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Learning Journey


Overview of Drama Learning at Key Stage 3

Drama is a practical subject and students are taught how to think and act as a performer.  Teaching and learning takes place in drama through performing, devising and responding - all of these interweave and overlap – whilst running alongside the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of the students (SMSC).  The course allows students the opportunity to develop their own personal journey and relationship with drama.  The focus of the course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to engage with drama, both critically and creatively.  Students are given opportunities to access drama across a variety of styles and genres.  By the end of year nine, students will have gained the necessary experience to perform as part of a drama ensemble. Those students who participate in additional drama activities beyond the classroom will have opportunity to create and develop their own theatre piece with an opportunity to perform to the public.  All knowledge and specialist vocabulary are structured through practical drama tasks. The lessons are designed to develop performance skills, creativity and imagination.

As students enter secondary school, it is essential to understand the skills and abilities of the incoming students.  The first module – dramatic techniques, serves as a baseline to allow students opportunity to perform, create and to explore their general acting skills.  Using the dramatic techniques as a baseline, this provides students with a platform to showcase their skills around the key acting skills of drama. 

Performing and Improvising

These aspects of the course allow students to develop their performance and improvising skills both as part of a drama ensemble.  Students will have access to a variety of texts, stimuli and styles/practitioners.  By the end of year nine, students will have the necessary performance skills for GCSE Drama.  Use of voice, facial expressions, body language, space and movement.


This aspect of the course allows students to develop their devising skills.  By the end of year nine, students will be able to develop their dramatic ideas, demonstrate their acting skills and demonstrate coherence within the drama frameworks provided.  They will be able to create both to specific briefs and develop their own ideas.

Critical Engagement

This aspect of the course allows students to develop their analytical and evaluative techniques across a range of genres.  This includes showing students professional pieces of theatre and performances.

Drama: Learning, Assessment and Progression

Performing/Improvising/Creating – All assessed pieces are given a numerical mark and a written comment – this is in line with GCSE performance marking.  Performing is marked in class, by the teacher and discussed with the performer and peers. All performances across the academic year are recorded. This can be used to playback to discuss a grade in more detail or to help the student evaluate their work. This can also be used to archive exemplary material and can also be used for moderation purposes.

Curriculum Overview


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Overview of skills


Creating a character

Interpreting text


Interpreting text

Understanding theatre styles

Research and devising project

Interpreting text

Contrasting theatre styles

Building devising skills



Drama Techniques


A Monster Calls



Commedia Dell’Arte/Melodrama


World Theatre

Midsummer - Shakespeare

Greek Theatre

Macbeth - Shakespeare


Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare


Physical Theatre

Verbatim Theatre

Skills Lesson


The department follows the AQA specification.

Component 1: Understanding drama

What's assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play from a choice of nine
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks)
  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)


Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

What's assessed

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed

  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 80 marks in total
  • 40% of GCSE

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.


Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What's assessed

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)

Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1

How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)
  • 40 marks in total
  • 20% of GCSE

This component is marked by AQA.


Extended Curriculum

Drama Club

Theatre Trips