Drama - Upper School
Developing self-confidence as well as empathy for others is an important part of adolescent life, and there are few better ways to develop these qualities than acting in a world you have created with your peers.
Drama promotes a sense of confidence, co-ordination, co-operation and self-reliance. It also provides great enjoyment and pride in achievement and is enriching for mind, body and spirit.
There is a Class Play in Classes IX, XI, and XII and the opportunity to study GCSE Expressive Arts and Drama and Performing Arts A level. Pupils are also invited to participate in the three annual Christmas plays.
Drama in the Upper School is often used to support other subjects across the curriculum. In Class IX the play supports the Expressive Arts and English Literature Studies.
Our students are introduced to a wide range of drama, including some of the finest plays from the world's great dramatists including Shakespeare, Brecht, Miller, Ayckbourne, Wilde, Wilder, Anouilh, Lorca, Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristophanes.
We pride ourselves in making drama accessible to all pupils regardless of talent, aptitude or enthusiasm. Our aim is to make lessons a challenging and rewarding experience and we hope to inspire in our pupils a lifelong interest in and love of drama and theatre.
The school plays are frequently cited by pupils as a highlight of their years at Wynstones; the tears and laughter experienced together in preparation and on stage are cherished moments many pupils remember for the rest of their lives
Following their education at Wynstones, many of our pupils go on to study drama, scenography, creative writing, dance and even circus skills.
Unlike most other schools, our class productions are part of the curriculum and include all pupils without audition. The drama teacher selects the plays each year specifically to suit each class. This selection process is grounded in the Waldorf curriculum in terms of developmentally appropriate texts, as well as working across the curriculum to support other areas of study. Pupils are involved in all aspects of the productions including acting, costumes, set, props, music, lighting and publicity. The class works intensely during a Main Lesson block. In addition to learning lines they also learn social, political and historic contexts, characterisation, vocal skills, movement and working together as a close, mutually supportive team to create a memorable piece of theatre.
Recent productions include:
Class IX (Year 10): The Frogs, Hecuba, Andromache
Class X (Year 11): Women of Troy, Romeo & Juliet, Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Animal Farm, An Inspector Calls.
Class XI (Year 12): Threepenny Opera, Dreams from a Summer House, By the Skin of our Teeth, The Ash Girl, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland.
Class XII (Year 13): Cupid & Psyche, The Crucible, King Lear, Ring Around the Moon, Blythe Spirit, Importance of being Earnest, The House of Bernarda Alba, Amadeus.
AS and A2 Performing Arts
This is a very practical and flexible choice and allows students to choose from a number of disciplines within the world of entertainment. We specialise in the Drama and Performance pathway and pupils may use their Class XI and XII plays as part of this A-Level.
Recent selected repertoire for Performing Arts includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Streetcar Named Desire, Handbag, Kindertransport, Woman in Black, Chicago, Glass Menagerie.
This has long been a popular and extremely successful course at Wynstones. Pupils use their Class IX play as one of the coursework performances.
Expressive Arts GCSE
Last year we started working with the Music department to introduce this course in Class IX. It has proven to be very successful, allowing much freedom and creativity as students combine two art forms (chosen from Drama, Music and Original Writing). In Class X pupils have the option to continue with Expressive Arts GCSE, or opt for Drama or Music GCSE, using the first year’s completed Expressive Arts coursework for the Drama qualification.
Head of Department: Petra Peters