Departmental Staff

  • Head of Department: Ms P.Lynch
  • Ms R.Patton


Key Stage 4; GCSE (Years 11 & 12)

G.C.S.E. Drama covers a wide range of performance and related skills.

The course content allows students to realise their full potential in many areas.  Students can develop an insight into and an understanding of a wide range of activities. Drama is an exciting, creative and challenging course and has been designed to help candidates meet those ch


The balance between the assessment tasks and the written examination gives students the best opportunity to succeed.  In order to allow more freedom of choice, the requirement for candidates to present some performance work has now been lifted.

Candidates are free to choose any of the controlled assessment options offered in our specification.

These include: Devised Thematic Work, Acting, Improvisation, Theatre in Education, Physical Theatre, Set Design, Costume, Make-up, Properties, Masks, Puppets, Lighting, Sound, Stage Management.

The written part of the controlled assessment has now been removed. Assessment for the controlled assessment takes into account the student’s contribution during the preparation period as well as their final performance or design.

Subject Content

The course is divided into two units. The content of each unit and its respective learning outcomes appear below.

Unit 1 (40%) is assessed by a compulsory written examination, which takes place at the end of the two year course. In the paper, each student must answer three questions. They must answer two questions on one of the eight set texts and one question relating to the text studied in the compulsory element: Scripted Performance. The eight set texts are listed below in chronological order:

  • Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) – Heinemann, ISBN: 0 43519009 1
  • Pygmalion (Shaw) – Penguin, ISBN: 0 14048003 X
  • Juno and the Paycock (O’Casey) – Pan, ISBN: 0 33026271 8
  • The Crucible (Miller) – Heinemann, ISBN: 978-0435232818
  • Philadelphia Here I Come (Friel)– Faber & Faber, ISBN: 0 57108586 5
  • Tea in a China Cup (Reid) – Methuen Drama, ISBN: 0 41371220 6
  • Blood Brothers (Russell) – Samuel French, ISBN: 0 57308064 X
  • Across the Barricades (Lingard) – (adapted by David Ian Neville) Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0 19831272 5

Students may use a clean copy of the set text in the exam. No additional sheets, pages or annotations may be included in the texts or taken into the examination.

Unit 2

    • is also compulsory and includes

two controlled assessment tasks.

  • Task 1(Scripted Performance) is a compulsory element. For the compulsory element students may study any text; it does not need to be any of the eight set texts listed in Unit 1. However they may study one of the eight set texts, as long as they have not already studied the same text for Unit 1.
  • Task 2 is a chosen element. Students must choose one element from a list of five. Scripted Performance Chosen Element;Devised Performance or Improvisation Task, or Dance Drama Task, or Mime Task, or Design Support Task.


Key Stage 5, A Level (Years 13 & 14)

Drama and Theatre Studies AS & A2 Specification

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students undertake all non-exam assessment (NEA) in the certification year and sit the written exam at the end of the course.

Subject Content

The subject content details the knowledge, understanding and skills that students are expected to develop throughout the course of study.

The subject content for A-level Drama and Theatre is divided into three components:

    • Drama and theatre
    • Creating original drama
    • Making theatre 

    Guidance is also provided on the theatrical skills students will need to work on.In the practical components students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets and/or directing.

    Component 1  

    What’s assessed? Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre.                                    

    Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B.

    How it’s assessed Written exam: 3 hours Open book 80 marks 40 % of A-level


    Section A: one question(from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A

    (25 marks).

    Section B: one three part question on a given extract from one of the set plays

    from List B (30 marks).

    Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (25 marks).

    Component 2  

    What’s assessed?  Process of creating devised drama.

    Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer,

    designer or director).

    Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one

    prescribed practitioner.

    How it’s assessed Working notebook (40 marks)

    Devised performance (20 marks) 60 marks in total

    30 % of A-level

    This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

    Component 3

    What’s assessed? Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2

    and 3) each taken from a different play. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3.

    Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director).

    Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts.

    How it’s assessed Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)

    Reflective report (20 marks)

    60 marks in total

    30 % of A-level


    Drama and Theatre Studies AS

    AS Level Drama is divided into two sections. Each section is taken as a separate paper with a time allowance of 45 minutes.

