Drama lessons encourage creative exploration and play, confidence building and collaboration, all within a safe and constructive environment. Most lessons result in informal sharings of work, allowing the boys to put into practice the techniques used. All are encouraged to experiment, perform, critique and support one another throughout the process.
Lessons take place in our purpose built Drama Studio, with boys in the Lower First to Upper Second having one timetabled lesson each week. In the Third Year, the boys go on rotation with Engineering and have one double drama lesson, for one quarter of the year. The syllabus is designed to provide a number of opportunities, challenging the boys in their performance skills as well as in creative thinking, and their ability to evaluate, reflect and problem solve.
The First Years are taught by our Drama Tutor, drawing particular emphasis to team building, physical expression, exaggeration, focus, character and voice. These skills are woven together through storytelling and devising, in preparation for their end of year performance.
The Second Years cover status, staging, character and conflict, as well as physical comedy and silent movie making. The Lower Second Year apply their skills to the annual Playwriting Competition – a collaboration with the English Department, which results in a small festival of plays performed to the school with a guest adjudicator. The Upper Seconds work together to produce a whole year production, often commissioned and written especially for St Paul’s Juniors, by exciting emerging playwrights. Both events are highlights in the school calendar and offer every boy a chance to perform.
In the Third Years, the focus is on advanced theatre skills. The Lower Thirds learn about physical theatre and ensemble work. Here we cover trust, teamwork, and respect of ideas, as well as stage combat, movement, lifts and devising from a stimulus. The Upper Third look at approaches to text and performance, as well as observation and devising. Together they create ‘other worlds’, building them from scratch and devising scenes and monologues for performance.
In addition to their timetabled Drama lessons, boys have the opportunity to participate in a variety of cross curricular drama workshops (English, History & PSHE), which are provided by some of London's first-rate 'Theatre in Education' groups. There are also a number of theatre visits including the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, the Lyric in Hammersmith and London’s West End.
Drama Staff Members