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What will I learn?

Performance and academic rigour are both paramount in drama, therefore there is as much opportunity as possible for pupils at Hill House to do what they do best – participate in performance, as well as enhance important drama technique, theory and stage craft.  All pupils in Key Stage 3 and above devise drama and explore texts practically, working on text-based performances. Pupils can also choose to develop as a:

  • performer
  • designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets)
  • performer, designer and director.  

Whichever options they choose, pupils can be sure to gather many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

Year 9

Year 9 is a valuable time for pupils in all subjects with GCSE choices fast approaching. Drama covers some of the main topics that are studied at GCSE level, should pupils wish to continue their creative studies in Year 10 and 11. The two most important aims of the course are:

  • Consolidation of drama knowledge, performance skills and confidence building, as well as performing in school production performances, musicals, serious plays and form assemblies.
  • Foundation for pupils to move forward with confidence towards the GCSE AQA drama syllabus.


  • To understand the importance of the terms explore, create and perform.
  • To investigate stagecraft and understand ‘the stage’.
  • To explore performance/confidence through class paired/group work.
  • To explore character development; effect-arc and physical.
  • To study aspects of narrative structure; intention-conflict and plot.
  • To understand audience awareness; impact-staging and tension.
  • To develop the art of improvisation in drama.

The Year 9 syllabus covers:

  • Acting performance skills – in a range of dramatic genres
  • Characterisation
  • Stagecraft and drama vocabulary
  • Improvisation
  • Script writing and analysis
  • Devised drama
  • Mime
  • Mask work


Component 1: Understanding drama. 

What is assessed?

  • 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.

How is it assessed?

  • (Written exam): 1 hour and 45 minutes • Open book • 80 marks • 40% of GCSE Questions • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks). • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks). • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks).

Component 2: Devising drama (practical).

What is assessed?

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

How is it assessed?

  • Devising log (60 marks) • Devised performance (20 marks) • 80 marks in total • 40% of GCSE This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What is assessed?

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer). Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1.

How is it assessed?

  • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks) • 40 marks in total • 20% of GCSE This component is marked by AQA.