of drama that engage and enthral your audience
• Their thinking skills about people, feelings, situations, life and the world in which we live

As part of the courses students will:
• See streamed theatre performances
• Perform in a Community Play
• Present a monologue
• Showcase examination work
• Develop their written analysis of drama work

Choosing drama will be a challenge but it will also be fun and rewarding.
• Students will make new friends
• Build their self-esteem
• Hear the applause of the audience
• Learn in a way that is different from their other subjects

Facilities and Equipment
Ferndown Upper School has dedicated spaces for rehearsal and drama workshops:

Main Stage/Hall – An excellent performance space with lighting, sound and cushioned performance floor.

B1- The Drama Studio is a fully equipped performance space with lighting, sound and blackout.

Dance Studio – The dance studio is a focused space with a soft lino floor, mirrored wall and bar.