Drama and Theatre Studies

Curriculum leaders

Ms G Matthews, Mr D MacPherson, and Ms C Robertshaw

GCSE Examination board:


Link to GCSE Specification: GCSE Drama

Curriculum Intent

The purpose of the AGFS DRAMA curriculum is:

  • To promote ambition by exploring content through written and practical work along with a clear mix of both devising and developing performance from published plays. This continues past the classroom and through extra-curricular activities which shapes scholars’ intrinsic value of the subject, giving those who study drama at our school the ability to continue their performing arts education into professional careers.
  • To develop growth by increasing scholars' self-esteem, confidence, and creativity, while developing analytical and evaluation skills through constructive feedback. We aim to support all scholars to develop into avid speakers, studying foundational drama skills in year 7, moving in a developmental spiral of knowledge, performance skills and techniques throughout KS3 and into KS4.
  • To encourage fellowship through communication, teamwork and becoming more self-aware.
  • To cultivate scholarship by creating a love for the subject, ensuring content is relevant, engaging and encourages discussion, enabling scholars to become robust and curious learners, whilst developing their wider cultural capital beyond the subject.

Curriculum Organisation

The drama curriculum is organised by the power standards. These standards reflect the essence of the subject as an academic discipline and reflect the strands of each discipline that must be developed to achieve mastery. These threads are cross-referenced against the KS3 national curriculum, GCSE, A Level specification, and degree courses at Russell Group universities to ensure that scholars’ experience of the subject is as broad and as academically rigorous as possible.

The drama power standards are:

  • Sustained use of Vocal Skills to communicate your character’s emotions (A02)
  • Sustained use of Physical Skills to communicate your character's intentions in the performance (A02)
  • Use a range of drama techniques to create, develop and refine your communication of intent for the audience. (A01)
  • Use of style, genre, and context to develop coherent and creative explorations of the material. (A03)
  • Use of analytical and evaluative terminology, embedding specific drama terminology in feedback both orally and written. (A04)

Curriculum Overview:

Year 7:

  • Module 1: Greek theatre
  • Module 2: Commedia Dell Arte

Year 8:

  • Module 1: Melodrama and Pantomime
  • Module 2: Stanislavski and naturalistic acting

Year 9:

  • Module 1: Physical theatre
  • Module 2: Devising from stimuli


Year 10:

  • Module 1: AIC Component 3 Section A: Devising
  • Module 2: AIC Component 3 Section A: Devising
  • Module 3: AIC Component 3 Section A: Final GCSE Performance and Portfolio


Year 11:

  • Module 1: Component 2: Bringing text to life and Component 3 Section A: AIC and Section B: Live Theatre
  • Module 2: Bespoke teaching and revision
  • Module 3: Revision and public examinations

Supporting from home

Recommended websites/ online platforms:


Recommended activities to complete with your child:

  • Visit the theatre
  • Watch live theatre online as a family
  • Line learning
  • Quizzing key terminology


Scholars receive verbal, self, and peer feedback every lesson through:

  • Whole class feedback on common misconceptions in the read now, recall now activities and during daily review.
  • Responses to the whole class checking for understanding activities, such as hand signal responses, ‘heads down’ and mini whiteboard tasks.
  • Teacher intentional monitoring during deliberate practice activities.

Scholars are expected to respond in the moment to this feedback to show they can correct errors and improve their knowledge and understanding.

At Key Stage 3, scholars receive teacher feedback every lesson, where they learn whether they are on track, below or above their teacher’s expectations for mastery. At the end of every lesson, scholars will have a clear target to incorporate into their work in the following lesson.

At Key Stage 4, scholars receive written teacher feedback after each checkpoint. Scholars complete checkpoint tasks independently so teachers can review what they know and can do.

Checkpoints in drama consist of:

  • Section A: Identifying examples of core terminology 
  • Section B: Perform in a devised or scripted performance, or extended writing in response to an exam question

Written feedback from checkpoints will consist of:

  • A score for section A and section B.
  • Celebration of what has gone well.
  • Identification of a high leverage target.

Scholars will complete a refinement task to show their understanding of the target and to demonstrate their capacity to improve their work. This could be achieved through redrafting a section of their work or attempting a similar task.

Ambition and careers

Success in drama can lead to careers in:

  • Theatre
  • Community work
  • Film
  • Law

Cultural capital, enrichment, and visits

Through the study of drama, scholars will be exposed to a range of culturally enriching experiences and knowledge.

Cultural capital within the curriculum:

Our curriculum follows the history of theatre, exposing scholars to Greek theatre, mask work, melodrama, pantomime, practitioners, and different styles of theatre. We visit the West End to watch l ive theatre in KS4 and have teamed up for the past few years with THE OLD VIC Schools Club, allowing our scholars to receive workshops from current working practitioners. Live theatre is also shared with scholars online via the National Theatre Drama Library.

Drama's contribution to the enrichment programme:

We offer a KS3 Drama/Musical Theatre club, Technical Theatre club and KS4 Drama surgery. Scholars develop their creative skills and work towards performance pieces that are then shown to a live audience in our school concerts and end of term assemblies. We have a selected group of KS3 scholars who spend the second half of the academic year rehearsing once a week towards the school musical at the end of the academic year. We have a technical theatre team which supports backstage during the shows, and experience training in operating the lighting and sound desks.

Drama's contribution to Drop Down Days and the trips and visits programme:

Our Drop Down Days in the Autumn term are dedicated to rehearsals with the casts of our Black History and Christmas concerts. We use the other Drop Down Days to intensely work with our Year 10 and 11 drama scholars towards GCSE performances.