School > Faculties > Expressive Arts > Drama

Head of Department – Ms S. O’Shea


The department currently comprises three full time staff and has one specialist room on the upper site and one specialist and one shared room on the lower site. The department prides itself on achieving excellent examination results and the contribution it makes to the School’s profile with the highly successful biennial productions, which includes a large number of students both on-stage and behind the scenes.

Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9

How many lessons do pupils have per week? 1 lesson in Years 7, 8 and 9.

How are pupils grouped? In form groups.

What do pupils learn? At KS3 pupils follow a structured curriculum in the principles of educational drama and theatre-based skills, incorporating cross-curricular themes to encourage personal and social development. A steady progression is made throughout the three years enabling students to develop speaking, listening, performing and evaluating techniques. Assessment is continuous and covers all areas of performing.

Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11

Pupils opt for GCSE Drama at KS4 where we have approximately two groups of 22 pupils in both Years 10 and 11. These groups have three single lessons per week.

GCSE Drama

What will I learn?

GCSE Drama requires students to develop knowledge and understanding of:

The ways in which ideas, feelings and meanings are conveyed through the language of drama
A range of drama techniques and forms, using them in their own work and recognising them in the work of others
At least one play by exploring it from the perspective of an actor, director and designer
How to analyse and evaluate both orally and in written work
How plays and ideas in drama relate to their social, cultural and historical context
What is the structure of the course?

Paper 1

Unit 1 – Drama Exploration I

Students will explore ideas and issues through research, improvisation and performance – in response to a variety of stimuli from different times and cultures.

Unit 2 – Drama Exploration II

Students will undertake the practical study of a complete text which will enable them to develop knowledge and understanding of how playwrights, performers, directors and designers use the medium of drama to communicate to an audience.

Paper 2 Exam – assessment of individual performance as part of a group

Performance to an audience – this can be either a published script or devised.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 Unit 1 = 30% Paper 2 Unit 2 = 30%

6 hours practical and written coursework under 6 hours practical and written coursework under the headings:

Paper 2 = 40%

Performance as part of a group

What skills and interests do I need to have?

You must be enthusiastic and committed to developing existing knowledge and skills of drama and theatre at a higher level. 80% of the course is practical so you must be able to work with others in a co-operative and supportive manner
A good attendance record is essential as 80% of the course is interactive
You must be willing to develop your written drama skills
You need to be interested in going to the theatre – both as part of the course and independently
What courses or employment could I progress to at the end of my course?

Successful completion in this subject at Level 2 (GCSE C or above) will allow you to have a range of options in 2010. If you wish to progress to a Level 3 (AS/A2, BTEC) in this subject, you are required to have a minimum of a C grade at Level 2 (GCSE). GCSE Drama may be required by a number of training programs, by employers or as an entry requirement for other subjects at advanced level.

Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13

In 2008 – 09, pupils will be able to opt for AS and A2 Drama and Theatre Studies and BTEC First Diploma in Performing Arts (Acting).

AS and A2 Drama and Theatre Studies

What will I learn?

You will learn about the history of drama and theatre, about performing, about all aspects of a production from the design of the set and costumes through to the role of the director.

Who is the course for?

Students who have studied Drama at GCSE level and/or have had appropriate Drama/Theatre experience outside of school and who are enthusiastic and interested in learning more at a higher level

What is the structure of the course?


Unit 1 – Exploration of Drama & Theatre

This will involve in depth study of two plays from the point of view of a performer, designer, and director.

Students will also experience a range of live theatre performances and submit an evaluation.

Unit 2 – Theatre Text in Performance

Students will perform a monologue or a duologue and undertake a role within the production of a play


Unit 3- Exploration of Dramatic Performance

Students will create a unique and original piece of theatre. They will perform this to an invited audience and produce a structured record – which will analyse both the drama process and the product.

Unit 4 – Theatre Text in Context

Students will take a final written exam where they will answer questions based on independent research and academic and practical exploration of a set text from a director’s perspective.

How will I be assessed?

AS Unit 1 – 20% written and practical coursework

AS Unit 2 – 30% practical exam (performance)

A2 Unit 3 – 20% written and practical coursework

A2 Unit 4 – 30% written exam

What do I need to know or do before being able to take the course?

Read through this information and if you have any queries, arrange to see a member of the Drama Department.

What courses or employment could I progress to at the end of my course?

As with all Level 3 subjects, successful completion of this course will enable progression onto both further and higher education, a Modern Apprenticeship or employment in a range of industries. Despite the obvious academic achievement, employers will appreciate that a Drama and Theatre studies qualification indicates that an individual is orally articulate and highly effective when working with others, an essential quality in many high powered jobs and careers.

BTEC First Diploma in Performing Arts (Acting)

What will I learn?

The course is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the key components of the performing arts industry and how they operate and interact to meet the needs of today’s clients. You will acquire a broad background of understanding and core knowledge but with a practical focus on acting. Much of your learning will be developed in a practical and realistic way, some of the units of work are linked to visits to organisations. There is emphasis on the education and training for performing arts related personnel who are employed in a variety of types of work such as venue or artist management, front of house, theatre technician, director and performer. The skills of communication, ICT, numeracy, presentation, analysis, interpretation, application. problem solving, decision-making and evaluation are all developed through the course.

Who is the course for?

Students who want to gain an understanding of key pathways in the performing arts industry
Students who have a genuine and active interest in different aspects of the performing arts
Students who enjoy independent research and working collaboratively
Students who enjoy performing and watching others perform
Students who are reliable, willing to rehearse outside of lessons and can meet deadlines
Students who want to progress to Level 3 in the sixth form.
What is the structure of the course?

The BTEC First Diploma in Performing Arts is a one-year course divided into six units, two core and four specialist. You must follow the course for the full year to achieve accreditation.

Core compulsory

Performing Arts Production Process
The Performing Arts business
Specialist units

Understanding drama
Performing scripted plays
Devising plays
How will I be assessed?

The practical process (research, workshops and rehearsals)
The product (performance)
Written understanding of both the process and the product.
The course is 100% internal assessment
What do I need to know or do before being able to take the course?

The course is designed and delivered using a variety of learning methods and teaching styles. There is a heavy emphasis on practical and written coursework. Students must be committed and prepared to work independently. It is not necessary to have studied any particular subject at Level 2 although studying Drama previously would be an advantage.

What courses or employment could I progress to at the end of my course?

The BTEC First Diploma in Performing Arts has been designed to form a qualification that provides a broad knowledge of this vocational area. It is an ideal course to allow progression to AS Drama and Theatrical Studies.

The course also provides a choice of specialised studies and skills directly relevant to employment in the Performing Arts industry.

The Performing Arts industry provides a very diverse range of employment opportunities, and the well developed personal skills (e.g. leadership qualities, teamwork, problem solving, initiative, performance) combined with work related knowledge gained means that students are suitable for recruitment, albeit at a junior level initially, in a range of fields.

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