Years 10 and 11 follow the new AQA specification for Drama GCSE.

GCSE Drama is not an ‘easy option’ as it requires students to work in a variety of different ways (individually, in pairs, small groups, as a whole class) on a range of challenging themes and issues. It has the power to inspire, challenge and motivate. It requires creativity, team-work, negotiation and dedication. However, it also allows students to explore ideas in a highly creative and artistic context, developing confidence, communication skills and a deeper understanding of themselves and others. The AQA specification is diverse, practical and accessible to students of all abilities.

Transferable skills:

Students can be sure to gather many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons. Students learn to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts. Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace. Suitable for those wishing to pursue a career in the Arts, any job requiring presentation, communication or creative skills, or for those who simply have an interest in the subject.

This specification engages and encourages students to become confident performers and designers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future.

Aims of the Course

During the course students will:

  • Take part in the process of dramatic study to become effective independent critical thinkers with enquiring minds
  • Work imaginatively, creatively and collaboratively to generate, develop and communicate ideas
  • Reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others
  • Develop and use a range of practical and creative performance skills
  • Develop a basis for their future role as an active citizen, employment and future study of drama
  • Explore the social, cultural and historical influences on drama texts and activities

There are six areas of study covered during the course:

  • Theatre roles and terminology
  • Study of set text
  • Live theatre production
  • Creating devised drama (practical)
  • Performing devised drama (practical)
  • Texts in practice (practical)

During the course, students can choose to develop as a: Performer, Designer or Performer and Designer (including: lighting, sound, set, costume and puppet design). Whichever option they choose, students can be sure to gather many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

Details of formal examination

Component 1: Understanding drama

40% of GCSE

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play from a choice of six
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

40% of GCSE

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

20% of marks

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)

Clear Progression to AS and A-level

This specification ensures continuity for students progressing from GCSE Drama to AS and A-level Drama and Theatre. Students who go on to AS or A-level will already be familiar with studying a whole set text for the written paper. They have built solid foundations in reviewing a live theatre production and in interpreting key extracts. All of these aspects feature in the AS and A-level as well as the GCSE.

Year 10 Residential Weekend to Menai

Each year in January we take our Year 10 GCSE students to the Conway Centre in Menai to work with professional actors, directors and theatre technicians. Previous workshops have included musical theatre, devising with technology and puppetry, script work, masks, lighting design, immersive theatre, movement and physical theatre. During the weekend the students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone and attempt new things with the help of the professional artists. Performing alongside fellow Drama students from other schools, not only will they broaden their performance skills, but they will also create new friendships and share fresh ideas. This theatrical weekend has left many students with happy memories and increased their skills both on and off stage. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable opportunity that we highly recommend to all GCSE Drama students!