Welcome to the Drama Department webpage for Bishop Walsh Catholic School. As part of the Performing Arts Faculty we play an important part in the performing and spiritual life of the school.
Staff in the Department
Mr M. Penn – Head of Performing Arts and Drama
Mrs J. Priestnall – Second in Drama In charge of Key Stage 3 and 4
Mrs R. O’Dowd – Drama Teacher
Key Stage 3
Every student receives Drama at key Stage three as part of a rota system with Dance and students swap between dance and drama every half term.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage four we offer BTEC Performing Arts: Acting, and GCSE Drama. Link through to view KS4 in more detail
Betec Dance – Students in year nine have the opportunity to take the Edexcel First Certificate in Performing Arts: Acting. The qualification is equivalent to two GCSEs and proves to be a popular and successful course. The course is a heavily practical one where students gain the footing and skills in order to progress through to GCSE. Students take modules in which they are provided with opportunities to work within different groups to create their own devised monologues and group drama and also scripted drama. Throughout the course they are expected to keep an up to date diary in order to reflect upon what they have been learning about and this counts towards the evidence for their final marks. They should treat these diary entries as coursework. Some of the work that the students produce will be showcased for public performance in the annual Key Stage Three and Four Drama Evenings. The units that are taken are: Acting; Performing Scripted Plays; and Devising Plays.
Key Stage 5
We offer AS and A level Drama and Theatre Studies (AQA). Click here for the specification
This subject is for those students with an interest in performance and acting who enjoy exploring plays practically. The subject involves both practical and written work and group work is an essential element.
We recommend that students who take the subject have taken GCSE Drama or equivalent or have suitable a Drama background.
A level students are given the opportunity to go on a number of theatre visits throughout the year and to work with drama practitioners. This subject is taught by all three drama teachers who are all specialists in different areas.
Past students have continued into further study of Law, Journalism, Drama, English, Performance and a number have gone on to Drama Schools.
Extra Curricular Information
With regular extra curricular events and performances throughout the school year we try to give every student the chance to perform and achieve. Lessons within the subject are dynamic and engaging and encourage all students to participate whatever their ability.
We also give students leadership opportunities in GCSE and sixth form often sharing or directing work between year groups and with a wider audience. We do projects with our local primary schools and try to engage with the local community. We allow students the chance to learn both practical and technical drama skills. We also offer students the chance to participate in Arts Awards, public speaking competitions and debates.
We believe in excellence within our subject area from staff and students alike. We often take part in school Mass and in celebrating the Catholic life of the school. We also offer students chances to see theatre in performance and encourage them to work with practitioners, so we try to arrange a number of visits and opportunities during the year.