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Drama and Dance

A GCSE ready Drama student can work collaboratively with others and be creatively adaptive in skill delivery for the varying demands of Drama tasks, group dynamics and skillsets.  Students are encouraged to think analytically, evaluate effectively and responsively reflect. They have confidence in their own ideas, reflecting and refining work without acceptance of a final outcome.  A GCSE ready Drama student can establish and manage a growth toolkit of transferable dramatic skills, applicable both in studies and in the professional workplace. 

The skills, knowledge and understanding of a GCSE ready Drama student are developed from a comprehensive Drama curriculum studied at KS3 and enjoyed to ensure mastery, tailored to and beyond GCSE exam board assessment criteria.  It is one which delivers comprehensive social, cultural, moral and historical content, explored to ensure rich understanding of text-based work and give a valid foundation and core balance to devising pieces from wide ranging stimuli.  All this is supported and contextualised by regular, live theatre experiences and visits, professional theatre practitioner workshops and student participation and performance in school-based musicals and theatre performances.       

Key Stage 3

How is the course taught?

Students receive a one hour Drama lesson per week throughout their time at Key Stage 3 (KS3). Our curriculum is designed to cover skills across the performing arts subjects of Dance and Drama in order to prepare students for taking either option offered at GCSE level.

Our pupils follow a comprehensive programme of study in both areas, which is designed to enrich their performance skills and social, cultural, spiritual, moral and political understanding and wellbeing. Students gain their foundation knowledge and ability in Drama and Dance while exploring a range of topics and stimuli.
Schemes of work studied during KS3 include:

Year 7

• Themed improvisation – exploration of drama strategies
• ‘City of Culture’ cross curricular project exploring characterisation
• Exploration of selected script – characterisation, staging, action and movement
• Stage fighting & Capoeira
• Dance – lyrical dance, working from stimuli, creation of motif
• Musical theatre

Year 8

• Voice in performance
• Mask work
• Commedia Dell’Arte
• Monologue
• Script – practitioner focus i.e. John Godber
• Dance – choreography unit
• Documentary

Year 9

• Gothic / Heroes & Villains cross curricular project – exploration of drama elements and medium
• Practitioner and style study – Stanislavski and Realism
• Practitioner and style study – Brecht and Epic theatre
• Script – Practitioner focus i.e. Shakespeare, Alan Ayckbourn
• Physical Theatre – exploration of DV8 and practitioner style study on Lloyd Newson
• Dance – Contemporary, practitioner style study of Merce Cunningham
A variety of formative and summative assessment methods are carried out continuously throughout each scheme of work in Drama and Dance. These require students to consider skills and understanding when responding, making, performing and evaluating their own and peer work.

Key Stage 4


Who is the course aimed at?

The Drama course is engaging, challenging and creative and has been designed for students who like to combine research, theoretical understanding and practical drama work-shopping in their approaches to work and study.  This course helps to create independent, critical thinkers and effective decision-makers – all personal attributes that can make an individual stand out.  Further to this, the course provides a curriculum for students to ignite and engage creativity, passion and dramatic artistry.  There is freedom for creative and intellectual experimentation, risk taking and the development of individual style. 

How students are assessed

Assessment in 3 component areas are as follows:

Component 1: Understanding drama

This component is a written exam in which students are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed, including in connection to a set play and ability to analyse and evaluate the live theatre work of others.  The paper constitutes 40% of the GCSE and students have 1 hr 45 minutes to answer the paper.
The paper is divided into 3 compulsory sections:
• Section A: Theatre roles and terminology
• Section B: Study of set text
• Section C: Live theatre production.

Component 2: Devising drama

This is a practical component in which students are assessed on their ability to create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance, apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance and analyse and evaluate their own work.  Component 2 constitutes 40% of the GCSE and is marked by teachers / moderated by AQA.  For this component students are required to complete the following 2 assessment tasks:
• produce an individual devising log documenting the devising process
• contribute to a final devised duologue or group performance.

The Devising log is marked out of 60 and students devising contribution 20.

Component 3: Texts in practice

This component is a practical component in which students are assessed on their ability to apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance.  Component 3 constitutes 20% of the GCSE and is marked by AQA.
For this component students must complete 2 assessment tasks:
• study and present a key extract (monologue, duologue or group performance) from a play chosen by the student.
• study and present a second key extract (monologue, duologue or group performance) from the same play.  Student contribution to each key extract performance is marked out of 25.

