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Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

Drama is a subject full of possibilities for developing critical thinking and advancing more in-depth understanding of the world we live in through the eyes of others. In the Drama department, we encourage active analysis of the expression of social and moral change across history and cultures. The study takes the form of practically exploring how and why storytelling has become a central part of learning in all cultures. Students will develop their skills of communicating meaning through the development of characters and situations based on a range of visual and text-based stimuli . In addition to developing their own performances , learners will study a range of play texts from the Greek theatre of 3000.B.C to contemporary performance texts including  the appropriate physical, linguistic and vocal performing styles of each era. The delivery of the lessons is always through practical exploration and builds the skills of each learner to confidently capture their ideas through discussion and collaboration. Learners are assessed on their ability to perform on, or design for,  the stage and to effectively analyse in writing how and why playwrights, actors designers and directors make key decisions in the realisation of their works. 




unit overview - autumn term 

Subject: Practitioners & exploring the stimuli 


Be able to develop practical Drama skills through the exploration of practitioners.

Explore and develop creative ideas from stimuli.



  • Emotion memory the knowledge that emotions from our own lives can shape and develop characters.
  • The given circumstances, the knowledge of the character and their circumstances which drive and motivate the character.
  • Magic If, This device is used to get actors to open up their imaginations in order to discover new and interesting things about the character they are playing. The process to help gain greater knowledge about a character.


  • Verfremsdungseffekt, discouraging the audience from identifying with characters and so losing detachment, the action must continually be made strange, alien, remote, and separate.
  • Epic Theatre proposed that a play should not cause the spectator to identify emotionally with the characters or action before them. Learners gain knowledge of how theatre can provoke rational self-reflection and a critical view of the action on the stage.
  • Placards learners build knowledge on how using placards can supply the audience with more information such as a fact on a war the performance is exploring, introducing characters or ending a stage. This is all building learners’ knowledge on non-naturalistic theatre and how this can be applied practically when devising.


  • Theatre of Cruelty - This is challenging the actor’s body by pushing their physical boundaries to the extreme.
  • Bombarding the audience and their senses.
  • The use of a universal language to explore and understand the realms of vocal skills.
  • Extreme physicality to further develop the knowledge of how to use the body to communicate with an audience.

Steven Berkoff and physical theatre:

  • Developing the Berkovian knowledge that ‘naturalism is what you do when you don’t know anything else. Learners will develop mime techniques, chorus work and exaggerated techniques to begin exploring.
  • Learners will begin to explore how the bodies can be used to show inanimate objects further developing the knowledge of physical theatre.
  • Learners begin to explore the company Frantic assembly and their techniques to create physical theatre. The will explore ‘round-by-through’ and ‘chair duets’ amongst others.


Learners will look at theatre practitioners and how they have shaped and formed theatre. By using the skills of these practitioners’ learners can practically explore the style and apply to devised work for their component 1 performance. Through discovering these practitioners learners will have a broader awareness of theatre and the historical context of how theatre has been shaped through history. This allows learners to become culturally aware as all practitioners are from different countries and their style has been influenced by their surroundings. Learners will also begin to widen their knowledge on political issues and how this can be explored via theatre, Brecht believed in addressing politics in his theatre and to make the audience think therefore learners will explore political issues through his style.

Exploring practitioners and style is beneficial to help learners understand different ways theatre can be created. Component 1 GCSE Drama learners are asked in their written portfolio which style of theatre they will be exploring and why. Practitioners heavily influence the style of theatre a learner will create taking techniques from their style to devise engaging thought provoking theatre. This would also benefit learners who wish to progress to A Level Drama as they are required to focus on a specific practitioner for influence of their devised performance.

Through exploration of practitioners and workshops learners will explore and respond to their stimuli keeping a record of the skills they explore to assemble evidence for their written component.

unit overview - spring term 

Subject: Component 1 & Component 3 DNA 


Component 1

Devise performance using practical skills explored in previous term.

Refine and rehearse devised work communicating intent to an audience.

Analyse and evaluate on-going rehearsal process using portfolio as evidence.

Evaluate individual contribution to rehearsal process and personal strengths and weaknesses.

Component 3

Analyse and evaluate a live performance using performance and design skills

Explore set text practically looking at performance skills

Explore design elements within the set text and how this can bring a performance to life for an audience.


Component 1 knowledge:

  • Learners will apply all practical skills learnt combining them to create and engage the audience.
  • Learners will begin to demonstrate knowledge of theatre style and which skills are appropriate to this.
  • Learners will be self-reflective and analytical of their devised performance. Developing their skills to communicate their intentions.
  • Refining their work through the use of forum theatre.

Component 3 knowledge:

  • Key terminology designers need when creating a performance.
  • The material of costumes and the health and safety of shapes and designs.
  • Learners will begin to comprehend which lighting lanterns produce which light and how this looks visually in a performance.
  • The benefits of lighting angels and how those angels can create tension and impact for an audience.
  • Colour symbolism what colours can symbolise through lighting and costume. How the colours can deliver context and personality.
  • The impact diegetic and non-diegetic sound can create on a performance and how this communicates the designer’s interpretation.
  • Practically embed knowledge of staging and the benefits of certain staging and how this can bring a performance to life.
  • How a director uses props and stage furniture to bring an extract to life. Considering time period and location.


During rehearsal of component 1 learners become reflective and self-critical demonstrating their ability to refine their own work and evaluate their own progress. Component 1 in GCSE Drama requires learners to refine their work and they must produce written evidence to be entered to the exam board. During this term they will keep an up-to-date portfolio to help them produce this work in the next term.

The ability to be self-reflective and self-critical is a tool that they will require in the wider world, in work life they will be required to constantly evaluate how they are working and strive to improve and develop.

Component 3 knowledge looks at communicating intent to an audience through the use of designer skills. Learners will be required these skills for their written GCSE exam and therefore knowledge of what these design elements do to a performance and an audience is essential. They will consider these elements alongside the themes of the text they are studying. The text considers peer pressure and gang culture something which is relevant to the learners and the greater community.

unit overview - summer term 

Subject: Component 1 & Portfolio 


Component 1 portfolio:

Learners will create their portfolio analysing and evaluating their progress, development and overall success of their devised performance.

Component 3:

Develop designer skills focussing on the use of costume and how this brings a performance to life for an audience

Develop writing skills for exam style questions structuring the questions according to the marks required.


Component 1 portfolio:

  • Analyse their progress through the devising process.
  • Analyse the skills used which refined and developed their performance.
  • Analyse and evaluate the themes that were presented in their performance and how if this was successfully communicated to an audience
  • Evaluate their personal contribution to the performance and how they successfully or unsuccessfully drove the performance.
  • Evaluate the groups success and if the intent was successfully communicated to the audience.

Component 3:

  • How costumes can influence a performance.
  • How can costumes add effect and symbolism to a scene or a play
  • Develop skills in creating creative costume ideas for the audience and how this brings the character to life for an audience.
  • Understand how health and safety implications can be addressed through costume.
  • Justify design choices through using evidence from the play.
  • Demonstrate how they communicate a message or idea to an audience through performance.


Demonstrate how costume can show a time period and how what we wear can communicate different messages to people around us.

Evaluating how learners contribute and how they work when in a group. This is essential skills to analyse and evaluate for when they progress through life and work and work with others. Evaluating their strengths and weaknesses in this and how they can improve their team working skills.

Learners will gain analytical skills and evaluative skills in this term. Using these skills to create their portfolio reflecting on their progress. The portfolio created in this term is finishing off their GCSE component 1.

Co-curricular programme

Click on the link to view the range of co-curricular activities being run by the Drama Department


Knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.