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Drama and Performing Arts
Drama opportunities are available for students from Year 7 to Year 13 and both GCSE and A Level are popular option choices. The aim of Drama at Highworth is to fully support the development of creative and innovative students. We aim to help develop young people who are able to work with rigour, to communicate effectively, to work collaboratively, to use approaches from a range of disciplines and to connect their studies to the world around them. Examination students develop their understanding of the history of drama through study of a wide range of theatrical practitioners and play texts from different time periods. The Department also supports a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities encouraging students to expand their experience and challenge themselves through participation in all elements of theatre making.
Head of Department
Mrs J McBride
Ms S Batchelor
Miss R Gatt
Amy Joy - Technical Team
Key Stage 3
Drama forms part of the enrichment programme in Year 7 and offers students the opportunity to develop performance skills.
Drama is taught in Year 8 (1 lesson as part of the two-week timetable). The focus of lessons is to use drama to develop students’ creativity, confidence and ability to collaborate effectively. In conjunction with these skills, students develop an understanding of the principles of drama and an awareness of how drama communicates to an audience. Study of Drama in Year 8 provides an introduction to the skills and demands of the GCSE course.
Assessment and feedback
Students are assessed termly in drama and over the course of the year, these assessments cover the three key components of Creating and Developing, Performing and Evaluation and Understanding
Please click here for the KS3 assessment grid for Drama
Key Stage 4
The Eduqas GCSE Drama has three components:
Component 1 - Devising Theatre (Acting or Design Option)
Non- exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated
40% of qualification
Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre using either the techniques of an influential
theatre practitioner or a genre, in response to a stimulus set by the examination board.
Learners must produce:
- a realisation of their piece of devised theatre;
- a portfolio of supporting evidence;
- an evaluation of the final performance or design.
Component 2 – Performing from a Text (Acting or Design Option)
Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner
20% of qualification
Learners study two extracts from the same performance text chosen by the centre. Learners participate in one performance using sections of text from both extracts
Component 3: Interpreting Theatre
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
40% of qualification
Section A: Set Text (The Tempest, William Shakespeare)
Section B: Live Theatre Review (Students will be required to analyse and evaluate a given aspect of a live theatre production seen during the course.)
Assessment and feedback
Students are assessed regularly throughout the course beginning with shorter focused tasks and developing into larger, more demanding assignments in preparation for all areas of the final GCSE assessment. Feedback is provided both verbally and in writing for both written and practical elements of the course.
Please click here for the Eduqas GCSE Drama Component 1 Assessment Grid
Please click here for the Eduqas GCSE Drama Component 2 Assessment Grid
Please click here for the Eduqas GCSE Drama specification
The Pearson Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre consists of three components.
Component 1: Devising (Non- examination assessment 40% of the qualification)
Students are required to:
- Devise and perform an original performance piece;
- Use one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli;
- Performer or Designer routes available;
- Create a supporting evidence portfolio between 2500-3000 words.
Component 2: Text in Performance (Non-examination assessment 20% of the qualification)
Students are required to participate in:
- A group performance/design realisation of one key extract from a performance text;
- A monologue or duologue performance/design realisation from one key extract from a different performance text.
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes – 40% of the qualification)
- Live Theatre evaluation
- Practical exploration and study of a complete performance text – focusing on how this can be realised for performance.
- Practical exploration and study of another complete performance text, in light of a chosen theatre practitioner – focusing on how this text could be reimagined for a contemporary audience
Assessment and feedback
Component 1 is internally assessed and externally moderated. Students are required to create the performance independently with the teacher in a facilitating role. The portfolio is completed independently (with supervision) and can be submitted once in a draft version for teacher feedback before its final submission.
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Portfolio
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Devised Performance – performers
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Devised Performance – designers
Component 2 is externally assessed by a visiting examiner. The teacher in preparation for this component will work in a directorial role for the group performance and a facilitating role for the monologue or duologue performance.
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Group Performance – performers
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Group Performance – designers
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Mono/Duo Performance – performers
Please click here for the Assessment Criteria for Mono/Duo Performance – designers
Component 3 is marked externally. Students will receive regular feedback and assessment in preparation for the demands of the written examination.
Please click here for Pearson and Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre Specification
Students of Drama are advised to broaden their experience of Theatre as much as possible. That includes as an audience member or as a performer or designer. Developing the breadth of their knowledge and understanding has a direct impact on students’ ability to analyse and evaluate Drama which is a key component of both the GCSE and A Level course. Students should be aware that the study of Drama will require significant time commitment to ensure collaborative projects are successful. It is also essential that students record evidence regularly in the development of devised performance to ensure they have the detail required to complete portfolio tasks. Exam technique is also a vital area of study and students must take all opportunities to develop their response to examination questions.
Both the GCSE and A Level past papers are currently unavailable as this is a new specification
Useful external links
GCSE Bitesize Drama:
Shakespeare’s Globe Fact Sheet:
The National Theatre YouTube:
- Arts/theatre administration
- Arts journalism
- Stage management
- Theatre management
- Theatrical agent
- Media presenting
- Drama therapy
- KS3 Drama Club - Wednesday lunchtime PAS
- Tech Crew (For those interested in providing technical support for school events) - Tuesday break time PAS
Trips and visits
Theatre visits are an integral part of the Drama Department. This year we have attended ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time’ (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury and The Gielgud Theatre, London), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Young Vic, London) and ‘An American In Paris’ Dominion Theatre, London
The Year 9 GCSE Drama group participated in a powerful and dynamic performance of “Julius Caesar” at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury in March 2017 as part of the Royal Shakespeare Companies Learning Performance Network.
Charlotte Churm (Year 13) has been offered the opportunity to support professional Director, Amy Draper, on her production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ at the Iris Theatre this Summer. Congratulations Charlotte!