English and Drama

In an ever-changing world, the ability and confidence to express ourselves clearly, logically and fully is vital to our success. To talk, to express our thoughts and feelings and to recognise that we are not alone in the world with these emotions is important for our young people to connect with.  The texts that we study in both English and Drama allow our students to realise that their futures are bright and all things are possible. Both English and Drama enable students to see that they are centre stage in their own lives and opportunities are open to them from staff that believe in their aspirations.

The pursuit of excellence in English is integral to all subjects taught at OBA, whether it is demonstrated through spoken, comprehensive, or written appreciation. English is core to a student’s success and its importance as a subject is affirmed throughout the years at OBA.  The specialist teachers in the English department strive to ensure that all students are equipped for the rigours of multi–media communications and formal expression in their years at OBA. 

Literacy standards in the UK are required by the Government to rise, to enable our country to express innovatively and succinctly in the global community and OBA sets out to support students on this journey.  The subjects of English Language and English Literature are taught to all students at OBA preparing them for a rich cultural appreciation of the world through a wide range of classic and contemporary texts in KS3 igniting, or indeed sustaining, a passion for reading through the integration of the Accelerated Reader Programme in their lessons until the end of Year 9.  To achieve a GCSE in English is a gateway qualification which we support, encourage and nurture our students to achieve. 

Drama is an excellent way to build confidence in our young people and to prepare them for important scenarios in their futures and to give all students a voice and give them an audience to hear them.  Drama is an excellent platform to support articulation, confidence and an appreciation of other lives and cultures, enabling students to make connections with their own world and experiences and those of others’ in a safe and nurturing environment.  The English and Drama department work collaboratively to support the texts of the National Curriculum and to create a sense of what it is like to be British in the 21st Century.

All students have to study English until they are 18, or they have achieved a passing grade at GCSE, in line with Government guidelines. Students are taught Drama in a rotation with other subjects in KS3  and are welcome to choose Drama as part of their options in KS4 and KS5 depending on their pathway.  The content of the curriculum is regularly reviewed by The English and Drama Department to ensure that we teach relevant and stimulating texts and that all students are given the support they personally need to access them.  Both specialisms review their schemes of learning regularly to ensure that they are supporting all students in the best possible way to enable every student to progress. Lessons are tailored to the highest students needs with support in place for every student to reach the lessons’ objectives. Care is taken to ensure that all our students are included in their English and Drama studies and there are clear strategies that we follow to support those with educational needs to enable that all students can truly aspire.  We work closely with the SEN specialists within the academy and ensure that our student’s needs are not compromised.

We are passionate about developing students that read to improve themselves, to read with a purpose, to challenge and stretch their ideas, their beliefs and understanding of their world.  Reading is the answer to most of life’s challenging and to be a confident and fluent reader is a goal that we aspire to achieve for all our students.  We install in our young minds the love of reading to encourage a culture of reading and talking about wider experiences because of the books read.  A huge investment has been made to support reading in OBA, whether it be designated reading sessions in tutor lead reading or the Accelerated Reader library for students to access and be a part of its running and organization. Reading is the answer to how to be a better student, how to get better GCSEs and how to be more intelligent and this is the culture that we wholeheartedly support by talking to our students about our reading too. We run competitions to support progress in reading and have clubs to assist all abilities in their quest for self-improvement.

Recommended Reading:

Read everything!  All the forms of writing available! Poetry, novels, magazine articles, newspapers, blogs, reviews, sports pages, biographies, journals.  Read as widely as possible and DO read for pleasure too! Find an author and read everything they have published if you love their style.  Challenge yourself to genres that are new.  There are lists of suggested reading on our website for each Key Stage and very willing specialists in both English and Drama to support your selections. The main steer is to read widely and frequently, we recommend at least twenty minutes a day, every day.

The following are suggestions of books to consider, but the list of reading that is relevant is varied and should be adjusted to meet your own personal areas of interest.

The list is too vast and varied to place here, so please look at the suggested reading on the Academy’s website:  they are formatted under:

Transition: KS3: KS4: KS5

Post-Covid our lives are now reopened to the world of opportunity the theatre brings us.  Trips are run alongside texts studied and The Harry Potter trip to the studios is always popular in year 7 as our young wizards and muggles explore the sets and soak up the atmosphere. The terrifying theatrical experience of The Woman in Black in London is also very popular for those brave at heart in year 9.  We are fortunate to work alongside the RSC in our Macbeth exploration in KS3 which culminates in workshops and a performance bringing Shakespeare alive to our willing participants.  In KS4 and KS5 we seek opportunities to bring the set texts alive through relevant productions and these nurture career aspirations to those wishing to explore the world of theatre and the creative arts.

We hope to be able to offer the following enrichment opportunities as part of our extended Curriculum:

  • Library club supporting the AR programme
  • KS3 Reading club
  • KS3 and KS4 Debate Club cross curricula with Geography
  • Theatre visits in all key stages.
  • Creative writers club
  • Shakespeare in Schools
  • Drama Club

Curriculum Maps

Here you can browse the curriculum maps for each Key Stage. Use the tabs to select the subject and key stage you wish to view, and use the left & right arrows to browse through the slides.