Academic‎ > ‎Curriculum Areas‎ > ‎


Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe te ao katoa. Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder. Drama expresses human experience through a focus on role, action, and tension, played out in time and space. In drama education, students learn to structure these elements and to use dramatic conventions, techniques, and technologies to create imagined worlds. Through purposeful play, both individual and collaborative, they discover how to link imagination, thoughts, and feelings The New Zealand Curriculum

By participating in Drama at Ōtaki College students will develop their confidence and self-esteem. They will be encouraged to engage their imagination through characterisation and connect to their intuition while in role. Students will extend their knowledge by sharing their creative ideas and learn to communicate effectively through written and spoken language. As they analyse and respond to different forms of drama, they gain insight into their own values and supports appreciation of their rich cultural heritage. Students will work collaboratively to build their interpersonal skills and will be supported to contribute their ideas, abilities, and energies to various local arts events; this will enrich the cultural life of the college, whanau, and wider community. This subject is primarily practical, with elements of theory woven throughout. It is exciting, relevant and innovative and will contribute holistically to important life and learning skills.

During the junior years (years 7-10) students will be introduced to the language of drama, performance/audience etiquette, and participate in a range of performances to build confidence. Senior Drama will continue to build on this prior learning, with students having opportunities to devise their own works and stage them:
  • Year 7/8: This is a 1/2 term course. Students will learn about the role of the audience and performer and are introduced to the language of drama. 
  • Year 9: Drama is combined with dance as a half year option. Students spend one term focusing on drama during which they produce a short film. 
  • Year 10: Drama is combined with dance as a half year option. Students spend one term focusing on drama during which they will create their own group work and perform to the wider community. This course is a pre-requisite for Level 1 Dance. 
  • Year 11-13 (Level 1, 2, 3): This is a multi-leveled course. Students will work with an external director, learn to devise and stage a drama, view and respond to a professional theatre performance. There will be a range of opportunities to perform to whanau and the community at large. This course will prepare students for tertiary study in the arts or areas of other creative industries. 
Students will be supported to develop the following key competencies (identified in the NZ curriculum):
  • Thinking – Students will develop their understanding of drama and learn to communicate their creative ideas through devising and performance. 
  • Using language, symbols, and texts – Students will learn the language of drama and how to translate this into characterisation. They will work with scripts and write their own stories. 
  • Managing self – The students will be required to be self managing to collaborate effectively, stay in role during a performance, and produce satisfying drama works. 
  • Relating to others - In Drama students have permission to talk purposefully, share ideas and to allow others to use those ideas. They develop honest ways of relating due to the open space environment. 
  • Participating and contributing – Students will contribute their ideas and skills to group performances and participate in a range of community based performances. 
Drama is an approved UE subject and offers the opportunity to gain level 1 and 2 literacy. Evidence of prior dance learning for international students or those students transferring from another school is required. Admission is upon teacher discretion.




Click the following link to watch videos made by our Dance Students: Drama Videos