Introducing Rikki Jackson, our new Head of Drama.

Drama is about drawing from our pupils a capacity for creativity which even they may not previously have been aware of.

Drama is a soft subject! Drama takes up too much time! What’s the point in drama? Who needs to learn to be an actor? These are just a few of the misrepresentations that drive drama teachers demented… However, one of the many reasons I am so excited to join Warminster is that it clearly imbues the values which drama holds at its core – confidence, achievement and passion for the holistic education of young people. These are values I personally hold in high esteem and I hope to promote through my teaching.

School life is quite rightly primarily focussed on developing academic minds and preparation for exams, especially GCSEs and A Levels or IB. However, the role of our co-curricular programme should never be underestimated and it is the benefits and memories that pupils take from the sporting field, the stage, the concert hall and mountainside, or from offering conversation and company to the local community, that they are most likely to remember. It is the co-curricular that potentially shapes a pupil when they finish school aged 18, the experiences and opportunities they explored and enjoyed beyond the pressures of the classroom and the achievement of good grades.

Drama can be at the very foundation of a successful school, inspiring confidence, team work, and motivation, not to mention oratory and listening skills. I refute the claim that drama is a soft subject – I believe it has academic rigour full of analysis, evaluation and the fostering of creativity and imagination. All of which are vital skills for pupils entering Higher Education and the modern workplace.  It rightly deserves its place at the heart of what our school offers; from Prep right through to our Upper Sixth, all our pupils are encouraged to participate in whatever level they feel comfortable and confident to.

The skills and life experience that come from staging a production are invaluable and drama lessons must be open, inclusive and safe places for our pupils to express themselves creatively. I believe in creating opportunities for everyone whatever their skill set and working closely with all colleagues to ensure that pupils achieve as much as possible during their school life, not only within the Drama Department but across the whole school. Drama is about drawing from our pupils a capacity for creativity which even they may not previously have been aware of.

I hope that involvement in a production, whether it be a large scale show, or a smaller more intimate studio play, continues to be a rite of passage for every Warminster pupil. I never want to hear a pupil say, as they leave, “My regret? I wish I’d done some drama”.  That is my aim, the department’s aim and I look forward to building on our school’s past dramatic successes, both in and outside of the classroom.   

Rikki Jackson, Head of Drama

You can follow the department and Rikki on Twitter @WarminsterDrama @jacksorm