At St Mary’s Catholic School we pride ourselves on providing an exemplary curriculum for all students, including our students with special educational needs.  Our Year 7 to Year 13 curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced, allowing all students to know more and remember more in lessons, and to achieve exceptional progress.  Our curriculum is planned to stretch and challenge all learners, with highly effective scaffolding in place to ensure our students with SEND and other additional needs also achieve highly.  Our curriculum meets and exceeds all national curriculum requirements.  Due to the numerous strengths and sustained success and impact of our curriculum year on year, St Mary’s supports many other schools within the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust and more widely to share this exemplary practice.

The Drama curriculum is exemplary because:

  • It encourages self-confidence within each student that studies drama
  • It inspires a love and passion for live theatre and acting
  • It provides students with the skills knowledge that are transferable to other areas of life beyond students’ school careers
  • It develops confidence, creativity and resilience through performance, design, and analysis work.
  • Through studying drama students develop practical performance skills, social skills and the analytical aspect of plays and literature
  • Culture capital is enhanced through the range of topics explored at each key stage
  • We explore topics and texts not only for their academic merits but also for their wider cross-curricular purposes
  • Students are encouraged to build their personal confidence and speaking and listening skills in group creative tasks, discussion and performance.

The Drama curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced:

  • The Drama curriculum is exceptionally ambitious for all, stretching and challenging all students and allowing students to achieve highly.
  • Various roles are offered in order to encourage a variety of ways to access drama; performance, direction and design are explored
  • We offer a wide variety of theatre trips throughout the year to introduce different styles of theatre which positively impacts all work in classroom
  • Ambitious play-texts are selected which present high challenge for all students, including a variety classical and modern
  • Topics and play-texts support capital culture and topics are updated annually in light of the interests of the cohort and in light of current affairs
  • The majority of play- texts are taught in their entirety raising levels of challenge both practically and academically
  • We teach a range of challenging theatre practitioners and concepts, which challenge students in their own performance work
  • Our reading curriculum features a huge variety of texts from a broad range of time periods, extracts from novels, articles to support student understanding of texts and we use of practical drama activities to secure knowledge of plot, themes and character

The Drama curriculum has effective scaffolding to support our SEND students/other students with additional needs:

  • The Drama curriculum is challenging and inclusive in terms of the selection of topics and play-texts
  • Students access the same challenges and content delivered with high aspirations.
  •  We use improvisation and role play along with circle drama games to develop class relationships and break down any exiting social barriers.
  • Modelling of student work from across the historical cohorts plays a big role in demonstrating excellent practice and inspiring students in their own work. Group work is also at the heart of the curriculum which encourages diversity.
  • Students complete the same schemes of work which are differentiated
  • The selection of topics/texts and teacher relationships help students to understand of British values and protected characteristics

The Drama curriculum is worthy of sharing more widely with other schools because:

  • High quality resources and planning cover a wide range of topics
  • The curriculum is successfully implemented by subject specialists
  • The way the curriculum is sequenced and delivered promotes outstanding progress
  • Selection of stimulus material promotes high quality devised performance work from students