Drama

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Throughout year 7, students will explore various topics and themes. Lessons will have a practical focus and will aim to develop confidence and communicational skills. Students will create a variety of performances to engage and entertain an audience; as well as exploring the technical side to drama. Through the learning of Drama, students are educated towards Tudor Grange Academy Kingshurst’s Learning and Character Habits. Drama in year 7 is practically assessed throughout the year.

Unit 1 – Understanding Drama: The Actor’s Toolkit

What will I learn?

This unit will focus on teaching you the basic skills and techniques of drama. These are known as the actor’s toolkit:

  • Physical skills (Body language, gesture, facial expression, movement)
  • Vocal skills (Pace, pitch, pause, volume, intonation)

These skills will be used throughout your drama education, and will support your knowledge and ability to create characters and devise scenarios.

Unit 2 – Working with a script

What will I learn?

This unit will give you the opportunity to apply your learning about the actor’s toolkit to a real life script. We will explore the play ‘War Horse’ to experience new ways of creating theatre using the toolkit, particularly through puppetry.

Unit 3 – Devising

What will I learn?

This unit encourages you to be more creative with your skills. Now that you have gained a variety of new skills about how to create an effective piece of drama, you will be given the freedom to explore this more independently. You will be given a theme within groups, and use your body and voice to create a scene or play which represents the stimulus.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a practical performance each term, which reflects knowledge and skills learnt.

Year 8

In year 8, students will build upon knowledge and skills learned in year 7. The lessons will remain largely practical, however there will be more opportunity for analysis of professional performers to support students’ personal development. Students will devise and create a range of performances from the perspective of a creator, director, designer and performer.

Unit 1 – Understanding Drama: Physical Theatre and Masks

What will I learn?

This unit aims to teach you a more complex set of acting skills and techniques; and how they can be used to create meaning onstage. This unit is incredibly physical, and adds an extra level to the actor’s toolkit; it provides students with the opportunity to both imply and infer meaning.

Unit 2 – Working with a script

What will I learn?

This unit will give you the opportunity to apply your learning about the actor’s toolkit to a real life script. We will explore the play ‘Macbeth’, and apply our learning about Physical Theatre and Masks to extend and challenge previous learning.

Unit 3 – Devising a piece of Drama

This unit encourages you to be more creative with your skills. Now that you have developed and perfected your skills to create an effective piece of drama, you will be given the freedom to explore this more independently. You will be given a theme within groups, and use your body and voice to create a scene or play which represents the stimulus.

How will be assessed?

Your assessments will continue to be practical, and will build on your work from year 7 as a demonstration of the continuing development of your skills.

Year 9

What will I learn?

Choosing Drama as an option for Year 9 will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of what is required for the GCSE course. We will be studying units that allow you to be more innovative and independent throughout the process of creating and performing Drama. You will have the opportunity to perform within and direct your group, as you develop your skill set in preparation for GCSE in year 10.

Although the subject will remain practical, theoretical and written work will be introduced in year 9 which provides a taster for the GCSE course. You will create a log book to explain your choices within devised work; answer GCSE style exam questions, and complete written design elements. Alongside this, there will be opportunities for theatre trips and visiting theatre companies, to enhance your Drama education.

Unit 1 – Devising Drama: The Actor’s Toolkit

What will I learn?

This unit will focus on refreshing and developing your devising skills. You will be given a stimulus and will create a performance within a small group. This performance will introduce you to the concept of rehearsals, where you will have the opportunity to draft and re-draft scenes to ensure that they portray a precise emotion or idea to your audience. You will also create a log book as a practice for your GCSE component 2.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a practical performance, worth 20 marks, which reflects knowledge gained throughout Key Stage 3. You will also be assessed on work completed on your performance log book: Three sections of written coursework, each worth 20 marks.

Unit 2 – Set Text: The Crucible

What will I learn?

This unit will return to acting with a script. Although the unit is assessed through written exam practice, we approach the questions practically. We will learn about the play and its context, by acting out scenes and addressing key themes and ideas. Finally, we will refresh our understanding and use of the actor’s toolkit, to discuss how to perform a certain line, scene or character.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a written exam. This exam will contain four questions, which ask how you would perform certain extracts from the play.

Unit 3 – Set Text: The Crucible

What will I learn?

This unit will allow students to perform a full scripted play. They will apply all of their learning from Key Stage 3, in order to create a full performance which will be performed in front of a live audience. This unit will teach the skills required for reading play texts and analysing aspects of how it can be staged. Students will learn about character development and creation. Studying play texts aims to increase confidence in both subject knowledge and application, and in students’ own abilities. Students will:

  • Learn lines
  • Direct
  • Act
  • Stage the play
  • Design costumes
  • Design lighting
  • Design sets
  • Design sound

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through the performance of your play, including a written piece which expresses your intentions and evaluation of this performance.


Key Stage 4

What will I learn?

Students will follow the AQA examination board, which offers new and exciting opportunities to explore a range of dramatic skills and roles. As students will already have completed a taster of the GCSE course in year 9, they will already have the skills needed for the course, which will be built on across the two year course.

How will I be assessed?

  • Component 1: Understanding Drama (40%)
    • Written exam 1 hour 45 minutes
    • Section A: Knowledge and Understanding of Drama (4 Marks)
    • Section B: Study of a set text ‘Blood Brothers’ (44 Marks)
    • Section C: Analysis and Evaluation of a Live Theatre Production (32 Marks)
  • Component 2: Devising Drama (40%)
    • Practical exam performance, devised within small groups and performed in front of a live audience
      • Perform, or
      • Design
    • Devising log controlled assessment (60 Marks)
  • Component 3: Texts in Practice (20%)
    • Performance of two extracts from one play (20 Marks per extract)
      • Perform, or
      • Design

How will teaching of the course be split?

Year 10

In year ten, students will learn about drama and the theatre. They will also study their set text ‘Blood Brothers’. This will enable them to answer Sections A and B of Component 1.

Students will also complete Component 2: Devising Drama. This module will be undertaken as both a mock and formal assessment across year 10.

Year 11

In year 11, students will complete their learning of Component 1, learning about the play ‘Things I Know to be True’ for their Analysis and Evaluation of a live theatre production.

Students will also complete Component 3: Texts in Practice, performing two extracts from a play in small groups.

In the final term of year 11, students will be given the opportunity for purposeful revision of Component 1, in preparation for their final GCSE examination.

Course: GCSE Drama
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Specification Code: 8261