Drama has an important role to play in the personal development of our students and at Accrington Academy we have a busy and vibrant drama department! Opportunities to take part in drama are available both through the timetabled lessons and extra-curricular activities. The skills and qualities developed by students in drama, such as teamwork, creativity, leadership and risk-taking are assets in all subjects and are skills highly valued by universities and employers.
Drama stimulates creativity and imagination, allowing students to explore issues and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. The self-esteem, pride and a sense of achievement that drama gives to students is invaluable in today’s fast paced and demanding world.
Every student in Key Stage 3 has a weekly drama lesson. They are given the opportunity to perform in a variety of genres and to experiment with different performance techniques including improvisation; working with scripts and physical theatre.
Teamwork, creativity and building self-esteem are at the heart of our Key Stage 3 drama curriculum.
Students can opt to study GCSE Drama at Key Stage 4 and it is always a popular choice! These students have drama lessons three times a week and follow a programme of study focusing on performance, analysis and evaluation.
The coursework element of the course is worth 60% of the overall grade and consists of one piece in which students devise their own pieces of theatre based around an idea or issue, supported by a written devising log and a scripted group performance of two extracts from a selected play.
In the final written exam, worth 40% of the overall grade, students are assessed on their knowledge of drama theory and their ability to describe, analyse and evaluate set texts for realisation in performance.
We offer Year 1 Drama and Theatre Studies, and in Year 2 A-level Theatre Studies and BTEC Performing Arts at Key Stage 5.
Students studying Theatre Studies have five lessons a week, alongside their other A-level choices. They develop the knowledge and performance skills gained at GCSE (although this is not a pre-requisite) by studying and performing plays from the point of view of specific theatre practitioners. Their performances range from their own devised pieces to group scripted pieces by playwrights from a variety of time periods and genres. The course is assessed through practical workshops, performances, written coursework and a final written exam assessing understanding of plays studied and live performances watched.
The BTEC Performing Arts course is a full time course designed to give students both depth and breadth in their study of the performing arts. Units covered include Auditions for Actors, Musical Theatre, Theatre in Education and Styles of Acting.
Mrs N. Grace
Subject Leader Drama
My career before teaching went from being an actor and waitress whilst at college and university to working as a Human Resource Manager for first the NHS and then De Vere Hotels. Upon realising that an HR career was never going to fuel my passion for English and Drama, I returned to university to complete a PGCSE in English with Drama and Media Studies and I've never regretted that move! Every day as Subject Leader of Drama, I get to share my subject with bright, entertaining students and watch them develop as people, performers and creative thinkers. What a great job!
Miss E. Starkey
Assistant Principal | Subject Teacher Drama
Short Bio here.....
Mrs V. Thornber
I have always loved reading and at school English was my favourite subject. When I was at school I was shy and didn't have the confidence to voice my opinion, until my English teacher made me realise that everybody's thoughts and opinions are worth hearing. I completed my degree in English and my PGCE in English and Drama, I was initially employed as an English and Drama teacher. Drama quickly became my strength and I thoroughly enjoy seeing the students building their confidence and finding their voice. I hope that I help my students in the same way that my English teacher helped me.
Miss K. Allcott
Subject Teacher Drama & Dance
I studied dance through secondary school before being auditioned and offered a place by the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. I trained there for four years and graduated in 2011 with a degree in Contemporary Dance Performance majoring in my final year in Dance Artists in Education. After completing my degree I was offered a position as a teaching assistant at an international English school in Kuwait. While there in addition to my classroom-based work I established an extra curricular dance programme for students aged from 2 to 15. With this experience I was encouraged to plan, develop and then lead a foundation stage dance curriculum for the school. Shortly after, I set off on a six month travelling adventure, which included one month of volunteering in Nepal teaching dance and drama. In addition to the above I have for the last few years worked with the International Theatre Schools Association as an 'ensemble leader'. This involves creating and leading dance and drama workshops with students from around the world in a variety of venues including the Eden Project and Brussels International middle school. Recently I have completed my postgraduate certificate of education at the university of Exeter, specializing in Secondary dance.
I started teaching at Accrington Academy in 2014, teaching BTEC/ A Level Dance and GCSE Drama. I also design and deliver tailored Primary Dance schemes for learning, visiting a range of Primary Schools around the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley district additionally offering continued professional development lectures for teachers.
Drama Productions & Trips
I have been involved in drama from the start of my time at Accrington Academy in year 7; I then chose to study GCSE drama and continued my interest by taking A-level Drama and Theatre Studies. Throughout my academic life, Theatre Studies has always been clear favourite of mine. Both the practical and written aspects of the subject have broadened my knowledge of theatre, my confidence and my imagination. I have had so much fun in all the subject has to offer both in the classroom and in the extra-curricular performances such as “My Fair Lady” and “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and look forward to developing my creativity further at university.Mitchell Hill