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Drama & Theatre

The Drama Department is a living, breathing organism at Ampleforth. A flurry with actors, directors, dancers, technicians, stage managers, artists and academics, there is something for everybody here. 

We have a strong tradition of outstanding Drama at Ampleforth and as we grow, so does our ambition.  Those who wish to pursue a career in the arts, as well as those who thrive on the academic rigour of analysing and exploring texts, are invited to study IGCSE Drama and Level 3 BTEC in Performing Arts: lessons are fast-paced, exciting and challenging in our performance studio black box.  Students who enjoy the thrill of performing on stage (or back stage) in large-scale productions will always find a role to suit them in one of our many shows each year, whether it be a musical, a studio performance, Shakespeare or a contemporary physical theatre piece - there's something for everyone.

We also offer private Dance and LAMDA lessons for students who want to stretch themselves further.  In Dance, students are trained by our specialist Dance teacher to refine their movement and discover their forte - ballet, jazz, modern, ballroom, swing, the possibilities are endless! While in LAMDA lessons, our speech and drama coach builds students' confidence, perfects their elocution and stretches their physical creativity. Both Dance and LAMDA offer examination routes, providing students with further UCAS points and certificates to show their commitment and hard work.

Aims of the Department: 

The Drama Department’s aims are multifaceted and tailored to the needs of the individual student.  As a foundation, we aim to provide students with the confidence they need to speak publicly, work as a team, think creatively and have confidence in their vision, no matter what career path they choose to follow.  We also feel passionately about exposing students to a wide variety of cultural experiences, be it as a performer, technician or spectator. These two aims are achieved through our introductory Year Nine curricular classes and a wide co-curricular programme, which includes a range of school plays and musicals, collaborations with other departments, trips to the theatre and London, visits from world renowned practitioners and the Green Room activity.

LAMDA: Speech & Drama

LAMDA started to offer examinations in speech and drama to the public over 130 years ago. Since then, they have developed an outstanding reputation for delivering excellence in the provision of Communication and Performance examinations internationally. The process of preparing for a LAMDA examination helps students to develop a broad range of skills that will serve them throughout life. Across the range, LAMDA examinations develop a learner’s ability to:

• read easily, fluently and with good understanding
• expand vocabulary to improve powers of self-expression
• improve confidence in speaking and listening
• memorise and recall information
• research and create persuasive formal presentations
• create and defend arguments
• engage in constructive informal conversation
• work both on his/her own and participate as a member of a team.
LAMDA students at Ampleforth will meet every week with our specialist teacher, Miss Gair, to develop their communication skills and prepare for an eventual examination in their chosen area. These lessons will be tailored to the student’s individual needs; always focussing on supporting and strengthening their communication skills and their confidence. Both individual and shared lessons are available.

No matter what direction students may choose to follow in the future, LAMDA exams provide the opportunity to nurture their natural abilities. These critical skills will enhance pupils’ self-confidence to engage and contribute fully, whether at school, in further education, in work, or in the community.
Succeeding in a LAMDA exam demonstrates not only that students have met rigorous assessment criteria in a particular discipline, but also that they have grown as individuals through participating in a worthwhile activity that is respected internationally.



A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18