Expressive Arts Faculty – Drama Department

Expressive Arts Faculty – Mrs S Kyle – CL, Mrs E Zielinski – CL.

Drama Department
Staff: Ms R Thomson, Ms B Dunion

Dalkeith High School’s Drama department is currently in an exciting period of growth and development, enjoying success of high attainment across all levels. The department has two main teaching spaces, an open space classroom in Block Three and a well-equipped performance studio in the campus shared area in Block Seven. Pupils from S1-S6 are offered the opportunity to develop a wide range of performance skills and styles such as mime, improvisation, script work, solo performances and much more. As well as performing, there are also opportunities for pupils to develop skills in directing, lighting, sound, set, props, make-up and costume.

We also offer weekly Drama clubs for both S1-S2 pupils and S3+ pupils as well as after school study support sessions for senior phase pupils. The studio space is also available for additional rehearsals at lunchtime and after school. Pupils get regular chances to showcase their work either to other classes or at performance events such as the highly successful Expressive Arts Evening.

Miss Wood in the Drama department directs the annual School Show, which this year is School of Rock. The show has a high level of participation from all year groups and is an excellent way to make new friends, develop performance skills and build confidence, as well as it being a lot of fun!


Drama – BGE
S1 and S2 pupils visit the department once a week, where they spend their time exploring specific drama skills. They develop voice and movement techniques as well as experimenting with a range of forms such as improvised and scripted plays, docu-drama, mime and a lot more. They will be introduced to both naturalistic and non-naturalistic styles of performance to offer a wide introduction to the world of theatre. Drama is not just about being a good actor however, it’s so much more than that! We provide exciting opportunities to enhance group work, problem solving and communication skills, all while building confidence and self-esteem.

In S3, pupils are in the department for two periods each week. This year focuses on building the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare them for continuation into the senior phase. A highlight of this year is the opportunity to present work in the neighboring Primary Schools. This gives our pupils an experience of working in different performance spaces and to outside audiences.

Drama – National 4 & 5
On these courses, pupils will undertake two main units of work: Drama Skills and Production Skills. In Drama Skills, the pupils will work in groups to create their own piece of creative work inspired by a range of stimuli – This will then be presented to an in-school audience. In Production Skills, they will get the opportunity to work with a piece of script to turn their skills to a production area such as set, costume, lighting, sound etc. During this year, the pupils will each decide an area which they wish to special in for their final practical assessment. For National 4 pupils, this will be marked internally, for National 5 pupils, this will be graded by a visiting assessor from the SQA.

As well as developing practical skills in the pupils chosen area, National 5 candidates are also requited to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the theory in order to be successful with the final written paper.

Drama – Higher
The Higher course follows the same structure as the National courses, but a higher level of knowledge and performance is expected. Learners will develop and use complex drama skills and production skills to present a range of theatrical pieces. Areas of assessment for this course include, Textual Analysis, Performance Analysis, Preparation for Performance and Performance (either in acting, directing or design).

As part of the course, pupils will attend at least two professional theatrical performances.

Drama – Advanced Higher
Advanced Higher Drama encourages a deeper understanding of the world of theatre. This course is a lot of work and is suitable for pupils who have a strong passion for the subject. It offers a lot of personalisation and choice, but with this comes the demand to be able to work independently at times!  Pupils learn how to negotiate as part of a team on long term projects, problem solve and work to strict deadlines, as well as developing their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  Many universities consider a pass in this subject to be a sign of academic ability and a sign of the pupil’s ability to communicate with others. It also shows the pupil is able to present work to others in a prepared and professional manner. Advanced Higher Drama also complements other subjects, especially English, due to the plays the pupils will study in depth.  This is a rigorous but highly rewarding course.