Drama Curriculum Overview

The grid below gives an overview of the curriculum for this academic year:

Year 7

In Years 7 – 9, Drama is taught as a discrete subject through 2 lessons per fortnight. Students are encouraged to build their personal confidence and speaking and listening skills in group creative tasks, discussion and performance. They are introduced to a range of drama performance skills, including vocal and physical expression and subject specific terms and techniques needed for GCSE and beyond.

Typical Unit topics: The Oregon Trail – the story of the pioneers of the American Mid-West of 1842, Northwood Hall – A Haunting Tale, Greek Myths - Jason and the Argonauts, Scripted Plays from across the globe, The Lighthouse Keepers of Flannan Isle and Mask Project.

Year 8

Typical Unit topics: Bullying, Evacuees of WW2, Scripted Plays, The Lottery, Development of Characters, The Island – Castaway Civilisation.

Year 9

Typical Unit topics: The Craig and Bentley Story, Homelessness, Discrimination, Scripted Plays, Dream Job, Comedy Techniques.

Course Title:  GCSE Drama

Awarding Body:  Edexcel

Why study Drama?

GCSE Drama is about understanding the literature and skills of theatre as an art form. It explores what it is like to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and human situations.  The course encourages students to work imaginatively and creatively in a collaborative context when responding to, developing and communicating ideas. Students will have the opportunity to create their own work as well as explore work written by others. Drama enables students to build confidence and communication skills in a creative environment.

Course Outline

The GCSE Drama course has three components:

  • Component 1: Devising
  • Component 2: Performance from Text
  • Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Component 1: Devising

Practical Performance and

Written OR Video/Audio Recorded Coursework


Students devise a piece of theatre which they then perform.

They will record the process in a portfolio.

Internally assessed

Externally moderated

Component 2: Performance from Text

Practical Performance Exam


Performance of two extracts from a text – this can be in the form of 2 monologues, 2 duologues, 2 group extracts or a combination of these options.

Externally assessed by a visiting examiner

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Written Exam


Choice of one set text from eight. This will be explored practically and then written about.

Evaluation of a piece of live theatre they have seen.

Exam: 1 hour 30 min.

Sec A: Questions on a set play text

Sec B: Live Theatre Evaluation


Assessment Format

Edexcel (1-9) Drama 1DR0

GCSE Drama consists of two coursework components and one externally examined paper as outlined above.

What skills will I need to be successful in this subject?

The majority of lessons will be practically based, learning about different styles of theatre, exploring play texts and creating performances.  However, students are required to complete written notes about the plays they are studying and create a portfolio of ideas for any devised work. This is an essential part of the course and provides the basis for formal written assessments and the exam.

You will need to be open-minded, self-critical, willing to work with others to build your creativity and confidence and be prepared to let your emotions show through physical and powerful expression.

Possible Careers and Future Education

The world of Performing Arts is big business these days. When you consider how much time people spend watching films and television, listening to music, visiting the theatre or live shows and entertainment of different kinds, following vloggers and bloggers, making use of entertainments reps on holidays and being enticed by lively advertising, it is easy to see how important an understanding of the arts has become.

Of course, there are careers as a performing artist in acting, dance, singing, musical theatre, television presenting and in all forms of “on-stage or screen” work but drama skills provide the basis of requirements for a huge range of employment. Behind the scenes there are careers needed as technical and backstage team (Lighting and Sound and Stage Management), Venue Management, Holiday Reps, Researchers, Studio Managers, Writers, Camera Operators, Agency Administrators, Costume Managers, Advertising Planners, Arts Education and Teaching, Leisure and Tourism Operators, Workshop Companies, Personal Life Skills and Speech Coaches and Team Building Facilitators.

Personal skills that are developed in drama include:

  • confidence;
  • self-presentation;
  • teamwork and collaboration;
  • time management and organisational skills;
  • self-awareness;
  • self-discipline;
  • an open mind and the ability to move beyond boundaries and experiment with different ideas;
  • communication skills;
  • analytical, critical and research skills;
  • the ability to cope with criticism and learn from it;
  • stamina

These skills are highly prized in all worlds of work and in fact, many people with the strong personal and communication skills encouraged in drama end up in more unexpected careers such as NHS Management, Local Government and Journalism.