Drama KS3-5

All students study Drama once a week in Key Stage Three and then have the option of choosing GCSE Drama at Key Stage Four, and A Level Drama at Key Stage Five.


Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)

Students are taught in their form groups at Key Stage Three and study a range of genres designed to broaden their dramatic horizons.

In Year seven pupils first learn basic drama terms and skills which in turn helps them to learn how to use dramatic conventions in their work, develop character and role and how to use technical vocabulary in their written work. In the Spring Term pupils have the opportunity to explore devised theatre and improvisation along with the study play scripts. In the summer term pupils are introduced to Shakespeare, and explore the Globe Theatre in Elizabethan London . 

In Year eight, these skills are developed through exploring a range of issue based theatre where they explore the role of Drama and Performance. The students practically study Comedia Del’Arte and explore a Shakespeare play. 

In Year nine, in the lead up to GCSE Drama, pupils develop their use dramatic conventions by creating dramatic responses to a range of topics. The students explore the performance genres of Radio Plays, Forum Theatre, and study a play text. Throughout the year they have 2 practical performances which allows them to utilise and consolidate all the drama and performance skills they have learnt.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

At Sacred Heart we follow the Edexcel Examination board for Drama GCSE. It is a combination of practical, theoretical and historical approaches to performance.

The GCSE has three components;

  • Component One: Devising (40% of overall GCSE)
  • Component Two: Performance From Text (20% of overall GCSE)
  • Component Three: Theatre Makers in Progress  (40% of overall GCSE)

Component One: Devising

Students work in a group to create an original piece of theatre based on a theme which they perform for an audience. Students keep a journal of their work including the research, development and structure, which is marked (2000 words). Students will;

  • Understand the assessment, skills needed and the structures for Component One
  • Build and develop a class ensemble
  • Explore the classes creative and imaginative capacity
  • Explore how to communicate this exploration in written form.

Component Two: Performance from Text

Student’s study a full play, analysis text, characters, themes and dramatic potential. Students perform sections of the play for an audience. Students write an essay justifying their characterisation (500 words). Students will;

  • Understand the process of Performance from Text
  • Understand approaches/responses to text, context and concepts
  • Develop characterisation skills
  • Explore how to communicate your intention and approach in written form.


Students explore rehearsal techniques, the role of director, and the social, historical and cultural aspects of staging a play. In their final exam, they explain what techniques they feel appropriate to a set text and justify their choices. They also write an analysis of a live performance as part of this exam. Students will;

  • Develop your critical and evaluative responses to text-in-performance
  • Understand and evaluate the effect of production elements used in live performance
  • Develop skills for critical writing in exam conditions.
  • Develop technical, critical and analytical writing

The GCSE aims to guide the students through the following;

· Engage in a range of drama activities exploring a range of stimuli chosen across different times and cultures and make    
  connections and comparisons between different stimuli.

· Interpret a complete and substantial play text recognising the ways in which playwrights, directors, designers and
  performers communicate meaning through the medium of drama.

· Selection of appropriate elements of drama through the exploration of a complete and substantial play text and evaluate the
  effectiveness of different interpretations of a complete and substantial play text.

· Developing performance skills and rehearsal techniques whilst developing and realising ideas in response to a play within a

· Using the language of drama to communicate ideas to others whilst approaches to developing characters and/or roles.

The skills you need to achieve in Drama GCSE as follows;

· Group work and collaborative skills .

· Organisation and attendance

· Creativity, enthusiasm and Expression

· An interest in theatre, not television.

Good level of written communication. This GCSE is largely marked on your written work, and therefore a good level in English is required. 


Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)

At Sacred Heart we follow the Edexcel Examination board for Drama A Level. The A Level is designed to guide student through a wide range of both practical and theoretical Drama practices.

  The A Level is split into 3 components;

  • Component One: Devising (40% of overall A Level)
  • Component Two: Performance from Text (20% of overall A Level)
  • Component Three: Theatre Makers in Practice (40% of overall A Level)



This component is 40% of the A Level marks. This component is internally assessed in two main areas;

  • Students create, develop and perform a devised piece based on a section of text in groups in the style of a Drama Practitioner.
  • Students write a 3000 word portfolio analysing and evaluating the devising process.

As an A Level student you will be expected to do the following;

  • Be interested in, and watch a wide range of performance styles
  • Use dance and music in your work
  • Be confident, brave and creative
  • Work collaboratively and committedly


This component is 20% of the A Level marks. Students will explore a play text practically and theoretically. This component is externally assessed in the following areas;

  • Students perform a monologue or duologue from a play text chosen by the exam board
  • Students perform a section of text from a play chosen by the exam board
  • Students write a 1000 word performance concept detailing their characterisation choices.

As an A Level student you will be expected to do the following;

  • Read the play text as a whole
  • Analyse and explore the character chosen
  • Develop and record your development of the role
  • Learn lines, and rehearse after school regularly
  • Be committed, thorough and dedicated to your work



This component is 40% of the A Level marks. Students study 2 contrasting texts. There is no practical assessment in this component. This component is a written examination assessed externally in the following areas;

  • A live theatre evaluation
  • Page to stage: realisation of a complete performance text
  •  Interpreting one complete performance text, in light of one practitioner for a contemporary audience.

You will be expected to;

  • Read the play texts as a whole
  • Analyse and explore the plot, characters, conflict, theme and setting.
  • Have a good level of Written Communication, and a high level in English Literature.
  • Be creative and thorough with your interpretation


  • We have a partnership with the Young Vic Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse, where we are regularly given free tickets and specialists workshops
  • We have specialist sessions to help students with audition techniques for companies such as the National Youth Theatre
  • We provide the students with a wide range of backstage and on stage opportunities at London’s leading performance venues.
  • We have strong links to the industry and careers in the Arts