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Drama (AQA)

Why study Drama?

GCSE Drama is not just about acting. It is the study of theatre, performance and creation. 

Drama is amongst the oldest art forms, used to speak to vast audiences, deliver tales of comedy and tragedy and allow the audience to experience catharsis. Drama develops performance and collaboration skills, self confidence, and provides students with an opportunity to develop across many areas including acting, directing and designing.

GCSE Drama is a lively and creative course designed to balance the practical and academic study of Drama. Students work together to understand and experience for themselves the roles and responsibilities of a theatre company. Working as part of a creative team of actors, directors, designers and technicians, students build confidence and develop skills in communication, cooperation and performance.

The course enables students to work imaginatively and develop their understanding of how to create thought-provoking and well-made theatre. In addition to acting and directing, students will be encouraged to consider a range of design and technical skills including stage lighting, sound design, set design, stage management, make-up, costume and puppet design.

What does the course involve?

The course is divided into three components, which includes the study of a set text, audience experience of live theatre, devising original work and scripted performance.

Component 1: Understanding Drama (Written exam)

This component culminates in a written exam in which students are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed, including in connection to a set play and on their ability to analyse and evaluate the live theatre work of others.

Component 2: Devising Drama (Practical non-examamined assessment)

This is a practical component in which students are assessed on their ability to create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance, apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance and analyse and evaluate their own work.


Component 3: Texts in Practice (Practical exam)

This is also a practical component in which students are assessed on their ability to apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance. Students must perform two extracts from two sections of a published and previously professionally produced play. This is attended and assessed by an external examiner. 

How will the skills that I develop help me in my future career? 

The course is an excellent preparation for A Level and provides a perfect foundation in creative, practical performance and production skills. With the focus on working imaginatively, collaborating creatively and communicating effectively, GCSE Drama provides a solid base for further studies in Drama and Theatre with a skills set that opens up many vocational opportunities. The course inevitably covers all sorts of transferable skills that will be useful throughout life: communication, presentation/public speaking, group and leadership skills, problem solving, time management, initiative and the ability to work to a deadline and get it right first time (there are no re-runs!). Drama is also a subject to take if you want a job in the entertainment industry, in front of an audience or behind the scenes. It is also relevant and interesting to people who are interested in culture or social issues.

How will I be assessed?

The Understanding Drama element is assessed through a written exam lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. It is worth 40% of the final grade. Devising Drama is worth 40% and is an NEA (Non-Examined Assessments) unit, while Texts in Practice is worth 20% of the final GCSE grade and is an externally assessed practical exam.

Who do I need to contact?

For more information, contact Mr Martindale - gary.martindale@sirthomasfremantle.org