"Drama at Haileybury is a means for pupils to orientate themselves in the wider world. Pupils develop their understanding of social, cultural and historical issues through practical exploration. They are also given exciting opportunities to work with theatre companies, performers and practitioners to find new ways of creating their own performance work."
Robert Byers Head of Academic Drama
The Drama Department at Haileybury is a vibrant, creative and happy department where staff and pupils have very high expectations of themselves and each other.
Drama is offered as part of the academic curriculum and also as part of Haileybury's robust co-curricular programme, which is designed to encourage self-expression, communication and reflection.
As well as a team of dedicated teaching and support staff, the Department also benefits from a suite of first-rate facilities, including Haileybury's own fully-equipped College theatre, The Ayckbourn.
In the Lower School pupils work practically, building drama skills and a knowledge of drama vocabulary. They create performances and learn to analyse their own work and others’ work. Pupils study key periods of theatre history, including Ancient Greek theatre, Commedia Dell’Arte, melodrama and key 20th century playwrights. Shakespeare’s plays feature prominently, as do a range of modern plays and styles of drama.
In Removes, Drama is an option and prepares pupils to study Drama at GCSE and beyond. We run an exciting programme of workshop-style lessons and encourage independence in devising, directing, designing and performing. Pupils consolidate their understanding of key theatre styles and are encouraged to experiment with the skills and techniques they have learned to create work for public performance.
At GCSE, pupils study the OCR Drama syllabus, a challenging course which enables them to explore dramatic texts, respond to live theatre and create drama for performance. This course is assessed both practically through exploration and performance, and through written coursework, which encourages pupils to reflect analytically on live theatre and their own creative work.
At Sixth Form pupils can choose to study either Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre Studies or IB Theatre Arts. Both options allow pupils to study a range of theatrical styles, texts and practitioners and offer many opportunities to see live theatre and create their own performances.
A whole host of exciting live theatre opportunities are offered to Haileybury pupils throughout their years at the school, ranging from large West End productions to small fringe performances.
Haileybury pupils are offered opportunities to work with theatre companies, performers and practitioners to find new ways of engaging with Drama and in creating their own performance work. Workshops and events run in the Ayckbourn Theatre and sometimes outside of school.
Pupils also have the opportunity to experience LAMDA, a professional qualification in acting or public speaking that earns pupils merits and distinctions. Haileybury consistently achieves excellent LAMDA results.
Named after Old Haileyburian Sir Alan Ayckbourn, The Ayckbourn Theatre is a unique and well-equipped asset offering pupils a comprehensive experience of exciting direction, wonderful staging and a real focus on production values.
The theatre is capable of hosting a range of performances and is used to support Haileybury's curricular and co-curricular programme. Recent performances have included A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oh What a Lovely War, Bugsy Malone, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
Robert Byers joined Haileybury in September 2015. He was previously Acting Head of Drama at Hockerill Anglo-European College and has also taught in Dubai and Moscow. He studied Drama and Communication Studies at Edge Hill and Lancaster University and also has a Master's Degree in Creative and Media Education (Bournemouth University). He completed a PGCE in Secondary Drama at Manchester Metropolitan University. Robert is a keen marathon runner and has taken part in the Dubai Marathon.
Rachel Beggs (BA PGCE MEd) is Haileybury's Director of Drama. Rachel joined Haileybury in 2004. In particular, she is responsible for co-curricular directorial responsibilities across the year and co-ordinates all dramatic events at Haileybury.
In addition to Robert and Rachel, the Drama team at Haileybury comprises: Ben Richards BA PGCE; Toby Everett Performing Arts Technical Production Manager; Rhiannon Johnson BA PGCE; and Kate Pearson Drama Technician, who has a special interest in prop making and set design.
To find out more about our recent Drama results, please click on the link below: