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KS4 Drama

KS4 GCSE Drama Course Information

What is the course about?

GCSE Drama is all about understanding what it is like to be in somebody else’s shoes.  You will work in a mainly practical way exploring characters in a variety of different situations.  You will have the opportunity to create your own work as well as look at plays written by other playwrights.  You will work in a variety of groups to express yourself in an active and exciting way.

What qualification will I gain?

You will gain a GCSE in Drama.  There is only one tier of entry so you have the opportunity to achieve all levels at GCSE.

How will I be assessed?

We teach the Pearson Edexcel Drama GCSE. This qualification is bringing its current specification to an end in the summer of 2017. In this academic year Y11 will be completing the old specification (2DR01) and Y10 will be working towards the new specification (1DR0). Y11 will achieve an A*-G grade and Y10 will work towards a 9-1 Grade.

Current Y11 (2016-17)

Unit One

Unit Three

To be completed in the Autumn term of Y11

To be completed in the Summer term of Y11

Drama Exploration

Drama Performance

30% of the GCSE

40% of the GCSE

You will develop your response to a stimulus set by the teacher in a one-day workshop.  You will develop your own ideas and work in a practical way

You will work in a group of between 3 and 9 students to prepare a performance of a play script or a drama piece which you have devised yourself

You will complete a written response to your practical work under controlled conditions (2000 words)

You will present your final, rehearsed performance to a visiting Examiner.

Current Y10 (2016-17)

Component 1

Component 2

Component 3

Devising Theatre

Performing Text

Written Exam

Worth 40% of your GCSE

Worth 20% of your GCSE

Worth 40% of your GCSE

In Component one you will devise your own performance in small groups, which will be assessed by your teacher.


In component two you will perform 2 scenes from one contemporary play. You can choose to do this on your own, in a pair or in a group.


The examination for GCSE Drama is a written exam.  It is worth 40% of the marks.  You will spend 1½ hours answering 8 questions.

·        6 questions on the staging of a play we have studied – from a list of set texts.

·        2 questions based on a play we have seen at the theatre.


You will also keep a journal/diary of your planning, which will be assessed.



An examiner will come to school and watch your performance.

To prepare for the final exam we will study one of the set texts in lessons. To fully develop a solid understanding of this, we will explore the text practically. For the live performance question, we will go to the theatre to watch at least 1 live, professional production.

KS4 Year 10 Component 1 - Devising Portfolio - PowerPoint

What will the lessons be like?

The lessons will almost all be practical sessions, though you will be expected to make notes in lessons and complete some written homework. There will be regular evaluations of work taking place and written into your folders. All lessons take place in the dedicated Drama studios. You will have 6 hours of Drama in your 2 week timetable, 2 double lessons of 2 hours each and two single hour lesson.

What will this course prepare me for?

After you have completed GCSE Drama, you can go on to higher study such as;

  • GCE Drama and Theatre Studies at AS and A2 level
  • BTEC National Performing Arts
  • A range of career choices which require you to have confidence, work well with others and communicate well with people.
  • All employers need to see confidence, communication and independent thinking from all of their employees. Drama will give you the necessary skills to stand out in an interview for a job in any sector.
  •  “Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

Programme of Study

The programme of study is the work you will cover in drama lessons in preparation for your assessment.  The programme of study consists of the essential skills you need to succeed in the three units of the course.  These are the building blocks for all the work you will do.

It is likely that you will work on several aspects of the programme of study at the same time, for example you might use still image and lighting at the same time to mark a significant moment in your work. Or, whilst working on the set text, you may also be learning about how to analyse a stage performance and vice versa. All learning in lessons will help prepare you for all aspects of the assessment.

Forms of Stimuli

The stimuli are the various things that you can use to stimulate or create ideas for your drama.

Some examples of stimuli are;

  • Poems
  • Artefacts (this means objects such as photos, pictures, masks, props, costume, sculpture or any other items or objects you can think of
  • Music
  • Play scripts
  • Live theatre performances
  • Television, film, DVD, video, internet
  • Newspaper and magazine articles
  • Extracts from fiction and non-fiction

When you use stimuli you will have the chance to;

  • Be creative, they will allow you to think outside everyday life
  • Develop ideas, you may be given fragments of stimuli that will allow you to develop a character that is suggested
  • Explore meaning; any item can prompt you to ask questions about it even if it is only “who does it belong to?”
  • Make connections between different stimuli to help you reflect on topics, themes and issues that may be introduced.

How can you use stimuli successfully?

Ask questions about the stimuli such as;

  • Where does it come from?
  • How would I describe it?
  • Where might it be found?
  • Does it have a story attached to it?
  • Who owns it – if anyone?
  • What could it stand for?  Does it have a meaning like a wedding ring?

Allow your ideas and those of the group to follow several paths and possibilities but be prepared to shed some of these ideas to leave a few that you can really work on

The basis of the drama is the way in which a story is told, you need to keep this in mind at all times.

Remember, stimuli whether it be an object for Unit One or a play text for Unit Two will form the starting point for all the work you do.

The rest of this section is for you to keep all the class work you do so that you have a record of the ideas you have developed and can follow the progress of your marks as the course progresses.

Set Text

Starting in Y10 you will study the set text of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This is a very farcical and funny play with lots of different characters and scenarios to engage with. We will spend lots of time exploring the play in practical ways to build a deep understanding of the plot and characters. This will enable you to be fully prepared and ready to answer questions on the text in the exam in Y11.

KS4 GCSE Drama materials

Click on the links below:

GCSE Drama - Exemplar Comments from Examiners

GCSE Drama - Controlled Conditions Information

GCSE Drama - Elements of Drama

GCSE Drama - Medium and Elements of Drama

GCSE Drama - Programme of Study

GCSE Drama - Unit One Information

GCSE Drama - Unit Two Information

GCSE Drama - Unit 3 Performance Support Information

GCSE Drama - Unit 3 The Final Performance EXAM Information

GCSE Drama - Unit 3 The Final Performance Information

Glossary of Drama Terms and Conventions

Links: GCSE BBC Bitesized Drama - with video examples of exploriative strategies and revision materials


GCSE Drama - Edexcel

Improve your Literacy


Click on the link below and make sure you can spell the words and understand their meanings:

Drama Words