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Sixth Form



The intent of the Drama Curriculum

The Drama and Performing Arts Department at Sir John Leman High School is a lively and thriving department, which prides itself on the high quality of learning and teaching that it offers at all Key Stages. The study of Drama and Performing Arts encourages learners to develop their skills in communication and collaboration, allowing them to develop the interpersonal skills that are necessary for success both in a school setting and in the wider community. Our cross curricular links with departments such as English, History and Religious Studies mean that a variety of practical strategies can be used to support academic study.

We believe that all students can benefit from the opportunities to develop leadership skills and to explore creativity and imagination in a safe and positive environment.

How is the Drama Curriculum implemented?

The KS3 Drama curriculum introduces a range of British and International theatre styles and practitioners, giving students a broad base, from which to create their own performance work, and understand the theory and history behind the theatre they create. There is a clear linear structure, allowing students to return to key concepts and develop their understanding and application throughout Key Stage 3.

Students are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 and 8, and in broader ability groups in Year 9. They are assessed at the end of each unit with a variety of performing and writing tasks that are shaped to support students to develop the skills assessed in each component of the GCSE Drama course.

 Curriculum Road Map - Drama

Curriculum Sequencing Plan - Drama


The impact of the Drama Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum gives students the range of skills and knowledge they need to be successful GCSE Drama candidates. They are assessed on their ability to create, rehearse, perform and write about their work and the work of others, allowing them to make a positive and enthusiastic start to their GCSE course, should they choose to continue studying Drama at Key Stage 4. Students will use the confidence and presentation skills they develop to be successful in a range of careers whether communicating with colleagues or the wider public.

How is it assessed?

Each unit of study is assessed at the end, students will be aware of the assessment criteria.

How can I help my child?

Encourage your child to see local productions and to read play scripts of their own choosing.

Useful websites:


The intent of the Drama Curriculum

GCSE Drama encourages students to:

  • Study a range of dramatic genres and texts in order to consider and explore their impact on social, historical and cultural influences
  • Collaborate imaginatively and creatively with other learners to develop and communicate ideas
  • Reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others
  • Develop and demonstrate competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills
  • Develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds

How is the Drama Curriculum implemented?

Learners will investigate a range of dramatic styles and skills through workshops and rehearsals. They will also take part in developing extracts of a play text for performance, taking a role as a performer or designer. Learners will study a different play text and watch a piece of live theatre, on which they will complete a written examination.

The impact of the Drama Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 4

How is it examined?

Component 1: Devising

Devising log (45 marks)
Devised Performance (15 marks)
60 marks in total - 40% of GCSE

Component 2: Performance from text

Performance of Extract 1 (24 marks) and Extract 2 (24 marks)
48 marks in total - 20% of GCSE

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Written exam: 1 hour and 30 minutes
60 marks in total - 40% of GCSE

How important is the Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)?

Very. The NEA makes up 60% of the qualification and so it is of great importance to keep up to date with NEA tasks. This includes lesson notes, extended learning projects and rehearsals for assessed performances.

What qualification will I get? What could it lead to?

  • Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in Drama

From this qualification you might go on to study A Level Drama or Theatre Studies, or a BTEC National in Performing Arts, a level 3 qualification which is equivalent to an A Level.

Career directions could include: actor, director, media careers, theatre production and administration, personnel manager, social work, youth and community work, teacher, marketing and public relations, law, uniformed services, nursing and health care. This is an excellent qualification for those whose careers require interaction, teamwork and presentation.

Performing Arts (KS5)

Performing Arts (Acting) – Level 3 BTEC Extended Certificate

Examining Body:


Entry Criteria:

Ideally GCSE Drama Grade 4 or Performing Arts BTEC Level 2 Merit (or equivalent). Students not meeting this criteria may be considered after interview

Course Leader:

Mrs R Mayers

Why? :

This qualification allows students to study performing arts alongside other subjects before progressing to a wide range of HE courses, employment or apprenticeships. You will be encouraged to demonstrate your commitment, energy, self-discipline and time management skills as well as your enthusiasm and performing talents

Course Structure:

Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance An induction into the performing arts where you develop appropriate skills and techniques in one or more of the performance disciplines of acting, dance, musical theatre, physical theatre and variety/popular entertainment. Regular workshops, classes and exercises where you will acquire, practise and develop the necessary technical, practical and interpretative skills for successful live performance. You will consider the nature, skills and attributes of the performer’s role.

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners’ Work You will develop skills that allow you to investigate the work of influential practitioners. You will identify contextual factors that influence their work and critically analyse information such as creative intentions, performance, production and repertoire to develop and communicate independent judgements. This unit will give you research, critical analysis and extended writing skills to support your progress to HE. As a performing arts practitioner you will need to have a good understanding of the work of influential practitioners to inform your work and professional practice. Final evidence will be completed during a 3 hour supervised assessment.

Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop Learn how to respond to a given stimulus as part of a group, using research, discussion and practical exploration to develop performance material and present an informal presentation of the work to an audience. You will contribute to the creative development and rehearsal process, shaping and refining work, applying performance and team working skills.

You will share responsibility for creative decisions regarding the nature and direction of the intended performance, and your individual contribution will reflect your own skills through the group’s interests and ideas. A further internally assessed unit will be chosen from a list supplied by the exam board.
Extended Learning:

A variety of tasks including keeping a log book of rehearsals and research for each unit. Each unit of the first year of study includes an essay task.

Established in ~ 1632 ~