Developing confidence in speech and performance work is an integral part of life at St James. We value the ability to speak well very highly and give boys every opportunity to develop their speaking skills; this is why we place emphasis on Drama.

In Year 7 and 9, all boys take part in a play.

In Year 7 each boy performs and contributes to the design, costume, lighting etc. Recent productions have included:

• A Christmas Carol

• The Jungle Book

• The Silver Sword

In Year 9, the boys will mount a full scale production of a Shakespeare play, with every student having a speaking part. The boys explore traditional performance techniques, thoroughly learning Shakespeare’s work as they perfect their production.

Recent productions have included:

• Twelfth Night

• A Comedy of Errors

• Macbeth

In the Upper School, there is a joint musical production with St James Senior Girls’ School every other year – this year’s performance is The Wizard of Oz. GCSE and A Level Drama students invite the school to attend their examined performances in the Spring/ Summer Term.

As well as Drama productions, we host an annual Speech Competition. Lower School boys compete against their peers, while boys in the Upper School have a separate competition. The first place is a coveted one, with the winners performing at the Prizewinner’s Concert at Easter each year. In addition to formal speech competitions, boys are called upon to offer their views in assemblies, with the Headmaster often picking one boy from the crowd to converse with him on a particular subject.