Key Stage 3 Drama Curriculum

Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 follow the three year Drama Department syllabus. This encourages the development of basic Drama skills by allowing students to explore and evaluate experiences to stimulate personal responses and express opinions. It will also allow students to develop their understanding of the dramatic process – language and movement.

The Drama Department criteria cover the skills of Discussion, Imagination, Collaboration, Skills Acquisition, Presentation and Evaluation.

The overall aim of this course is to encourage the students to communicate and work with others in a productive and supportive manner. It hardly seems necessary to point out that these are skills required in all walks of life and it is to be hoped that students will draw upon these school experiences in whatever future working environment or social situation they may find themselves.

Key Stage 3 Drama Programme of Study

In Year 7, students are introduced to the basic drama techniques and practical skills needed to create and sustain a role as well as the disciplines required in presenting work for an audience. Students analyse and interpret dramatic works, applying the devices identified within their own original presentations.

  • Drama Strategies: Mime, Role Play, Still Image, Thought Track
    Comedy of Errors actors with shocked faces(Introducing physical expression, skill acquisition and audience communication)
  • Shakespeare – The Tempest
    (Exploring storytelling and character motivation using strategies & devices)
  • Africa and Racism
    (Creating a role; sequencing action; developing and expressing opinion)

In Year 8, students build on the skills learnt in Year 7 and learn how to create more developed characters using more involved presentation techniques. Students also develop a practical knowledge of drama from different times through the analysis of dramatic works from those periods and applying the devices identified within their own original presentations.

  • Developing Drama: Mask & Improvisation
    (Developing character physicality; creating informative dialogue & audience interaction)
  • Melodrama & Silent Movie
    (Creating & sustaining extreme characters; genre analysis; sequencing action)
  • Script
    (Endowing Dialogue; analysis of narrative structure; writing for performance)

King Lear on stageIn Year 9, students extend and deepen prior learning whilst being introduced to acting technique and more advanced staging applications, thereby providing a link with GCSE. Students analyse and interpret dramatic works as well as both professional and amateur performances, applying devices identified within their own original presentations.

  • Stagecraft: Directing, Acting, Design & Combat
    (Physical control & discipline; understanding theatre; audience manipulation)
  • Physical Theatre
    (Creative approaches; genre analysis; use of symbolism and creative physicality; genre analysis)
  • Shakespeare – Hamlet
    (Understanding character motivation; Script Interpretation; alternative ways to create original scripts)

Key Stage 4 Drama Curriculum: GCSE

Students in Years 10 and 11 follow the AQA GCSE in Drama (8261) syllabus, a two year course which culminates in a written examination.

The AQA GCSE in Drama encourages students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • different genres and performance styles
  • the ways in which performers and designers communicate meaning to an audience
  • a range of stage and performance conventions
  • appropriate drama terminology and how to use it
  • how plays are constructed and realised through the study of at least one substantial play
  • how to create, interpret and communicate a role or character
  • drama within its social, cultural and historical context, identifying and establishing how this might impact on any performance.

Students are given opportunities to develop the ability to:

  • use improvisation skills in a range of drama contexts
  • apply performance and/or production skills
  • select, synthesize and use ideas and skills to create drama
  • acquire reflective and evaluative skills in response to a range of dramatic texts
  • work collaboratively and creatively to achieve shared dramatic intentions

In devised work students explore not only particular themes and stimuli but also the techniques by which the exploration takes place. This is a natural development from Key Stage 3 although techniques are obviously analysed in greater depth. Scripted Performance and Theatre Arts are studied to give students a greater understanding of the skills involved as well as the effects they have on the presentation of the work.

To prepare for the written examination, students undertake detailed analysis of their own work and the work of others from the perspective of practitioner and observer. They will study ONE play from the perspective of performer and designer and research the terminology of theatre. They are also presented with opportunities to attend live productions.

The overall aim of this course is to ensure the students are best equipped to handle the coursework assignments and the written examination. It should be noted, however, that it can also stimulate an appreciation of Drama and Theatre as an Art form.

Key Stage 4 Drama Programme of Study

In Year 10 students:

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of drama techniques and processes
  • complete mock coursework assignments
  • reflect on and evaluate their work in order to communicate their understanding
  • acquire and utilise drama terminology when commenting on their work in person or on paperLittle Shop of Horrors student close up


In Year 11, students:

  • complete TWO controlled assessments as either a performer or designer
    –  Sept – Dec Component 2: Devising drama (practical)
    40% of GCSE. Devising Log & Performance. Internally assessed and externally moderated.
    –  Jan – Mar Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)
    20% of GCSE. Performance of TWO extracts. Internally assessed and externally moderated.
  • complete a final written examination
    –  May/June Component 1: Written Examination: 1hr 45 min Written Paper.
    Section A – Theatre Theory; Section B – Set Play; Section C – Live Theatre Production. 40% of GCSE. Controlled Assessment Options: Performer; Lighting Designer; Sound Designer; Set Designer; Costume Designer; Puppet Designer


Updated January 2019