Key Stage 3
GCSE Drama
BTEC Drama

Y7 & 8 receive Drama once a fortnight and cover the following topics;

  • Y7 Physical Theatre - Exploring using your body as prop.
  • Titanic - Using naturalistic acting skills to explore an historic event.
  • Mask - Learning the skills to successfully perform in Mask.
  • Y8 Donna's Story - Using naturalistic acting skills to create a story.
  • Melodrama - Exploring the style of Melodrama in a practical way.
  • Developing Scenarios - Learning skills needed for successful performing and devising.

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What will I learn?

We firmly believe that through involvement in Drama, young people can learn vital life skills such as team work, negotiation, problem solving, communication, listening, and can build their confidence and self-esteem.

Through taking GCSE Drama, students who have a love of drama, theatre, performing, shaping performance and an interest in the work that goes on in a production team, can excel in broadening and demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of this vast subject.

Throughout the course students will develop their understanding of drama techniques and how they can be used to explore the drama. They will develop skills in performance by being challenged in new ways than before, for example looking at the work of established practitioners to find new ways of presenting performance. They will work on both devising performance work and scripted plays, having more time than in KS3 to polish and perfect work, therefore improving.

Students will also develop evaluation skills, both verbal and written. Students will explore how the collaborative process is crucial to drama, therefore developing essential life skills.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be graded using the new 1 – 9 grading criteria.
NB: Although practical assessments are carried out in groups, all grades are given individually to students for their achievements NOT to the group as a whole.

Component 1 – Devising (40% of GCSE)

This component deals with devising, which is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work collaboratively with others to explore a range of stimuli in order to create an original performance piece. Devising is essential for the development of new theatre and performance; it allows for personal development and exploration. It allows both performer and designer the opportunity to stretch the limits of their creativity and imagination, while exploring a theme or topic of interest to them and their intended audience.

Students will develop skills in group work, research and negotiation, while also developing creativity, performance and design skills. Students will consider the impact that they can make on an audience, as they develop the ideas that they want to communicate.

  • Portfolio – Students write about their own work and the work of others which was carried out during the rehearsal and the performance process. This can either be written or filmed depending on students strengths. 2000 words maximum, or 4 - 5 minutes of filmed documentation. This can be prepared and worked on at home.

Component 2 – Performance from Text (20% of GCSE)

There is no written element to this unit but you will be assessed on a 10 minute group performance, and either a monologue or a duologue.
Performance texts have been at the core of drama since the inception of theatre. The need to hand down stories has been fundamental to human development and for thousands of years, people have written, performed, watched and enjoyed innumerable plays.
Understanding a performance text is fundamental to the subject, as this provides students with opportunities to explore plot, structure, narrative and stories from around the world and from different time periods. It encourages them to develop empathy skills, as they consider different characters and develop methods of communicating ideas and themes.
This component deals with developing knowledge, understanding and skills in exploring and
performing from a performance text. Students will interpret this text and rehearse and refine two key extracts, leading to a final performance. They will demonstrate and use a wide range of acting and/or design skills to communicate their interpretation in performance.

Component 3 – Theatre Makers in Practice (40% of GCSE)

This is a externally assessed written examination which is taken at the end of Year 11. Practical work will be done in lessons in order to inform the exam.
This component focuses on the work of theatre makers and the theatrical choices that are made by crucial members of the creative and production team in order to communicate ideas to an audience. As theatre makers, students will be develop their knowledge and understanding of the ways in which drama can create meaning for an audience through performance.
Students will explore practically how a complete performance text might be interpreted and realised from ‘page to stage’. This exploration will give students an insight into how texts  may be brought to life for an audience and the creative roles within this process.
Students will also analyse and evaluate their experience of a live theatre performance as
informed members of the audience. They will develop skills to recognise the meaning created in the theatre space in order to communicate ideas to an audience. This will give them a more critical and varied approach to their own work as theatre makers.

What could I move onto?

For students wishing to continue their studies in Drama the next step is A Level Drama and Theatre Studies, which we offer at Abbey Grange. In terms of pairing with other GCSE subjects, Drama goes well with Languages, History, Religious Studies, English and Music.
Also, due to many of the skills mentioned above, Drama has many transferable skills to aid progression with various education/career choices as it also develops skills for work requiring a high level of confidence, presentation, and group sensitivity. Previous students have found careers in Advertising, Design, Law, Health Promotion, Medicine, the Police Force, Radio, TV, Teaching and, of course, Theatre.

Exam Board: Edexcel

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What will I learn?

BTEC Performing Arts Acting is a vocational course consisting of three main units of study. The 3 units of the BTEC are:

Individual Showcase

This unit explores preparation for an audition process.
Securing work and training opportunities in the performing arts will require you to be able to promote yourself effectively in a range of situations. First impressions matter, so it is crucial that you are able to recognise and promote your skills with confidence and clarity. This unit covers what to include in a letter of application and how to prepare audition pieces or presentations that demonstrate your relevant skills and knowledge.

Preparation, Performance and Production

Have you ever thought about all of the things that need to happen before a performance is seen by an audience? In this unit you will learn how to develop a performance piece as a member of a performance company. Your performance company can include both performers and a production team. The performers and production team will need to work together to explore, develop and shape ideas for the performance.

Acting Skills

This unit is about starting you on your journey to becoming a professional actor. You will be introduced to important acting skills and will learn about the specific demands that acting makes on the body and mind. As well as physical skills, you will also need to use your imagination to create characters or roles. This unit is about building your foundations as an actor; it is not just about performance. As well as undertaking a programme of practical classes to develop your physical and mental acting skills, you will be required to demonstrate progress throughout the unit.

How will I be assessed?

NB although practical assessments are carried out in groups, all grades are given individually to students for their achievements NOT to the group as a whole.

Pupils are assessed either as a                     Btec                           GCSE equivalent
                                                                    Pass                                    (CC)
                                                                    Merit                                    (BB)
                                                                Distinction                               (AA)

Most of the assessment is marked internally by your teacher, evidenced through process, performance, written evidence and evaluation. This will take place over the course of Y10 and Y11. Students beginning study in Y9 will use this year as preparation for assessment and mock assessments.
The Individual Showcase Unit of the course is externally assessed in Y11, but preparation will commence in Y10. Students will complete a letter of application and a presentation/ audition in response to a selected progression
Opportunity e.g. a job advertisement. There will be a selection of four pre-released progression opportunities for each academic year. The assessment must be taken by students under examination conditions.

What could I move onto?

One of the main purposes of BTEC qualifications is to help learners to progress ultimately into employment. The vast majority of employers require learners to have certain technical skills, knowledge and understanding to work in a particular sector, but they are also looking for employability skills to ensure that employees are effective in the workplace. Unlike technical skills, which may become out-dated over time, employability skills enable learners to adapt to the ever-changing roles needed to survive in the global economy.

Drama has many transferable skills to aid progression with various education/career choices as it also develops skills for work requiring a high level of confidence, these skills include:

  • self-management,
  • team working,
  • business awareness and customer awareness,
  • problem solving,
  • communication
  • presentation.

Previous students have found careers in Advertising, Design, Law, Health Promotion, Medicine, the Police Force, Radio, TV, Teaching and, of course, Theatre.

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Abbey Grange C of E Academy

Butcher Hill
LS16 5EA

Tel: 0113 275 7877
Fax: 0113 275 4784

Registered Office:

Abbey Multi Academy Trust
c/o Chapter House
Abbey Grange Church of England Academy
Butcher Hill
LS16 5EA
Registered Company Number: 07705552

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