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Course description 

Drama is a social art form therefore students learn to work creatively together, experimenting with ideas and solving problems. Students apply thinking skills within very practical contexts. These skills, along with flexibility, empathy and risk-taking, are both essential to Drama practice and recognised as vitally important in the workplace and throughout adult life.

Through skills practised in Drama, students will learn co-operation, confidence and effective communication.

Key Stage 3 

Drama offers the same synthesis of skills, creativity and knowledge which might be expected of any other Arts subject.

The Drama and English departments work very closely together in Years 7 and 8. All students have two workshop style lessons per fortnight where we practically explore the texts and genres that they are learning in English. These include Shakespeare, Gothic Fiction, A Christmas Carol and a modern playscript. This collaboration has been very successful: Drama provides an extra level of understanding and engagement to English lessons and the students come to drama lessons with the knowledge and analysis they need to get up and start exploring how characters and ideas can be interpreted on stage.

The drama skills of voice, movement, group work and exploration of different styles and techniques are all explored during Years 7 and 8, preparing our students for the popular Drama GCSE. The skills they learn in Drama are also very transferable and we aim to make every one of our students as confident and articulate as they can be. We do not use levels to assess students as they grow in confidence as performers and devisers, instead, we provide regular supportive feedback and appropriate targets to ensure that optimum progress is made. The vast majority of our students surprise themselves with what they are able to achieve in Drama lessons and everyone looks forward to the chance to learn creatively with specialist teachers in our studio theatre.




Key Stage 4 

We offer two Drama courses at GCSE level:

BTEC Performing Art

BTEC Nationals are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the signature vocational qualification at Level 3. They provide progression to the workplace either directly or via study at a higher level. Over 100,000 BTEC students apply to UK universities every year and their BTEC Nationals are accepted by over 150 UK universities and higher education institutes for relevant degree programmes either on their own or in combination with A Levels.

This course offers a comprehensive introduction and exploration of performance and theatre in the form of practical workshops and skills development. You will have regular opportunities to perform work that you have devised or worked on from a script.  In addition, you will learn about the production process and how to analyse the professional theatre that you have been to watch.  The course is set up so that you work together like a theatre company and plan and create your work collaboratively.  There is also an element of written portfolio work and a written exam.

Pathways include:

BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Performing Arts (equivalent to an AS Level typically one year of study)

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (Equivalent to an A Level typically two years of study)

One of the benefits of BTEC is that we can tailor the course to suit our students, choosing from a wealth of units.  These include:

  • Investigating Practitioners’ Work
  • Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance
  • Performing Arts in the Community
  • Theatre Directing
  • Writing for Performance
  • Acting Styles
  • Developing the Voice for Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Children’s Theatre Performance
  • Storytelling

Where could this course take me?

A good grade in BTEC Performing Arts in combination with other BTEC and/or A-Level qualifications could lead you to a University degree or an apprenticeship in a theatre. Alongside the Performing Arts and entertainment industry, the transferable skills you will develop will enable you to find work in various industries i.e. Customer Service, Project Management, Team Leading, Professional Development, Recruitment, Sales, Media, Events Management and Advertising.

Entry requirements

A keen interest in the performing arts.  Drama GCSE is not essential but it would help if you have some experience of Drama or Dance outside of school.

GCSE English Lit or Lang at level 4 (It is important to recognise that this course has a written exam and a significant amount of the assessment is done through a written portfolio.


GCSE Drama


GCSE Drama:  " Do more of what you love"

In addition to being extremely good fun, Drama GCSE provides a curriculum to ignite and engage your creativity, passion and interests. It provides freedom for you to experiment and take risks with your work and learn vital life skills while developing an understanding of theatre and performance.

You will have opportunities to:

  • Study plays through practical exploration
  • Create your own pieces of theatre
  • Develop your performance skills
  • Watch and review professional theatre
  • Learn more about theatre practitioners and different styles of acting

Drama GCSE can make you stand out as you progress through education and into employment by supporting you to become:

  • An independent and critical thinker
  • An effective decision-maker
  • A strong team player
  • A confident speaker
  • Somebody who has proven drive and determination
  • An effective time manager


Unit - Devising Drama 30% (Teacher Assessed)

Students will create their own devised performance based on a chosen stimulus from the exam board stimulus paper. In addition to the performance, students will be marked on an accompanying portfolio with evidence of the process and decisions made whilst creating and developing their performance.

Unit - Presenting and Performing Texts  30% (Visiting Examiner)

Students will take part in a showcase, demonstrating their chosen skills in a live performance. Students will perform in or design for two performances from one text. Students will be required to produce an accompanying document which outlines their intentions for and approach to the performance showcase.

Unit -  Performance and Response  40% (Written exam)

This component requires students to study text and performance.

For section A, students study one performance text from a set list given by the exam board. This section of the paper will contain questions which require short and medium length answers. It assesses students' knowledge and understanding of how drama is developed and performed.

In Section B, students will be required to analyse and evaluate a live performance they have seen using accurate subject-specific terminology.




Books, Equipment, Materials and Resources Recommended/Needed 

Writing equipment and yourselves!

Opportunities For Study Beyond Key Stage 4 

A Level Drama is a successful course at Attleborough Academy Norfolk, with many students going on to study Drama post-16.

Career Opportunities Supported By This Subject 

Drama is an integral part of any career that includes team building, role play, public speaking and co-operation.

Acting/Performing Arts/Teaching/Stage Management. Any career in which you deal with people or groups of people.