Departmental Aims

  • To stimulate and maintain lasting curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Drama and Theatre
  • To enable each student to achieve their potential in a variety of situations, using resources appropriately so as to ensure the highest level of achievement for each student
  • By exposing students to a wide range of stimuli we aim to enable them to see performance as: a major cultural feature, part of a wider body of knowledge and skills and playing a crucial role in 21st century life
  • To enable students to be familiar with a body of knowledge, principles, skills, techniques and vocabulary related to Drama and Theatre
  • To enable students to develop a range of desirable personal qualities and transferable skills, such as safety awareness, courtesy, confidence, perseverance, resilience, concern for others, initiative, independence and imagination
  • To provide further enrichment of our subject by offering students the opportunity to be involved in a range of professional workshops, theatre trips and given industry knowledge to develop their understanding and awareness of Drama and Theatre.


We have comprehensive Performing Arts facilities including a 300-seat auditorium, a theatre workshop, a dance studio and two drama studios.

The Howard Hall is a large and flexible space which forms the centrepiece of the school’s Performing Arts area. It features:

  • Comprehensive lighting rig and sound system
  • Seating which can be curtained off to create an atmospheric events area
  • An adjoining large scenery workshop, green room, prop and costume store and dressing facilities.

Drama Room 1 adjoins the Howard Hall and the Music Faculty. This large studio is used for classroom drama, dance lessons and rehearsals and contains a comprehensive sound system, video projection facilities, a mirrored wall and ballet bar.

Drama Room 2 and The Studio are smaller ‘black box’ spaces used for classroom drama from Years 7-13. They contain lighting facilities, and up-to-date projection and sound systems.

Speech and Drama is taught at School House. Several teaching rooms are available here, as well as a small library of playscripts.

Technical and administrative support is led by our theatre manager who oversees all our productions.

Years 7-9 Curriculum

During Years 7 and 8, the course is designed to develop the key skills of movement, vocal skills and performance discipline. Towards the end of each scheme students will often create a final performance in which they apply a culmination of skills learned throughout the term to a more polished performance standard.

The course in Year 9 becomes an option and is designed to introduce and prepare students for each aspect of the IGCSE course. When studying Drama in Year 9 students should develop:

  • An understanding and response to a range of play texts, an appreciation of the ways in which playwrights achieve their effects and the ability to communicate the authors’ intentions to an audience
  • An awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences through an investigation of plays and other styles of dramatic presentation
  • Increased group and self-awareness, and the ability to appreciate and evaluate the work of others
  • Skills of creativity, self-confidence, concentration, self-discipline, clarity and communication
  • An ability to discuss and write about theatre using specialist drama vocabulary.

IGCSE Curriculum

This engaging and challenging course combines the practical exploration with theoretical study of Drama and Theatre. Students are required to understand and explore the roles of actor, designer and director and how they contribute to the dramatic experience. As well as playtexts, students will learn how to approach a range of stimuli to devise, design and perform original dramatic material. This qualification would be an ideal choice for students who wish to extend their knowledge of drama through devising their own original work or performing repertoire. It is also an excellent choice for those who wish to develop their analysis or evaluative skills. IGCSE drama would complement students’ learning in a broad range of other curriculum subjects. It also develops key life skills such as confidence, presentation skills, teamwork and leadership qualities.

Co-curricular, Enrichment, Extension and Support

The Performance Arts Faculty at BMS has a long-standing tradition of providing students with an array of unrivalled exciting and challenging opportunities. Students will have the chance to take part in:

  • School Productions – We produce school productions in which students have the chance to perform in the school theatre. Recent shows have included Wind in the Willows, Made in Dagenham!, Beauty and The Beast, Our House and Me and My Girl
  • ACT! – Bedford Modern School hosts Bedford’s Schools’ Drama Festival. Schools from across the county come together to create and perform an evening of devised drama
  • Theatre in Transit – Our exclusive Sixth Form theatre company, delivering a wide range of thought-provoking and challenging productions. Recent plays include An Ideal HusbandYerma, Oh! What a Lovely War, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Our Town all performed at The Place in Bedford
  • Dance classes – These are offered to all years in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Street Dance. The highlights of the year are the Dance Showcase and the House Dance Competition
  • Speech and DramaStudents will have the chance to attend private lessons to prepare for LAMDA exams and take part in the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama as well as our own Speech and Drama Showcase
  • New York’s BroadwayEvery other year we run a Sixth Form trip to the bright lights of New York – a wonderful experience designed specifically for Performance Arts students
  • Performance Programme Students are invited to apply to be part of our bespoke Performance Programme in which successful candidates are offered specialist workshops and trips designed to inspire our most gifted students
  • Trips – There are also several trips to the theatre and workshops throughout the academic year.

All BMS students are encouraged to audition for the various productions and showcases throughout the year.