Drama in DUCKS
In Toddler, Nursery and Reception classes, drama is incorporated every day into our curriculum through imaginative role play. Students have opportunities to work with external theatre practitioners, storytellers and theatre groups throughout the year, such as Centre Stage and Evolve Arts. In Year 1, drama is incorporated into each unit of work, and in lessons children have the opportunity to act out stories, use role play, and perform and create poems. Drama is also used to help develop skills in Mandarin, with students using scripts to practise their language through acting. Centre Stage Theatre Company has also worked with students on Chinese New Year and Easter performances and presentations. In Year 2, drama is incorporated into English units, sometimes through puppet shows, sometimes through short performances that the children present to each other and sometimes through tableaux that focus on empathy. Each year, students are involved in the Poetry by Heart competition where children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 learn and perform a poem. Each year, Year 2 visit SOTA (School of the Arts Singapore) to watch a theatre performance.
Drama in Junior School
In Year 3, drama plays an integral part in the teaching and learning of English. A variety of drama techniques such as soundscapes, freeze frames, conscience alley and hot seating take place daily, and these techniques play a key role in improving the quality of writing. In Year 4 we incorporate drama elements into the curriculum. Students explore poetry, create their own poems and perform a variety of water poems in the black box theatres to demonstrate their use of language and imagery. We use a variety of drama techniques in units of work and use the black box theatres to perform play scripts of Peggy the Pirate and Treasure Island to explore the features of a play script. Year 5 incorporates a variety of drama techniques into their curriculum. The best example of this is the Tudor Arts Day. The students explore the Royal Shakespeare Company’s rehearsal techniques while exploring Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Year 5 students have had the opportunity to watch Much Ado About Nothing by the Handlebards Theatre Company and to take part in puppetry workshops by the theatre company Puppet Piazza!
Drama in Senior School
The Senior School drama department is grounded in preparing students' minds for the world after they leave school, in addition to ensuring they learn about a variety of different drama skills, genres and practitioners. Drama is about transformation. Through application, play, energy and imagination to frame, reflect, expose, critique and speculate, students explore society and the relationships within it.
Our specific aims are as follows:
To deliver a curriculum that is suitable for the international student and covers a wide range of skills and social and historical issues.
To allow students to collaborate, devise and create with others, and to express creativity in the field of Dramatic Art.
To give students a wide range of co-curricular opportunities in drama.
In Key Stage 3 drama, students in Years 6 to 8 have two nine-week blocks of drama in which they have two classes per week. Throughout the year, classes present their work as part of a formal showcase to a target audience. Students explore a range of topics and texts, which change each year. This year our themes have linked to identity and empathy. Set skills at this level include ensemble and choral work, puppetry, mask work, commedia, directing, scriptwriting, stage combat, physical theatre and set design. In IGCSE drama students start the programme in Year 9, giving them three years to develop a rich understanding and practical exploration of drama. Students follow the Cambridge syllabus and are assessed on their acting, directing and devising skills. Students study a diverse group of theatre companies including DV8, Frantic Assembly and Splendid Productions. Students explore a range of different theatre practitioners and genres that include Brecht, Artaud, Stanislavski and Boal. Students also have opportunities to work with visiting practitioners and theatre companies such as the Handlebards, Mark Hill, Splendid Productions and the Royal Shakespeare Company. There are many co-curricular activities including our Senior School Productions, Eisteddfod and ISTA.
Partnership with Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is the world’s most recognised theatre company specialising in the presentation of Shakespeare in a contemporary context, and highlighting his work’s relevance to modern society. In 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Dulwich College International established a formal relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company Education Department. Every year, the RSC will spend a week working with students at all DCI schools, part of Dulwich College International, create a live broadcast of one of their plays, provide training for staff to deliver Shakespeare units in the style of RSC and organise a festival in one of the Dulwich schools.