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Drama in the Upper School

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The performing arts are one of the most vital subjects on any school’s curriculum. Their language is truly universal. Every culture explores its passions and fears through drama, dance and music. Regardless of gender, ability and belief, students respond intuitively to these modes of expression, and through them explore and communicate issues of morality and identity in a unique way, which enriches and personalizes their education. Through drama we aim to enthuses in students a sense of their own capacity for expression, allowing them an accessible and structured way to communicate ideas and feelings, which empower and validate their own experiences and views. Good drama should strike a balance between the experimental, and a growing ability to shape and control the art form – gradually developing a sophisticated and analytical vocabulary, with which to understand how it makes us think and feel. The social skills acquired during creative group work – decision making, adaptability, negotiation, listening to options and the justification of your own ideas – are imperative to personal development and the rapidly changing environment of the workplace.


  • To provide a safe and secure environment in which students can express themselves
  • To increase students confidence and self worth
  • To increase student’s knowledge of the history of Theatre and drama and the influences these have on contemporary work.
  • To develop students understanding and ability to manipulate various forms and conventions in order to create purposeful and well crafted pieces of drama
  • To develop good working relationships between students and for them to understand and put to use good group skills
  • To encourage individual work and interpretation
  • To raise expectations of students in all aspects of work produced
  • To enable students to progress effectively and achieve the best possible grade.
  • Provide a unique, deep and rich source of enjoyment for all participants

Facilities and resources

The beauty of drama is that it can happen anywhere at anytime with nothing but committed and focused individuals. We certainly have the students with passion and commitment.

Our facilities in Drama include an intimate hall for lessons and performances, as well as the additional space of an auditorium just a short walk from the school. We are currently building on our lighting and staging equipment and intend to have an all singing all dancing portable stage equipped with lights and sounds in the not to distant future.

Key stage 3

Key stage three drama is intended to provide students; firstly with the knowledge and understanding that will allow them to access drama and produce focused and detailed work that will progress throughout the units. The units are organised in order to allow students to experience drama from varying angles and perspectives. Each unit stands on its own but should build skills which can then be transferred to other lessons and enhance their experience of drama.

Key stage 4

IGCSE - Cambridge
Cambridge IGCSE Drama is accepted by universities and employers as proof of knowledge and understanding of both the theory and practical application of drama. Through practical and theoretical study, the IGCSE Drama syllabus encourages students to understand and enjoy drama by:
  • developing their performance skills, both individually and in groups
  • considering ways in which ideas and feelings can be communicated to an audience
  • discovering the performance possibilities of texts and other stimuli
  • devising dramatic material of their own.

Key stage 5

Theatre IB
At Sir James Henderson we are embarking on a very exciting journey. With the implementation of the IB comes some very exciting opportunities for students experience and develop in more areas than was previously possible. The Theatre IB makes students look at various theatre forms, their uses and how to practically realise these new skills. It is an exciting and challenging course.

London Theatre Trip
Every year sixth form students are given the opportunity to visit London in order to watch performances which are chosen in order to give students as wide an experience of theatre as is possible, from street theatre to West End musicals to Pub theatre performances.

The trip enables students to watch, engage with and evaluate the performances seen. This has a very positive influence on the work produced during their IB course.

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