Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL


Head of Department
Mrs S McGowan
Mrs S Hall
Mrs K McCusker
Mr O Sullivan

The Drama Department is proud of the energy, dedication and enthusiasm that Stanwell pupils contribute to its successful annual Senior School Production and other extra-curricular activities. Past productions include: Aida, Beauty and the Beast, Success (commissioned by National Theatre: New Connections, performed at The Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio),We Will Rock You, Little Shop of Horrors, Jekyll and Hyde, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls and Les Miserables (Premiere of the School’s Edition and Performed as part of the inaugural Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre). We are particularly proud of our production as Cameron Macintosh travelled from London to watch the opening night.

The aims and objectives of the department can be summed up in our departmental mission statement:

“Learning and teaching in a safe, stimulating and supportive environment are paramount, with teamwork, discipline and effort providing opportunities for all Stanwell pupils to make progress, achieve success and enjoy excellence.”

Stanwell School's production: West Side StoryIn Key Stage 3, every pupil receives a weekly lesson in Drama and has the chance to participate in Drama Club or the Junior School Production. Great enjoyment is shown for the subject during this Key Stage, and many go on to further advance their acting skills through opting for GCSE, and then A Level Drama.

The department aim to deliver a diverse range of theatrical genres and specialist performance styles within our schemes of work, as well as organise theatre visits throughout the year (this includes London’s West End). The department encourage links with theatre professionals from the industry to lead workshops ( ‘Big Talent Agency’, ‘Omidaze Productions’, ‘Strange Face Theatre Company’, ‘Theatre Iolo’, ‘Black Rat Productions’, ‘Theatre Na’NOg’ and Mal Pope.). Pupils and staff benefit greatly by having access to fantastic facilities including a 410 seat auditorium, a dance studio with mirrors and a sprung floor, a fully equipped drama studio with lighting and sound mixing desks, and an extensive selection of theatrical resources.

Overall, we aim to motivate, inspire, and give pupils full support and guidance in reaching their potential, both in and outside of the classroom.

The arts can inspire and excite the imagination of children and young people, opening up new opportunities for creative imagination and expression. This in turn fuels and feeds the arts in Wales, helping to re-define the nation’s culture by taking it in new and innovative directions. Our children and young people are the artists and arts enthusiasts of the future.The arts can nurture a young person’s ability to question and make connections, to develop the capacity for independent, critical thought. They can inspire young people with new ambition and confidence. The arts can be the key that unlocks the door to further and higher education, and in time to employment.

– Arts Council of Wales

Key Stage 3 Drama

Every pupil receives one drama lesson per week throughout Key Stage 3.


Joseff as Macbeth

The modules covered are aimed to incorporate both issue- based and theatrical styles, which in turn develop pupils’ communication, cooperation and concentration skills. Whilst introducing many performance techniques and peer/self evaluative analysis, pupils are assessed in a small group performances where the grade consists of marks for performing, creating and responding to the given stimulus.

Topics covered:

Year 7

  • Mime
  • Storytelling One ( Welsh Fairy Tales)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • ISHI based on refugees and not judging people on first impressions
  • The Lost Valley
  • Revolting Roald Dahl!

Year 8

  • Storytelling Two (Sam’s Story)
  • Bullying
  • Bugsy Malone
  • Evacuees in Wales
  • Melodrama
  • Greek Theatre

Key Stage 4: GCSE

The Drama department is pleased to be working alongside AQA and the new specification. The course is exciting, creative and challenging. There is an excellent balance between controlled assessment and the written examination.


Marcy as Lady Macbeth

The course gives candidates the best opportunity to succeed. The practical options we offer include: Devised Thematic Work, Acting, Lighting, Sound, make-up and costume. The written examination is one hour and thirty minutes long and comprises of three sections. The play we will be studying is Dennis Potter’s ‘Blue Remembered Hills’. During the two year course our schemes of work comprise of:

Year 9

  • Story Telling 3 (Subtext)
  • Reportage
  • Theatre in Education (TIE)
  • GCSE devised work on the set text Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter.
  • Blood Brothers
  • Physical Theatre
  • Our Day Out

Year 10

  • The Dating Agency monologue
  • An introduction to Devised Thematic work
  • Exciting Devised work part 1 & 2
  • Aberfan – The Day the Silence Came (Devised Thematic)
  • A brief study of Blue Remembered Hills.
  • Woman in Black

Year 11

  • Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter – set text for written examination.
  • Ordinary People and Tragedy (Devised Thematic) and various scripts (Acting).

Key Stage 5: A Level

The Phantom of the Opera 2011 The PhantomThe Drama department is pleased to be working alongside WJEC and the new specification. The course is challenging, diverse and creative. There is an excellent balance between scripted and devised performance, when the pupils experience theatre and develop their skills through studying a wide range of key Contemporary theatre practitioners. Pupils also study two set texts in Year 12 and two set texts in Year 13 and review live theatre production

Year 12

  • DA1: Devised and Scripted Performance
    • Looking at practitioners
      • Berkoff
      • Stanislavski
      • Boal
      • Mayerhold
      • Artaud
      • Jac Le Coq
  • DA2: Written examination paper
    • Sat during the Summer term
      • The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco (set text)
      • Shakespeare’s A Midsummers Nights Dream (set text)
      • A Live Theatre Review comparison.

Year 13

  • DA3: Devised Performance based on a stimulus and Scripted Performance.
  • DA4: Written Exam paper
    • Sat during the Summer term
      • The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams (set text)
      • All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare (set text)
      • Unseen Director’s paper

Year 8 Drama Club performance of Macbeth

Extra Curricular Drama

Extracurricular activities are a very important part of the Drama Department’s work in Stanwell with clubs and performance projects operating for all pupils.

Year 7 are welcome to join a weekly Drama club which explores Shakespeare and various acting exercises. Year 8 and 9 are encouraged to audition for the annual junior production.

Production work at Stanwell is a major aspect of the department’s activities and the standard achieved is impressive. The list of recent musicals and straight pieces presented by the Department is varied with “Les Miserables” being a particular success. This venture was a joint project with the Music Department and Design Technology and was performed as part of the inaugural International Festival of Musical Theatre in Cardiff . The experience of “Les Miserables” was a tremendous one for all involved and proved to be an excellent showcase for our very talented performing arts students.

Half a Sixpence 2017 Full Cast

Careers Wales Mark Eco Schools Healthy Schools Vale Network Welsh Baccalaureate Arts Council of Wales