    Unit 1 DRAM1 Live Theatre Production Seen and Prescribed Play

    This unit is divided into two sections. Each section is taken as a separate paper with a time allowance of 45 minutes.
    Section A requires candidates’ personal response to various aspects of live theatre seen during the course. Candidates must answer one question on a live production seen from a choice of four questions.
    Section B requires candidates to answer one question on a set play from a choice of two questions on each of the set plays. Questions are focused on
    the interpretation of the play from a performance perspective. Candidates are required to answer from the viewpoint of an actor, director or designer.

    Sophocles Antigone
    William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing

    Carlo Goldoni The Servant of Two Masters
    Henrik Ibsen Hedda Gabler

    Bertolt Brecht The Caucasian Chalk Circle
    Dario Fo Accidental Death of an Anarchist

    Jez Butterworth Jerusalem

    These plays have been selected to represent significant drama through the ages.

    Unit 2 DRAM2 Presentation of an Extract from a Play
    This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated by visiting moderator.
    Candidates are required to work in groups to present for an audience an extract from a published play oftheir choice. The group size is to be between 2 to 8 Acting
    candidates, plus, optionally, up to five candidates offering a design skill (costume design, mask design, set design or technical design (lighting and/or sound)), and/or one Directing candidate. Each group is to be self-contained and totally responsible for all aspects of the presented extract which should realise clear dramatic intentions for an audience.
    Candidates should choose one from the following:

    • Directing (one candidate per group),
    • Acting (at least two candidates per group),
    • Costume design (one candidate per group),
    • Mask design (one candidate per group),
    • Set design (one candidate per group),
    • Technical elements: Lighting and/or Sound (one candidate per element or one
    • assuming responsibility for both elements).

    Drama and Theatre studies A2

    Unit 3 DRAMA 3 Further Prescribe plays including Pre-Twentieth CenturyAt A2, Unit Three builds upon the skills that students have acquired at AS. Students will study two further set texts, each selected from a list of six. Students will be guided to adopt a creative overview of each of these texts and for Section B, to prepare to envisage a complete stage realisation of the play in production. These are the texts available;

    Middleton/Tourneur The Revenger’s Tragedy
    Molière Tartuffe
    Farquhar The Recruiting Officer

    Goldoni The Servant of Two Masters
    Wilde Lady Windermere’s Fan

    Chekhov The Seagull

    Lorca Blood Wedding
    (translated by Gwynne Edwards, published by Methuen Drama –
    Student Edition or the Plays:One edition (‘Blood Wedding’, ‘Doña
    Rosita the Spinster’, ‘Yerma’) – ISBN 978-0-713-68516-9 or
    ISBN 978-0-413-15780-5)
    Brecht The Good Person of Szechwan
    (translated by John Willett, published by Methuen Drama – Student
    Edition or Modern Plays edition – ISBN 978-1-408-10007-3 or
    ISBN 978-0-413-58240-9)
    Miller A View from the Bridge

    Berkoff The Trial
    Wertenbaker Our Country’s Good

    Edmundson Coram Boy – adaptation from the novel by Jamila Gavin
    (published by Nick Hern Books – ISBN 978-1-854-59894-3)

    Unit 4 DRAM4 Presentation of Devised Drama

    Unit Four at A2, will extend their practical theatrical skills, encouraging them to develop as devisers. They will be guided to research into, a specific theatrical style and this will enable them to progress from being interpreters of text to becoming creators of original drama.

    ICT will be used for research and presentation purposes. Students will read a selection of books relating to theatrical practitioners, styles and genres and the importance of theatre. This will enable students to build upon existing skills and deepen their knowledge and understanding of their own abilities and the importance of performance in theatre.
    Candidates may choose to work, for example, in one
    of the following styles:

    • comedy/tragedy/melodrama/farce,
    • commedia,
    • naturalism/realism/expressionism/symbolism,
    • epic theatre,
    • political theatre/feminist theatre,
    • theatre of cruelty,
    • creative adaptation (of well-known stories or
      poems; not plays),
    • docu-theatre; verbatim theatre,
    • physical theatre.
  • Below is an example of a GCSE Drama performance.Video 1: The Crucible – Meet the CastVideo 2: The Crucible – The Highlights