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Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame
High School


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Drama GCSE builds on the basic skills learned during years 7, 8 and 9, developing a student’s ability to use a large range of drama conventions in order to explore topics, issues and play-texts in a creative, imaginative and skilled manner.

The course is intellectually challenging; as to work at a high level, students need to be able to demonstrate a sophisticated ability to analyse and evaluate practical work of their own, of their peers and of professional companies. Written analysis is also expected as part of the coursework requirement and final exam so there is emphasis on students having a strong level of written communication alongside their performance skills.

The Head of Department considers the suitability of students and can influence whether they are accepted on the course. This judgement may be based on their attainment in previous years and therefore their ability to fulfil written demands alongside the capability to work supportively with others.

The course also aims to develop students’ confidence, as well as the ability to communicate effectively, using verbal and non-verbal skills, both within practical drama and inter-personally when working in a group.

How is the subject taught?

The subject is taught in mixed ability groups. Lessons are mostly practical, and students work in pairs, in groups and as a whole class. Much of the drama focuses on topics and themes, some of which are suggested by the students, as well as the exploration of scripted drama and learning about the ethos and techniques of influential theatre practitioners to influence your own devised performance work.


  Year 10 Year 11
Aut.1 Devising Skills
Component Two
Aut.2 Practitioners
Component Two
Spr.1 Component One
Component Two
Spr.2 Component One
Component Two
Sum.1 Component One
Component Three
DNA/Theatre review
Sum.2 DNA/Theatre Review  

How is it assessed?

There are three components:

Component 1: Devising (worth 40% of the course mark).

Students create and develop a devised group piece from a stimulus.

There are two parts to the assessment:

  1. A portfolio covering the creating, developing process and evaluation of this process.
  2. A devised performance

Component 2: Performance from a text (worth 20% of the course mark).

Students will perform in two key extracts from a performance text.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (worth 40% of the course mark)

Practical study and exploration of an extract from a performance text.

A live theatre review. 

Written exam, 1 hour 45 minutes.

Section A: Bringing texts to life. This section consists of one question broken into 5 parts based on an unseen extract from the chosen performance text.

Section B: Live theatre evaluation.


Career Pathways 

What does it lead to?

Drama GCSE provides a preparation for the two year A Level Drama and Theatre Studies course, plus other Post-16 Drama and Performing Arts courses. Many employers increasingly value the importance of Drama because of the inter-personal skills it develops.

For more information click on our 6th Form A Level Drama and Theatre Course.

Career Options

Whether you prefer performing or being back stage drama can develop your confidence, communication and teamwork skills and if you are involved in planning or organising a performance then these skills can be useful in many jobs.

The skills you gain from doing drama can lead to careers such as performing arts, media, business, law, advertising, sales, hospitality and tourism. 


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Norwich University of the Arts
NUA is a dynamic and creative community providing arts, design, architecture and media education.

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