The Drama Department at
Mark Rutherford

The Drama and Performing Arts Department are busy and popular and students regularly attend rehearsal and development sessions before school, at lunch and break times and after school. The departments share one large Drama Hall, a Black Box Studio and Dance Studio.  The Drama Hall seats up to 197 on raked seating which can also be stored to allow for flexible seating configurations. The Drama Hall is equipped with a full lighting rig, sound equipment and an array of staging. The Black Box Studio is used for more intermit performances and is also equipped with lighting and sound equipment and is a popular performance space for our A Level students. The Dance Studio has a cushioned floor, mirror wall, ballet bars and sound equipment. Students across the Key Stages have lessons in all of the spaces and are encourage to enhance their performances by using the facilities available within the space.
The Drama Department consists of 3 Drama teachers and a Theatre Technician. All students in Key Stage 3 have Drama lessons and in Year 9 students work towards the Bronze Arts Award. Drama and Performing Arts are a popular option at Key Stage 4 and the department offers students 3 different courses to choose from at this level. Drama in the sixth form is very successful and students have the option of A Level Drama and Theatre Studies or BTEC Performing Arts Level 3.
The Drama department runs regular trips to the theatre both locally and in London, recent trips have included performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Wicked, Taming of the Shrew and Caucasian Chalk Circle.
The Department has an active co-curricular timetable and students can get involved in small year group productions, Key Stage performances and Whole School shows, including our very popular bi-annual whole school musical; in recent years we have produced, Fame, We Will Rock You, and Rent. The school is also involved in the National Theatre Connections Festival and students have performed on stage at the Royal and Derngate Northampton.

GCSE Drama

GCSE Drama is a popular course and results have been excellent including 90% A*-C in 2016. GCSE Drama is a practical subject suitable for students who like to be both creative and active.  It is valuable for those who wish to develop communication, confidence and social skills. Students explore drama strategies, devices and forms as well as practitioners through a series of workshops and then use this knowledge to create new and innovative drama work. Students also study play text and live theatre and therefore theatre visits are an essential element of the GCSE Drama course.

The course is broken down into 3 units: 

Unit 1: Coursework:    40% Devised Performance, and written report
Unit 2: Practical Exam: 20% Performance from a Text
Unit 3: Written Exam: 40% based on live theatre review and study of a set text.

BTEC Level 2 Performing Arts – Acting

This is a very successful course with results frequently well above the National Average; in 2016, 100% of students achieve Distinction *- Pass (equivalent of A*-C). This qualification will provide a broad foundation which enables students to proceed into further training or education, or to consider employment in the performing arts world.  The course aims to give a practical understanding of what a career in the performing arts world can entail, from business to performance, and it has a specific focus on acting.  The structure of the course allows students to focus on developing acting skills, performing scripted plays, and developing audition material.

BTEC Level 2 Performing Arts – Production

This course is growing in popularity and students completing the course have received excellent results; in 2016 100% of students achieved Distinction* - Merit.  The course focuses on developing the skills and knowledge required to work as part of a production team for a performance.  Students work alongside others in order to develop and practise these skills in live performances, as members of the back stage crew and the lighting and sound team.  They learn about how theatre is put together from ‘behind the scenes’.   Students taking this course frequently use these skills to support co-curricular performances, and examination performances for other year groups.

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

This qualification is available at both AS and A Level and has seen students consistently achieving 100% A*-C grades. The course offer students the opportunity to develop individual creativity and to broaden understanding of the complexities of theatre.  Students enjoy the practical exploration of drama, while also deepening their understanding of theatre history and practitioners. Students frequently visit the theatre and reflect on these visits through detailed performance analysis. This course enables students to appreciate the demands and rewards of a holistic approach to theatre; the emphasis is on Drama and Theatre Studies as a practical, intellectual and artistic subject.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts

This is a very practical course and students frequently progress from this qualification onto Performing Arts Schools and Universities. The outstanding results have seen this course regularly ranked in the top 10% nationally, and we have enjoyed watching past students perform professionally on stage and television.
The course combines the study of music, drama and dance, and is the equivalent to three A Levels. The BTEC Extended Diploma is a practical, work-related course, and learners complete projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands.  As well as learning about the employment area they have chosen, they develop skills needed to start a career.

Mrs Farnsworth (Head of Drama)
Miss Day
Mr McKenzie
Mr Doughty (Theatre Technician and Production and Drama teacher)

If you require further information…
…please contact Miss G.Farnsworth using this email address:

Mark Rutherford School
Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mk41 8PX
Telephone 01234 290200 : Fax 01234 290236 : Email: