Performing Arts

We believe that at the heart of every child is the desire to “make believe” and although this naturally becomes more complex with age, we aim to deliver the subject in its purest and most creative form, placing great importance on originality and artistry.

A Level Drama and Theatre

OCR’s A Level in Drama and Theatre has been designed to be a practical, engaging and creative specification for learners to study. It will provide them with opportunities to interrogate drama and the work of others, to explore a range of drama as a practical art form, and to work independently to create their own drama performances making informed artistic choices.

The main purpose of this qualification is to allow learners to study drama and theatre in an academic setting, interrogating this art form and applying their knowledge and understanding to the process of creating and developing drama and theatre and to their own performance work. It will also prepare learners for the further study of Drama or Performing Arts courses in Higher Education as well as developing transferable skills desired by all sectors of the industry.

The course will help create :

independent learners, critical thinkers and effective decision makers –

all personal attributes that can make them stand out as they progress through their education and into employment.

Students participate in two performance components as either a performer or a designer (lighting, sound, set or costume). One of these is a performance from a text, the other a devised performance based on and influenced by their research into the work of others.

Component group 1: Practitioners in practice

Students explore practically the work of theatre practitioners and use the skills gained to explore text and create devised theatre. They are required to practically explore two practitioners and an extract from a performance text, and perform a devised piece of drama or theatre for an audience.

The role which students elect to take determines which component they study:

For performers: Creating, devising and performing for original theatre (12)

For designers: Creating, devising and designing for original theatre (14).

Component 2: Exploring and performing texts

Students explore one performance text in its entirety and perform part of the text, applying the relevant skills to communicate the meaning in a performance text to an audience.

Students continue in the same role as for component group 1:

For performers: Performing live theatre (21)

For designers: Designing for live theatre (31).

Component 3: Analysing performance

Students explore practically two performance texts on a chosen theme, and analyse and evaluate live theatre.

There is one component (31) in this group with two sections:

Section A: students study two different performing texts on a given theme and develop knowledge and understanding of how extracts can be rehearsed and interpreted in performance

Section B: students analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance.

Component 4: Deconstructing texts for performance

Students will interpret and explore practically a performance text considering how to create, develop and direct a performance for an audience.

Students study a performance text.

Drama website

Extra Curricular:

We run a weekly Drama Club on Wednesdays 3.10-4.10pm in the studio. 

We put on  a cross – curricular Summer Production  open to all students.

Theatre trips are arranged for all. Examination students will see performances as part of their course.

We are fortunate to have the use of the Redbridge Drama Centre and benefit from their workshops and performances.

Expectations/Code of Conduct

In order to maintain a calm and safe environment in which our students can enjoy drama and develop confidence in their ability, we expect students to adhere to the following code of conduct:

  • to behave in a sensible and safe manner at all times;
  • to be aware of health and safety within the drama space;
  • to follow the instructions of their teacher at all times;
  • to remove any items that might be a hazard in lessons, such as keys, loose jewellery, scarves, mobile phones, I pods, etc;
  • to treat each other with respect, acknowledging the range of sensitivities associated with aspects of drama, such as reading out loud and performing in front of an audience;
  • to make their best effort to complete the work set in class and homework.
  • we ask students to sign a homework contract at the start of the year. Homework is set fortnightly at KS3 and at GCSE and A Level this increases to meet the demands of the course.

Key Stage 3

Students have one hour of drama each week in which they explore a range of issue-based and skill-based topics.  Our schemes of work reflect our desire to teach drama skills that students will continue to use and develop at GCSE and even A’level.  We also expose them to a variety of genres and literary references  to develop their intellect and their ability to translate these ideas creatively into their practical work.

In Year 7, students explore the following topics, which include the use of key drama skills:

  • “Darkwood Manor”, the mystery genre;
  • “War of the Worlds”: a science fiction novel, by H.G. Wells.
  • The Wild West: exploring the historical relationship between European settlers and Native Americans;
  • The Silent Movies: the mime of Charlie Chaplin;
  • “The Incredible Illucinations of Ernie”  (an introduction to scripts);
  • “The Tempest”, by William Shakespeare.

In Year 8, skills are further developed within the context of:

  • Michael: (an exploration of bullying);
  • “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer;
  • Story Theatre (storytelling: a multicultural context);
  • “Frankenstein”; “Carrie’s War” or another appropriate text;
  • Macbeth, by William Shakespeare.

In Year 9, skills are consolidated and extended to include those studied for GCSE:

  • Kelly Turner (explores a real life event that explores the issue of racism);
  • Soap Opera and its conventions;
  • Conflict;
  • “Too Much Punch for Judy” (a play which explores the serious consequences of drinking and driving);
  • A Shakespeare Text;

Key Stage 4

Drama GCSE consists of both practical and written work:

Content and Assessment Overview

Learners will research and explore a stimulus, work collaboratively and create their own devised drama. Devising Drama* (01/02) - 60 marks - non-exam assessment - 30% of total GCSE

Learners develop and apply theatrical skills in acting or design by presenting a showcase of two extracts from a performance text. Presenting and performing texts* (03) - 60 marks - non exam assessment (visiting examination) - 30% of total GCSE

Learners will explore practically a performance text to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama.  Learners will analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance**.  Drama Performance and response* (04) - 80 marks - exam assessment 1 hour 30 minutes (written paper)

It will prepare learners for

the further study of Drama or Performing Arts courses

as well as developing transferable skills desired by further education, higher education and employers in all sectors of industry.

The course will help create independent learners, critical thinkers and effective decision makers – all personal attributes that can make them stand out as they progress through their education and into employment.

Aims and Outcomes of GCSE Drama

· apply knowledge and understanding of drama when making, performing and responding to drama

· explore performance texts, understanding your social, cultural and historical context

· develop a range of theatrical skills and apply them to create performances

· work collaboratively to generate, develop and communicate ideas

· develop as creative, effective, independent and reflective students able to make informed choices in process and performance

· contribute as an individual to a theatrical performance

· reflect on and evaluate your own work and that of others

· develop an awareness and understanding of the roles and processes undertaken in contemporary professional theatre practice

· adopt safe working practices





We like to expose our students to a broad range of theatre styles and techniques and provide theatre trips as part of our syllabus and as a reward for effort.  Students in year 10 to 13 attend at least one trip each year for their courses.  Given stringent health and safety procedures, trips for key stage three children are reserved for smaller groups of motivated and conscientious students.


We host a range of workshops throughout the year which enhance the learning of our students.  These include booster courses for our year 9 students choosing Drama for a GCSE option.  Theatre- in- Education companies also visit to help our year 10 students prepare for their project.  Master classes are held to support students in their GCSE and A’level practical exams.  This has been extended this year to include a masterclass, which focuses on the Year 13 final written paper.

We are delighted this year to continue to host workshops by the Redbridge Drama Centre; Frantic Assembly; Actors of Dionysus and Theatre Workshops.

Curriculum Enhancement

Having contributed to the achievement of Artsmark Gold, we endeavour to provide opportunities for our students to gain greater confidence through extra curricular performance. 

Drama clubs for KS3 students are held during lunch and after school to raise student interest and achievement.  Some are focused particularly on the Gifted and talented. This year we are also introducing a dance club.

During Artsmonth, students in KS3, 4 and 5 are encouraged to attend special workshops and prepare pieces for performance.

KS3 students with the help of our year 10s traditionally manage an interactive drama evening with children from our local primary feeder schools.

Our Year 12s traditionally prepare and perform a piece for their GCSE certificate evening.

We usually end the year with a whole school production, which might take on the form of a musical or play.   We see this as an opportunity for our enthusiastic students in KS3, 4 7 5 to showcase their work.