“I think there is no world without theatre.”
– Edward Bond

Drama in schools is a practical artistic subject that allows students to explore and make sense of the world in which they live.

The main aims of the department are:

  • To develop a sense of aesthetic understanding.
  • To explore a variety of human circumstances and emotions.
  • To develop an appreciation of social, cultural and historical differences.
  • To encourage self-confidence, particularly in the ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally.
  • To encourage an appreciation and practical understanding of our school core values.
  • To develop an understanding of the ways in which people work together.
  • To develop a sense of achievement from completing and/or presenting practical work.
  • To be able to evaluate both the work of the individual and the larger group.
  • To nurture transferable skills that will develop both the learner and the human being.

 These aims will be met through the following objectives:

  • Understanding of the educational, social and cultural purposes of drama.
  • Awareness and employment of dramatic conventions.
  • The use of a range of dramatic forms to express ideas and feelings.
  • The ability to use performance skills appropriately, fluently and with confidence and enjoyment.
  • Selection and shaping of material to achieve the maximum dramatic impact through awareness of audience.
  • Appreciation of drama in performance, both as participant and spectator.
  • To achieve and maintain a safe and nurturing performance space to encourage student development.

“The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.”
– Stella Adler

Key Stage 3

Throughout Years 7, 8 and 9 students have one lesson per week. Students will learn and develop key performance skills and techniques as well as equipping them with the necessary transferable skills for GCSE level study. Units of work also provide students with the opportunity to explore lighting and sound elements of performance as well as experiment with directing and stage design.


5-7 Lesson SOW

Introduction to Drama


Basic Skills




Timing, vocal skills and physical skills

Improvisation & Concentration

BTEC link – Component 2 & 3

Rehearsal Techniques/Log Book

Timing, vocal skills and physical skills


10-14 Lesson SOW

Silent Movies / Fairytales



Physical Comedy

Red Shoes

Log Book


Themes and issues and response to stimulus.


BTEC link – Component 1

Practitioner work.

Analysis & Evaluation



10-14 Lesson SOW

Darkwood Manor



Atmosphere, character, physical theatre

Nightmares/Physical Theatre

Log Book


Physical Theatre


BTEC link – Component 1

Practitioner work.

Approaches to story

Analysis & Evaluation


10-14 Lesson SOW

Bullying (E.g. “Simon’s Story”)


Ensemble, thought-tracking, split staging, hot-seating

Shakespeare/The Stones


Interpretation of text

Physical Theatre

GCSE link – Component 1

Practitioner work.

Devising Skills

Response to stimulus


5-7 Lesson SOW

Over the Wall


Script work – consolidating skills

Radio Plays

Script writing/ design


Communicating meaning

Design Workshops

GCSE link – Component 2 & 3

Staging, Lighting, Costume

Live Theatre Review (GCSE pieces)


Key Stage 4

Students that opt to continue studying Drama are entered for Level 2 BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts building on both the core practical, analytical and evaluative skills covered at Key Stage 3.

The BTEC Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance which cover the:

  • Development of key skills in the performing arts.
  • Process that underpins effective ways of working.
  • Attitudes (e.g. personal management and communication).
  • Subject knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes and attitudes.

Year 10 & 11 Programme

The new BTEC Tech Award is structured into 3 components spread over the two years of study.

Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts (assessed internally)

Learners will develop their understanding of the performing arts by examining theatre practitioners’ work and the processes used to create performance. Learners will develop a knowledge of a range of performance styles as well as explore different elements such as roles, responsibilities and the application or relevant skills and techniques.

Assessment Evidence Required

  • Coursework Presentation
  • Practical Performance & Workshop Recordings
  • Teacher Observations

Component 2: Developing Skill and Techniques in the Performing Arts (assessed internally)

Learners will develop their performing arts skills and techniques through the reproduction of acting, dance and/or musical theatre repertoire. Working as a performer requires the application of skills, techniques and practices that enable learners to produce and interpret performance work. Learners will communicate intentions to an audience in a variety of performance disciplines. Note: Although specific focus will remain on ‘acting’, assignments can be altered to meet the strengths of specific students.

