Never underestimate the power of drama. Skills taught in drama bring innumerable benefits to pupils, giving them skills which are invaluable in later life. Drama instils confidence, enabling children to speak and present confidently in public. Drama fosters the skills of communication, listening, teamworking, problem-solving, planning, resilience and empathy – all of which are vital qualities to be successful in any career.
This is why Drama plays such a big part in academic life here at Bedford School. We are proud of our long and distinguished history in theatre and performance, and every year we delight in watching our boys showcase their many talents in a wide variety of school productions. With an outstanding 30% of our GCSE pupils achieving the new Grade 9 and 100% of our A-Level students achieving A*-B grades this year we had even more to be proud about.
Head of Academic Drama, Mrs Antoinette Keylock proudly told us, “We are absolutely thrilled with the GCSE Drama and A-Level Theatre Studies examination results. For GCSE Drama the National percentage of students to gain the new top level 9 (A**) was 5.2% and therefore the fact we managed to get 30% was particularly pleasing. The students worked hard on both the practical aspect of the course and the academic written work. Students find this balance tricky during the course, but all their commitment and hard work has certainly paid off.”
Of course, celebrating such an outstanding set of results is wonderful testament to the hard work put in during the year, not only by the pupils themselves, but also by our drama teachers and wider drama department. A wide and varied schedule of enrichment lectures and workshops, carefully curated months in advance, ensures pupils have the opportunity to learn different techniques and styles, which they can apply to their work.
Already this term, pupils have been treated to a lecture by author, Chris Megson. Chris talked about Verbatim theatre and how this unusual technique has risen to prominence in our theatres over the last 20 years. This was neatly followed by a visit from the highly-respected playwright, Alecky Blythe, who delivered a workshop looking at the practical side of the Verbatim technique. During the interactive session, Alecky gave pupils the opportunity to try their hand at performing this pioneering and innovative method of acting.
Alecky explained, “The lovely thing about Verbatim is that it empowers people not just to be the performer, but the maker too.”
We offer boys with talent the opportunity to hone their dramatic and creative skills through our Drama Scholarships. Boys receive specialist mentoring and follow an exciting programme individually tailored to challenge and inspire them. If you know a young actor who gets a buzz out of performing, why not suggest they take a look – all scholars can receive up to 35% of annual school fees. You can find out more within the Scholarships section of our website.
If your appetite needs any further whetting, do take a look at some of the highlights from our school productions over the last couple of years.