Things are taking at dramatic turn at Derby Grammar School’s Sixth Form, with the introduction of A Level Drama and Theatre from this September, and a promise that no two days will ever be the same!

Derby Grammar School already offers all of its students LAMDA qualifications in Speech and Drama, taught by onsite specialist, Mrs Simpson. This benefits them in many ways, including their confidence, articulation and presentation. And the results can be seen in the productions the School runs each year, from straight plays to musicals, and hilarious pantomimes.

The curriculum is now being expanded further so that the sixth form students, both girls and boys, can develop their skills further with A Level Theatre and Drama.

The course covers performance and directing, as well as lighting, sound, set and costume design. It is a mixture of both practical and theoretical study, but don’t be fooled! It’s not a ‘soft’ A Level. Studied alongside more academic subjects it develops a different range of skills such as communication, improvisation, self-discipline, team-working and self-presentation.

Mrs Simpson is teaching the A Level from September. Having studied at drama school, and with a career that has covered performance and direction, as well as teaching, she is ideally placed to teach it, and ensure that everything being learnt can be related back to the real world.

She said: “I am so excited about this new A Level and it’s been my dream to add it to the curriculum. As well as being a rigorous A Level, it’s a really fun course as it’s so varied and gives students a holistic grounding in every element of the theatre.

We have fantastic performance facilities here at school which are the envy of many, so it’s fantastic that we can now we can use them as part of our A Level study, as well as our many productions.

Drama is an incredibly useful and worthwhile A Level and it is a shame to see it being pulled from so many other schools as resources become tighter. It is a vital subject in a world where team-working is important, as this is the essence of performance. It develops understanding, cooperation, communication and collaboration.

In my experience, studying drama is a key tool for life and a student with A Level Drama and Theatre will definitely stand apart.”