How  students will learn?

Students will work and develop their learning skills to research, work independently or well with others, analyse, evaluate, time manage, problem solve, plan and organise. Students will learn by:
- Working practically to develop theatrical knowledge and understanding when making, performing and responding to drama.
- Exploring performance texts to gain understanding of the social, cultural and historical context including the theatrical conventions of the periods in which they were created.
- Developing a range of theatrical skills and applying them to create performance.
- Working collaboratively to generate, develop and communicate ideas.
- Being engaged in learning that develops students as a creative, effective, independent and reflective learner who is able to make informed choices in process and performance.
- Reflecting on and evaluating studentsr own work and that of others.
- Exploring and developing an awareness and understanding of the roles and processes undertaken in contemporary professional theatre practice.

What students will learn?

Students will learn to examine drama and the work of others, to explore a range of drama as a practical art form, and to work independently to create their own drama performances making informed artistic choices.  The qualification allows students to study drama in an academic setting, interrogating this art form and applying knowledge and understanding to the process of creating and developing drama and to their own performance work.

Homework and independent learning?

Students receive structured tasks and guidance for homework and independent learning in response to the progression and working outcomes achieved in lessons.  This can be in the form of additional practical performance rehearsals or research and study tasks.  These tasks are issued by drama teachers and tailored specifically to student learning needs in order to promote and ensure optimum progression and full student potential being achieved.  

Key Stage 5

COURSE TITLE:  GCE Drama and Theatre Studies

Who is the course aimed at?

The course is aimed at those who are interested in developing their acting/performance skills, developing a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of theatre in theory and practice and those looking to establish/develop transferable skills applicable to a wide range of careers. An A Level GCE qualification in Theatre Studies is valuable to anyone looking to further their education in theatre and acting at a higher level and will enable students to access challenging courses at university. 

How are students assessed?

Component 1:  Drama and Theatre

Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre. • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B. • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.

Written exam: 3 hours Open Book 80 marks 40% of A level

Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre. • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B. • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.

Component 2: Creating Original Drama (Practical)

Process of creating devised drama. • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director). Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner.

Working notebook (40 marks) • Devised performance (20 marks) • 60 marks in total • 30% of A-level

Component 3: Making Theatre (Practical)

Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3. Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director). • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts.

Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks) • Reflective report (20 marks) • 60 marks in total • 30% of A-level

How will students learn?

Drama and Theatre Studies is a practical, intellectual and artistic subject. Students will be expected to explore the structural elements of theatre from the page to the stage through practical drama workshops and rehearsal practices.  Even the written exam material is studied practically using techniques and approaches which support the different learning styles and enhance understanding of the written text.    

What will students learn?

In order to be successful and enjoy this subject, students will need to have a keen interest in performing as students learn about the history of drama, study of practitioners and the theatrical forms and conventions of theatre that make it such a compelling and exciting subject. Students will learn to analyse and critically deconstruct the work they study, create and witness.  Content is as follows:


Teaching and assessment will be to:

• Develop and apply an informed, analytical framework for making, performing, interpreting and understanding drama and theatre
• Understand the place of relevant theoretical research in informing the processes and practices involved in creating theatre and the place of practical exploration in informing theoretical knowledge of drama and theatre
• Develop an understanding and appreciation of how social, cultural and historical contexts of performance texts have influenced the development of drama and theatre
• Understand the practices used in 21st century theatre making
• Experience a range of opportunities to create theatre both published text-based and devised work
• Participate as a theatre maker and as an audience member in live theatre
• understand and experience the collaborative relationship between various roles within theatre
• Develop and demonstrate a range of theatre making skills
• Develop the creativity and independence to become effective theatre makers
• Adopt safe working practices as a theatre maker
• Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others.

Enrichment Activities and Independent Learning?

There are a variety of activities and opportunities for students to further develop their skills and theoretic understanding.  Extracurricular provision is in place on a weekly basis at designated lunchtimes and after school (allocated to enable extension to lesson times and to suit consortium students).

In addition to this, there are plenty of creative activities open to students in annual school plays, showcase evenings and musical theatre shows.