Years 7-9

This exciting and interesting subject aims to develop your interest and passion for performing arts both as performers and as audience members giving you an enthusiasm for the subject. You will have the opportunity to experience a range of dramatic and theatrical skills developing them with your creativity and imagination. You will have an array of performance opportunities throughout the course including devising drama, scripted performance, dance technique, choreographing dance and musical theatre repertoire. Lessons will be highly practical and there will be a range of group and individual work to allow you to develop the skills and fulfil your potential within the subject. A challenging, creative and enjoyable course.


Students will be assessed at the end of each scheme of work by your teachers, this will involve a practical performance. Throughout the term you will be given feedback in a variety of forms including; written, verbal, peer and self-assessment. This feedback will help you make improvements to your practical performance work throughout the course of key stage three.

Topics include:

  • musical theatre
  • jazz
  • ballet
  • rock and roll
  • variety theatre
  • african performance
  • pantomime

Years 10 and 11

You will study three components within the course, these will focus on the variety of skills including; devising, performance, analysis and evaluation. Lessons will be highly practical and there will be a range of group and individual work to allow you to develop the skills and fulfil your potential within the subject.

Students study either GCSE drama or BTEC acting.

GCSE drama

Component 1 devising (40% of the qualification)

You will work in a group to create and develop a devised piece of theatre from a stimulus given to you by your teacher. For example, this could be a newspaper article, song, picture or poem. Assessment of this unit will take two forms, your performance of the piece to an audience and a portfolio which covers the creating and developing process as well your analysis and evaluation of the process. The portfolio can either be a written document between 750 – 1000 words or a verbal presentation lasting between 8 – 10 minutes or a combination of the two.

Component 2 performance from text (20% of the qualification)

You will work in a group and develop, rehearse and perform two extracts from existing play texts which will be chosen by your teacher. This unit will be assessed by a visiting examiner. On the examination day you will perform your piece to an audience. You will gain marks for voice, movement, characterisation and communication within the performance.

Component 3 theatre makers in practice (40% of the qualification)

You will study one complete play text chosen by the centre. The exploration will take place through practical workshop sessions as well as theory based lessons. As part of this unit you will also go and see a live theatre performance and evaluate this as an audience member. Again, you will work on this in workshop sessions in class. The unit culminates in a written examination which is 1 hour and 30 minutes long. In the examination you will answer six question on an extract from the set play text you have studied and two questions on the live performance you went to see. You are allowed to take in 500 words of notes for the live evaluation section of the examination.

BTEC acting

Component 1 exploring the performing arts (30% of the qualification) During component 1, you will observe and reproduce existing repertoire, as well as explore: performance styles, creative intentions and purpose, performance roles, responsibilities and skills performance techniques, approaches and processes how practitioners create and influence what’s performed. This will be assessed through a combination of practical workshops and written coursework. This is an internally assessed component.

Component 2 developing skills and techniques (30% of qualification)

During component 2 you will: gain physical, interpretative, vocal and rehearsal skills during workshops and classes. They will apply their technical, stylistic and interpretative skills in performances. They will also reflect on their progress and use of skills in performance, as well as how they could improve. This will be assessed through two practical performances and some written coursework. This in an internally assessed component.

Component 3 performing to a brief (40% of qualification) Within component 3 you will: use the brief and what they’ve learned to come up with ideas for the performance choose the skills and techniques they’ll need build on their skills in classes, workshops and rehearsals review the development process within an ideas and skills log perform a piece lasting 10–15 minutes (which is filmed) to their chosen target audience reflect on the performance in an evaluation report.

Awarding body



At GCSE students will achieve a grade of 1 to 9. Component 1 is internally assessed and component 2 and 3 are assessed externally by the exam board. Component 2 is a practical performance examination and component 3 is a written examination.

At BTEC students will achieve a grade of pass to distinction*. Component 1 and 2 are assessed internally through a combination of practical performance and coursework. Component 3 is externally assessed by the exam board and is a combination of controlled assessment and practical performance.

Topics covered

Some of the play text studied: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time, Blood Brothers, Too Much Punch for Judy, Shrek, An Inspector Calls and Be My Baby

  • Explorative strategies
  • Interpreting play text
  • Physical theatre
  • Theatre in education
  • Evaluating live theatre
  • Exploring the performing arts.
  • Theatre makers in practice
  • Developing skills and techniques
  • Performing to a brief

Recommended revision guides / course resources