Drama is a key feature of life throughout the school, both as part of the curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity.
In the Primary School, drama is used as a powerful learning tool, to complement and reinforce many lessons across the curriculum from Foundation Stage right through to Year 6. In addition, each year group does two performances a year. We also encourage children to attend theatre performances during the year. For example, Years 5 and 6 students have the opportunity of seeing a professional production of a Shakespeare play.
Drama is often integrated between the Primary and Secondary Schools. For example, as part of their '20th century' theme, Year 6 welcomes a number of secondary students who dress up as some of the 20th century's most influential figures, and talk to the Year 6 students about their lives and achievements. This is yet another example of how drama is being used to support the curriculum.
The culmination of drama in the Primary School is the Year 6 annual production. Productions in recent years include: Yanamomo, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.
In the Secondary School, all students have numerous opportunities throughout their time here to take part in a variety of exciting drama based projects and performances.
The drama department is always a hub of vibrant activity. GCSE and A Level Drama is gaining in popularity each year. As part of the exam course-work, drama students from Years 10 upwards put on a series of performances of very high standards. Recent productions include: Blood Wedding by Lorca and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, performed by Year 10 students; Cage Birds by David Campton and Bouncers by John Godber performed by Year 12; and Godber’s Happy Families and Jean Genet’s The Maids performed by Year 13. In Year 11, GCSE students perform a series of devised pieces using different themes and ideas.
As well as the set exam productions, we have recently started an annual house drama competition, which is very enthusiastically supported. We have also introduced a comedy club, which is open to everyone in the Secondary School.
The Secondary School puts on one major musical production a year, which is held in the school’s purpose-built, professional-standard theatre. This began in 2008, with an outstanding performance of Les Misérables This year’s production, Oliver!, was equally as professional and played to a packed house for three nights in December 2009. Under the direction of Miss Sarah Mukaddam, head of drama, and Mr Mark Thompson, production musical director, the cast of nearly 60 actors from the secondary school has been rehearsing since September. Members of BSAK staff made up the 15-strong orchestra.
As well as the drama activities in school, we also run a number of trips. Students from across the school have the opportunity of going to see professional productions in Dubai. And we also run residential trips for secondary drama students. In 2009, we headed to the UK for five days of drama workshops and performances in London and Stratford-upon-Avon.