Assessment Evidence Required

  • Coursework Presentation
  • Practical Performance & Workshop Recordings
  • Teacher Observations
  • Peer Observations
  • Written logbook

Component 3: Performing to a Brief (assessed externally)

Learners will be given the opportunity to work as part of a group to create a workshop performance in response to a given brief and stimulus. This external component builds on knowledge, understanding and skills acquired and developed in components 1 and 2. Learners will apply their skills and techniques creatively to a workshop performance for a selected audience. Learners will capture their ideas on planning, development and effectiveness of the performance process in a written log and evaluation report which will be written in exam conditions.

Assessment Evidence Required

  • Written log
  • Evaluation Report
  • Practical Performance

Suggested Wider Reading

For successful progression in BTEC performing arts it is encouraged that students take a proactive interest in broadening their knowledge of theatrical styles and practitioners. A starting point would be:

  1. The Complete Brecht Toolkit by Stepen Unwin (2014 new edition)
  2. The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit by Bella Merlin (2014 new edition)
  3. The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre by Scott Graham (2014)

 Key Stage 5

Many students choose to continue their study of Drama and Theatre at Post-16. We follow the AQA examination board for A Level Theatre Studies as this allows students to further develop their performance skills whilst gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of both contemporary and traditional theatre forms. The course consists of three units taught over two years.

Year 12 & 13 Programme


Written Exam – 40%

Assessment of:

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of two set plays – “Jerusalem”by Jez Butterworth and “Our Country’s Good” by Timberlake Wertenbaker
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers


Practical performance and reflective report – 30%

Assessment of:

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama


Practical performance and reflective report – 30%

Assessment of:

  • Practical exploration and interpretation of three script extracts, each taken from a different play.
  • Practitioner is prescribed to one extract, which is performed as a final assessed piece.
  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts.

 Suggested Wider Reading

For successful progress in ANY post 16 course, wider independent study is essential. This is certainly the case in Theatre Studies where a number of set texts need to be studied thoroughly alongside extensive and appropriate contextual research.

As part of the course students will need to be familiar with the following play texts:

Our Countries Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker

Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth

The Curious Incident of the dog in the night time by SImon Stephens

Closer by Patrick Marber

End Game by Samuel Beckett

 In addition to this is recommended that students read/research the following:

  1. Steven Berkoff and the Theatre of Self-Performance. 1 Apr 2004 by Robert Cross
  2. Theatre in Practice. Nov 2012, by Nick O’Brien & Annie Sutton
  3. Games for Actors & Non Actors, 2002, by Augusto Boal
  4. Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook. Oct 1996, by Alison Oddey

Departmental Extra-Curricular Activities

“Stage Right” is an extra-curricular student led theatre company that is “run by the students, for the students”. The activity takes place twice a week and is a chance for students to further develop their performance skills in workshop situations. Skills covered include, stage combat, improvisation, audition technique, mask-work, characterisation, storytelling, immersive theatre, verbatim and text work. We have a student committee who meet every half term, both organising and facilitating events and performances throughout the year.

Students work and endeavour is show-cased throughout the year in various performances and allows the wider community an opportunity to experience the wealth of talent and creativity that is present across all Key Stages. The popularity continues to grow as a number of challenging productions have been performed to great success:

2013 – ‘100’

2014 – The ‘Bruce Kane’ Comedy Night

2015 – The Tempest

2016 – Coram Boy

2017 – ‘Showstoppers’


In addition, as a school we aim to regularly provide an opportunity for a whole school production, that takes place at The Landmark Theatre. This gives students the chance to perform in a professional working theatre and represent the school in a well-publicised and well received (generally) bi-annual event. Recent productions have included:-

2009 – Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

2011 – Oliver!

2013 – We Will Rock You!

2015 – Grease!

2016 – Our House

For more information contact Head of Department:

Richard Vale



Content updated September 2017


Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday 1st November from 6.30pm