Drama is a pupil-centred activity focusing on individual response and development. Through drama, we seek to enhance personal skills by developing communicative ability, self-confidence, versatility and the ability to cope with unforeseen and challenging situations.
The study of Drama should be an enriching, enjoyable and satisfying experience and, to this end, the Drama Department at George Watson’s College provides a secure and stimulating environment where our pupils can work with our widely experienced staff in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
In Drama, pupils are engaged in collective enquiry and exploration. Learning occurs through negotiation, co-operation, participation, presentation, interaction and evaluation. By acting out roles and situations, pupils, as well as gaining in self-confidence, develop a greater understanding and knowledge of real life issues, events, situations and relationships.
S1 and S2 pupils are taught basic Drama skills including mime, movement, characterisation and voice through a wide range of teaching methods and devices, before moving on to more complex improvisation and role-play situations.
In S3, pupils may choose to progress to the two year National 5 course, or to participate in the Media and Contemporary Theatre Arts option as part of their core studies.
The study of Drama can be continued in S5 and S6, with the provision of courses at Higher and Advanced Higher levels or through the Theatre Arts Course as part of the International Baccaulaureate Diploma Programme.
We regularly invite specialist practitioners to work with our pupils and seek to further enhance their learning experience through regular visits to the theatre, which are popular with a large number of pupils who enjoy these social occasions while expanding their knowledge of live theatre.
|Head of Drama||Mr Craig Serrels|
|Assistant Principal Teacher of Drama||Mrs Kristiana Gotzsche-Robertson|
|Teacher of Drama||Mr Matthew Spoor|
|Teacher of Drama/Year Head||Miss Emma Henderson|
|Teacher of Drama||Miss Alice Culpin|
|Drama/Music Technician||Mr Jarrad Gatton|
|We have many specialists who will work with our pupils to enhance their drama experience and understanding.|
Situated in George Square at the heart of the Senior School, our modern accommodation consisting of three studios, media suite and student workbase is fully equipped to cater for the needs of our pupils.
Studio 1: The largest and most outstanding of our studios is used for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher performances. It is fully equipped with up-to-date lighting and sound equipment as well as computer, top of the range scenic projector and large screen, ideal for practical workshops and production rehearsals.
Studio 2: is an excellent working space which has a portable lighting system, digital sound system, computer and projector.
Studio 3: The smallest studio is a more intimate space, with a computer, projector, portable lighting and digital sound system. As with all our studios, wall-to-wall black curtains provide the ultimate performance ambience.
All three studios are fitted with soft carpeting, enabling students to learn in a comfortable, safe and relaxed environment where they can produce their best work.
Studio 4: With its wall of make-up lights and mirrors, smart board, projection and sound equipment, as well as four computers, is a multi-purpose room. It may be used as a teaching classroom by staff, for individual and group work by students and, as the make-up room during performances.
Media Suite: This recently developed area, with its plasma screen, seven computers and colour printer is an ideal facility for students creating, editing and burning CDs, making DVDs, posters and photographs within Drama and core Media Studies.
Outside the Department building we have a small outdoor theatre, which is ideal for small groups and in the good weather, for practical class work.
There are two main Senior School Drama Productions each session. The S3 Production is held in November and previous productions have included Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz and Animal Farm. The end of the Summer Term sees the main Summer Production from S5-S6 pupils with S4-S6 pupils making up the crews for Costume, Props, Media, Stage Management, Lighting, Sound and Set Design. Previous Summer Productions have included, West Side Story, Grease and Guys and Dolls.
The Drama Department offers a variety of extra-curricular activities throughout the year.
There are various opportunities throughout the year when National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher and IB theatre trips take place. We attempt to arrange trips to performances of various genres, which include straight drama, musical theatre, dance, movement and comedy. These are mainly in theatres in Edinburgh (such as The Playhouse, Lyceum, Traverse, King's and Brunton), but we have travelled to the Citizens in Glasgow and the Roundhouse and West End in London.
On Wednesday 18 December the Drama Department hosted a very successful Augosto Boal workshop lead by Gavin Crichton. The workshop was attended by our IB 1 and 2 students as well as Advanced Higher pupils from Wester Hailes Education Centre.
At the end of the Summer Term the Drama Department put on a Summer Production starring S5-S6 pupils, with pupils from S4-S6 making up the crews for Costume, Props, Media, Stage Management, Lighting, Sound and Set Design. The show is performed over four nights and tickets go on sale in the Summer Term from Senior School Reception.
The Advanced Higher Drama students visit a production in London.
The Drama Department's popular trip to Greece is offered annually to S4 pupils who have been studying Drama at Standard Grade level.
During the first week of the summer holidays, we travel to Tolon where pupils participate in specialist run workshops based on Greek theatre and aimed at providing them with a better understanding of 'Antigone' and Greek Tragedy which are studied in the Higher Grade syllabus.
Excursions include the ancient theatre at Epidauros, the Acropolis, Napflion, Mycenae and the Corinth canal, while other more 'relaxing' activities include water sports, a boat trip, beach BBQ, pool party disco and Greek dance night.
This is a very popular trip, and in order to maintain the quality of the experience for participants, the number of places is restricted.
S1 Drama Club
S1 Drama Club runs every Tuesday, 3.40pm-4.45pm. The aim of the Club is to give the first year pupils an experience in Drama that they may not necessarily have had before. One group runs from October to Christmas and the other from January to April.
During this time they enjoy a variety of workshops ranging from storytelling to, their favourite, make-up. The pupils get the opportunity to wear costumes and use props (something that is not always feasible during class time). To allow them to do this, both groups work on a separate theme for the final part of the course (Halloween and Horror respectively) and have the chance to utilise all the resources the Department has to offer.
The course ends with a variety of performances directed, acted and filmed by the children. "The most fun part of all, in my opinion, is seeing their faces on the big screen when we come to watch their videos."
S2 Drama Club
S2 Drama Club runs every Wednesday 3.45pm-4.45pm. The S2 Drama Club runs on Wednesdays after school. It is open to anyone who has an interest in Drama and Theatre and who wants to try something new.
In the club, pupils are encouraged to improvise and create short dramas using the resources available (eg. scripts, masks, props, sound and lights etc).
Whether pupils have elected to study Drama at certificate level or not, they can become involved in the various aspects of stage production (Stage Crew, Costume and Make-up, Media, Props and Sound and Lighting).
Easter and Summer Schools
These extra curricular activities are held in the school holidays, within the purpose-built Drama Department, and are open to any child, whether they attend George Watson's or not. For further details, see our Holiday Care and Activities page or contact Miss Alice Culpin on 0131 446 6057 , email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drama and Careers
What benefits are there to studying Drama/IB Theatre?
You develop the following skills:
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Time management and organisational skills;
- An open mind and the ability to move beyond boundaries and experiment with different ideas
- Communication skills
- Analytical, critical and research skills
- The ability to cope with criticism and learn from it
But I don't want to be an actor!
We are not here to just train actors.
Want to be a Doctor or Medical Practitioner? Here’s how Drama helps:
What about specialist academic Drama courses:
and specialist Acting, Design, Directing, Stage Management etc:
What about Social Work, Teaching, Psychology or any other job that involves communicating with people?
Communicating, teamwork, interpersonal skills, social skills, verbal and body language skills are central to studying Drama. It’s something that comes with the territory and can be transferred both across the curriculum and many areas of study and life.