KS4 Drama


Exam Board



Course Summary

This new course aims to “encourage creativity, focusing on practical work which reflects twenty-first century theatre practice and developing skills that will support progression to further study of drama and a wide range of other subjects.” Edexcel GCSE Specification 2016.

The course has three components: One that focuses on devising and creating your own performances; One that focuses on performing in or designing for a specific play text and one that focuses on the practical knowledge and understanding of how to stage a play text.

What will students learn?

The first term will be focusing on gaining the key terminology and skills required for the course. You will cover all three components, learning how to devise, develop your performance skills and the ‘page to stage’ development process.

From Christmas, you will then focus on each component in turn, learning and honing the key skills required, including coursework writing skills and exam response. You will take part in ‘Mini-Mock’ examinations of all 3 components.

Before the end of Year 10, you will be preparing for and sitting your first component examination.

Component 1 – You will create and develop a devised performance from a stimulus chosen by your teacher. You will perform this piece for your family and friends and this will be assessed by your teacher. You will then be required to create a portfolio, either written (1500 – 2000 words) or verbally presented (8 – 10 minutes) or a combination of both (750 –1000 words and 4-5 minutes).

Year 11

At the beginning of year 11, we will be focusing on 

Component 2 – You will be given a performance text from which you will chose to either perform or design for two key extract from a performance text. This can be monologues, duologues or group performances, or any combination of these. This exam will take place in front of an external examiner.

Component 3 – Theatre Makers in Practice

You will practically explore the bringing to life of one complete performance text from a list if eight potential texts. You will learn about the themes and playwrights intentions. Rehearsal techniques and character development skills to bring the play to life.

During this year, you will get the opportunity to attend a professional performance. You write a Live Theatre Evaluation as a part of the written examination.

This will be assessed in the Summer exams series, in a 1 hour 30 minutes written examination.

How will students be assessed?

Component 1 – (60 marks)

Internally assessed (by your teacher), externally moderated.

Two part to this assessment:

Performance (15 marks)

Portfolio (45 marks)

Component 2 – (48 marks)

This is externally assessed by a visiting examiner in front of a live audience.

Performance of each key extract (24 marks each)

Component 3 – (60 marks)

1 hour 30 minutes written examination.

The Bringing Texts to Life section will consist of one unseen question, five parts to the questions, some long and some short answers (45 marks)

The Live Theatre Evaluation section will have two questions, which will require you to analyse and evaluate a live performance that you have seen. You will be allowed to bring notes into the exam for this section of the paper (15 marks)

Current Year 11 Course Information (2016/2017)

Qualification  GCSE
Exam Board  

What will students learn?

At the beginning of year 11, we will be focusing on 
 Unit 1 –

This is an exploration unit, around the theme of Madness.

Students will take part in a 6 hour workshop examination, in which they will explore the dramatic potential of the theme, from understanding what it feels like to suffer from mental health issues to how madness is portrayed within Shakespearean texts.  Students will be continually assessed throughout this period.

The students will then have approximately 6 hours to produce a Documentary Response, of up to 2000 words, in which they must discuss and justify the choices that were made throughout the workshops.

Unit 3 –

Students will be given a stimulus on which they must base the creation of a unique performance.  This is a very exciting opportunity for students to demonstrate all that they have learned about character and performance development over the two years of the course.  Students are assessed individually in their performance by a visiting examiner in May. Whilst these performances are the responsibility of the students, there is plenty of teacher support and guidance throughout the development phase.

How will students be assessed?

Unit 1 – (60 marks)

Internally assessed (by your teacher), externally moderated.

Two part to this assessment:

Performance (40 marks)

Documentary Response (20 marks)

Unit 3 – (80 marks)

Externally assessed by a visiting examiner.

Assessed individually in the following areas:

Voice & Movement (20 marks)

Role & Characterisation (20 marks)

Communication (20 marks)

Content/style/genre (20 marks)

There is no written assessment in this unit.