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Church of England Academy

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We aim to support both students and staff to discover their voice, confidence, creativity and moreover understanding of our reliance on each other. We aim to give all students and staff the opportunities to learn and practise our core values: team care (harmonious and respectful,) desire and determination (aspirational and responsible,) and playfulness and positivity (sociable and inspirational).


Our values enable us to express ideas with creativity and originality. They also support us to be leaders of ourselves and, when we’re called to, of others too. Our values which echo our Christian ethos enable Harris drama students and staff to be outstanding members of casts and teams.


High expectations and hard work are key to our success as is evident by the students we have supported to work in the creative industries: three of our ex students are now professional directors, three are theatre technicians, one is an actor on a Netflix series, one a theatre designer, one a dancer, two work for the BBC, and three are drama teachers.


We support students to pursue and value excellence. Since 2014 a hundred students have now taken a LAMDA exam at Harris, fifty-three of whom have achieved a Distinction, peaking in 2019 with six Year 10 students achieving Grade 8 in Acting, five with Distinction.



Study in Drama encourages students to:

  • develop a personal interest in why drama matters to European civilisation
  • work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas
  • consider and explore the impact of social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities
  • reflect on, and evaluate, their own work and the work of others
  • develop and demonstrate competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills
  • develop a basis for their future role as active citizens in employment and society, as well as for the possible further study of Drama
  • actively engage in the process of dramatic study in order to become effective and independent learners capable of critical and reflective thinking.



Our aim is to enable, stimulate and encourage the spontaneity, creativity, curiosity and delight of all students. We recognise that through Drama at Harris, the whole person of each student is developed creatively, spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially.



Our Core Values permeate all work in the department. These values form the basis of development, progress and success for every pupil. Harris Church of England Academy Drama Department’s Core Values:


  • Team Care
  • Positive and Playful
  • Desire and Determination


Moral and social development in Drama also develops through the appreciation of others in group work, how to overcome obstacles and what it takes to be a successful team player and leader. Moral development also occurs in Drama through the contemplating of issues and themes from a range of sources and texts, including stories from the Bible.



Social development in Drama occurs through the understanding of aspects of society when analysing the characters and situations of texts and improvisations. Students learn to overcome the challenges that we always face when working with others and develop team-working skills that will assist them in the world of work. Our staff are dedicated to enabling students to learn and grow feeling valued and knowing how they can improve.



Opportunities for cultural development are second to none at Harris Church of England Academy. They include:

  • Workshops for the LAMDA Acting Qualification
  • The international Physical Theatre course to Barcelona with trips to FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp and Salvador Dali’s museum in Figueres
  • Regular theatre visits to local and regional venues
  • Participation in local festivals and community projects
  • Annual Oscar Night ceremony to celebrate our students’ achievements



Spiritual development in Drama occurs through the on-going analysis of what it means to be human. We also reach into something deeper by being sensitive outside, through, and in Drama to the needs of others.



Our knowledge engaged curriculum teaches students about key stages in the development of theatre since the ancient Greeks.


They are taught the key principles of the giants of theatre performance:  Stanislavski and Brecht.


Students also learn the skills of Commedia and Physical Theatre.


By the end of Year 8 students know key figures in the development of theatre, key techniques and have developed the confidence to use these as they imagine, create, act and perform in front of others.


Our commitment to the Year 7 Musical which ensures all Year 7 students act in a significant production is an example of our commitment to ‘value all God’s children’.



Harris CofE Academy’s Drama Department follows the Eduqas GCSE in Drama course, see Eduqas GCSE Specification


The Eduqas GCSE in Drama offers a broad and coherent course of study which enables learners to:
• apply knowledge and understanding when making, performing and responding to drama
• explore performance texts, understanding their social, cultural and historical context including the theatrical conventions of the period in which they were created
• develop a range of theatrical skills and apply them to create performances
• work collaboratively to generate, develop and communicate ideas
• develop as creative, effective, independent and reflective learners able to make informed choices in process and performance
• contribute as an individual to a theatrical performance
• reflect on and evaluate their own work and that of others
• develop an awareness and understanding of the roles and processes undertaken in contemporary professional theatre practice
• adopt safe working practices.


The Eduqas GCSE in Drama is an exciting, inspiring and practical course. The specification promotes involvement in and enjoyment of drama, as performers and/or designers. Additionally it provides opportunities to attend live theatre performances and to develop skills as informed and thoughtful audience members.


Through following this specification, learners will be given opportunities to participate in and interpret their own and others' drama. Learners have the option to work practically as performers in Components 1 and 2. Learners will investigate a practitioner or genre of drama; work collaboratively to develop ideas to communicate meaning, and experiment with dramatic conventions, forms and techniques to produce and realise a piece of original theatre.


They will also have the opportunity to participate in the performance of an extract from a play text. Learners will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama, including their ability to interpret texts for performance, in a written examination. However, in preparation for this assessment, learners are encouraged to study their chosen text practically as a performer, designer and director.


Students create a devised production (40%). In addition, they create a scripted production (20%) and complete their GCSE with a written exam (40%) for which students answer questions about a play they have studied and they also write an evaluation of a live theatre production.


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