'I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me.' Philippians (4:13)


Autumn Term 2023 - Year 8 Drama 
What have Year 8 been learning about in Drama this term?
In Year 8, pupils have explored with how to perform characters with different levels of status. After completing lots of practical activities, including Max Stafford Clark's status card exercise, they wrote and performed their own scripts that included characters with different levels of status. More recently, they have begun learning about Melodrama. They completed some homework projects where they had to research the typical characters found in a Melodrama and then produce either a script or a performance showing what they had learnt from their research. There were some fantastic homework projects submitted, with pupils clearly spending a lot of time on them. In lessons, we have been exploring with how we can use exaggerated characterisation to perform the Melodrama characters and learning about the typical Melodrama plot. Pupils have been very engaged with this and have created some brilliant performances so far. 




Our Drama department adopts a practical approach to teaching, providing opportunities for pupils to develop their social skills and to build confidence with performing in front of others. We aim to encourage pupils to work well with others, to work independently and to be creative and imaginative. In Drama lessons at St Edmund’s, pupils are taught skills in the areas of making, performing and responding. Many of these skills are transferable across the curriculum and we aim to develop these skills to support pupils in achieving their best at school.   

The KS3 Drama curriculum comprises of both scripted and devised performance work, including the exploration of one Shakespeare text each year. This has formed excellent links with the English curriculum and has developed pupils’ confidence with the Shakespearean language. Lessons are designed to enable pupils to make progress through discussion and group work. Pupils learn key skills and techniques that they build on and develop by applying them to a range of different theatrical styles and genres.

Verbal feedback forms a key part of Assessment for Learning within lessons, and pupils regularly have the opportunity to view each other’s work and peer/self-assess it. This is extremely effective in allowing pupils to recognise what makes a performance effective and understand what they need to do to improve their work further.



KS3 Drama


At KS3, Drama lessons are taught weekly. Formative assessments take place approximately once every half term and these involve pupils making, performing and responding to a performance linked to the theatrical style/genre/technique being explored.  

Year 7: 

Pupils learn the basic skills and techniques needed for success in Drama at KS3. They then explore: Pantomime, ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare, Greek Theatre/Chorus and Trestle Masks. 

Year 8: 

Following an initial assessment, pupils go on to explore: Status, Melodrama, ‘Romeo & Juliet’ by William Shakespeare, Horror, ‘Bouncers’ and ‘Shakers’ by John Godber and Commedia dell’Arte. 

Year 9: 

Following an initial assessment, pupils go on to explore: ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare, Physical Theatre, ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell, Devising Theatre and a Text Taster. 

KS4 Drama


Exam board: AQA

The AQA GCSE Drama course is divided into three components:


Component 1: Understanding Drama (40%)

This is a written exam that takes place at the end of Year 11 and is externally marked by AQA. The exam is 1hour 45minutes in length and assesses the following areas:

Section 1: Understanding of theatre roles and terminology

Section 2: Study of a set text – ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller

Section 3: Evaluation of a live theatre production


Component 2: Devising Drama (40%)

This component involves pupils working in groups to devise their own Drama performance from a given stimulus. In addition, pupils complete an individual devising log that documents the devising process. This component is internally assessed by the class teacher and externally moderated by AQA.


Component 3: Texts in Practice (20%)

For this component, pupils study two extracts from a play that contrasts to the one studied for component 1. Pupils present either a monologue, duologue or group performance of sections taken from both of these extracts to an external examiner towards the end of Year 11. For this component pupils are assessed entirely on their practical performance skills.





4+   88.9%          5+   50%        7+   22.2%


19/20 (CAGS)

4+   100%          5+   76.5%        7+   35.3%


20/21 (TAGS)

4+   100%          5+   100%        7+   66.7%


 AQA Drama GCSE Course Overview.pdfDownload
 AQA GCSE Drama Course Handbook.pdfDownload
 Curriculum Map - KS3 Drama.pdfDownload
 Curriculum Map - KS4 Drama.pdfDownload
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