Key Stage 4: GCSE
Who is it suitable for?
Suitable for students who enjoy practical Drama and want to gain an understanding of the way in which drama is created. A practical course backed up by theory work.
What will students learn? (course outline)
Students will learn about different styles of drama and theatre, work practically to explore these styles and apply this knowledge to text and devised performance work. They will learn about influential practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud and apply their theories to practical work.
We currently follow the AQA Drama GCSE specification and the course is delivered in three parts:
Component 1 – Understanding Drama (Written exam)
Students are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre. Students will study one set play text using practical skills to explore the themes and characters. Students will also analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance.
The written exam comprises of:
- Section A – Multiple choice questions about theatre roles and terminology.
- Section B – Four questions on a given extract from the set play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell.
- Section C – One question to be answered about a live theatrical performance.
Component 2 – Devising Drama (Practical and Written)
Students are assessed on the process of creating and performing devised drama. They will work collaboratively and creatively to devise a performance from a given stimulus. Students will also be required to produce a written log book.
Component 3 – Texts in practice (Practical and externally assessed)
Students are assessed in their performance of two extracts from one play. The chosen play needs to be different from the set text studied for component 1.
Homework is set regularly and will be used to support the learning in class. Tasks such as character charts, evaluation, research and learning lines will be completed over the course.
What skills do students need to be successful in this GCSE and beyond?
Teamwork, enthusiasm, evaluation, communication, confidence, self-expression, verbal and non-verbal communication, body language, voice, movement.
You will need to spend time outside of lesson hours to rehearse performances, so after school rehearsals are necessary. Good attendance is very important; once missed, it is impossible to ‘catch up’ with Drama work. During group projects one student’s absence can directly affect the others in the group. You will need to see live theatre, so attendance on at least one trip to the theatre is essential. Regular visits to see theatre is a bonus and would be highly recommended.