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Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

The Drama Curriculum enables students to develop a series of performing, directing and production skills; whilst learning about plays, texts, beliefs and artistic works from other times and cultures. Learners will develop an understanding of how to create staging in different styles for a variety of occasions. All lessons have elements of exploration, rehearsal and performance. Written work is structured in bespoke workbooks until the end of year 9, after which the learners will have a combination of workbooks and more formal essays.

Storytelling, Staging techniques, Character development

Year 7 encourages learners to use various staging techniques and narrative devices; this creates a solid foundation for exploring how to create characters, scenes and basic sound/lighting effects. After the joy and spectacle of devising a Pantomime (which incorporates a Theatre visit as a whole year group)  we progress to using drama skills as a tool to explore the topic of bullying, linking to our SMSC programme of developing empathy and understanding for different people. Later in the year, learners have the opportunity to act, design for and direct scenes from ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ by Alan Ayckbourne. We complete the year with the study of the 19th century style of Melodrama before linking with the English Department to study 17th century scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. 

Genre, style and structure. Realism and Naturalism

Year 8 is more focused on developing the skills and applications of naturalistic and non-naturalistic drama forms. Using stage space more creatively and effectively, the learners start by developing the comic skills of slapstick, honing their physical control and stamina for more physical and abstract theatre performance. Vocal, physical and original writing skills are stretched further with the development of an original monologue lasting up to three minutes. The learners then apply their knowledge by adapting a fairytale in a particular genre to create more contemporary and engaging performances. The traditional Italian form of ‘Commedia Dell Arte’ ensures that the physicality of performance skills is challenged in equal measure to language choices and vocal capability. A study of the substantially challenging and contemporary text of ‘DNA’ provides ample opportunity for budding actors, designers and directors to apply their learning in a more professional manner. The year ends with practical explorations of how 1900s Hungarian writings of Franz Kafka were adapted to the stage by Steven Berkoff in his fascinating Physical Theatre style.

Adaptation, interpretation and political bias

Starting by reflecting on Berkoff’s adaptation of ‘Metamorphosis’ the learners are taught how to apply their own performance skills to develop their own adaptations of ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ in an abstract theatre style. They will use their discernment to determine how to deliberately affect an audience's perspective. Progressing to the study of a whole text, the learners will explore the musical play of ‘Blood Brothers’ which will be compared to the texts and structures from 3000BC to Shakespeare and to more familiar, contemporary TV tropes. In ‘Let Him have it’ the sensitive depiction of real life events are explored in the context of developing effective scenes through guided research, diligent selection of performance style and application of technical effects for a specific purpose. The summer term invites groups of learners to create their own Devised piece from a range of stimuli decided by the teacher.

Devising to a brief.  Designing and Performing for an audience. Analysing and Evaluating 

Having developed a flair for Drama, design or directing in the weekly lesson; learners benefit from 3 lessons a week should they opt to study it further. Component 1 of the course enables learners to devise from stimulus Past stimulus have included Medieval rituals and beliefs; the modern obsession with fame and the experience of American immigrants. Students are assessed on their ability to research a topic, extracting dramatic potential and to successfully apply a range of styles (as learned throughout their previous lessons in years 7-9). This performance component will be accompanied with exercises in a workbook and with a more formal essay submission. 

The second component is entirely about the craft of acting or designing. Learners will be introduced to up to 10 different texts and will develop two scenes or designs from any one of these texts. Their characterisation through physical and vocal interpretation will be entirely their choice, with the teacher guiding and suggesting many rehearsal processes. Design, candidates will give a presentation about their design and be asked to fully realise the on-stage elements of their Lighting, Sound, Set OR Costume design.

Completing the all round approach, the learners will be tutored throughout the year in how to critically evaluate live theatre performances. There will be 2 live theatre visits and several online performances scrutinized in order to prepare for writing about one of these under timed conditions.

To build on the directorial skills, Learners are expected to develop a fully thought- through and justified interpretation of a key text, applying the skills of lighting, sound, costume and set design to their concept.The practice key texts in year 10 are ‘The Woman In Black’ and ‘DNA’. This ensures that learners are exposed to different styles, cultures and eras of both Dramatic performance and playwright’s intentions.

Adapting the approach. Reflecting on professional feedback.  Refining the work.  Performing/presenting to a large audience. 

The learners will be set a brief and devise their own piece for examination. This will be accompanied by a portfolio of exploration work. The learning is all achieved through the professional feedback of the supervising staff, with learners expected to treat feedback in a professional manner by evaluating it and refining their work effectively.

Learners will be visited by an examiner and assessed on either the performance or design of 2 extracts from a play which contrasts the key text. Candidates CAN opt to design one extract and perform in another.

The learners will present and write about their conceptual approach to the key text and be set longer written and practical assignments wherein they thoroughly justify directing, design and production decisions.



unit overview - autumn term 1

Subject: Focus and Movement


  • Be able to demonstrate body language in performance
  • Apply emotions to physical movement.


Performance skills.

  • What our body is saying through movement.
  • Controlling the body to demonstrate appropriate characters
  • Creating characters through physical movement and knowing the different movements to communicate emotion.

Key skills:

  • Use of stillness and the importance of still image to communicate meaning to an audience.
  • Use of slow motion to demonstrate control of the body and recognise the muscles used when performing certain actions.
  • Cannon movement and synchrony to lay the foundations for how a chorus is created and communicated to an audience.


The fundamental building blocks to performance is embedded through the skills taught this term.

Communicating emotions through body language allows learners to determine how they present themselves in society.

Learners are taught how we communicate what we say more through our body than the actual speech we say a skill needed to communicate effectively within society.

Basic skills are embedded in this term in order for further application throughout the key stage. Knowledge of the body and how it moves to show a character is essential for characterisation and building a character in KS4.

Learners engage in this topic through short exercises and beginning to work as a team. These basic skills are needed in this first term as many learners have never participated in any Drama lesson before therefore it is necessary to begin their Drama education with this.

unit overview - autumn term 2

Subject: Pantomime


  • Create a Pantomime for performance
  • Apply vocal and physical skills to a character.


Creation of pantomime:

  • Create a storyboard detailing the scenes of the performance. Demonstrating the ability to produce a beginning a middle and an end.
  • Apply still image and thought out loud to a performance to show the inner feelings of a character.
  • The creation of each scene applying topical humour due to pantomime genre and the appropriate placement of this.
  • Audience awareness and their input in a performance to drive the performance along.
  • Use of narration to communicate the story to the audience and engage them within the action a building block to deeper more meaningful performances later.
  • Writing a song as a group for performance applying the rhythm and tempo appropriate the characters in the scene.
  • Script writing as a group. Developing each scene through devising and writing a script to accompany this.
  • Apply the use of cross-cutting to a scene showing two different points of view of a scene.

Key Skills:

  • Comedy aside applied to communicate the comedy directly to the audience.
  • The knowledge of the diaphragm and how we breathe to enhance vocal projection and vocal range.
  • How to apply the knowledge of the diaphragm and breathing when performing to ensure you sustain the performance without damage to vocal chords.

Extended writing:

  • Learners develop a script in their groups producing one scene per group member creating a story.
  • Learners evaluate their performance using self-evaluate skills. Reflecting on their overall contribution to the performance and the skills they have included in their performance.
  • Learners evaluate the skills they need to develop in the coming terms.


Learners must work as a team to devise and perform a pantomime. They must each take on a role within the performance and also when sourcing props, costumes etc… working as a team is an essential life skill. They learn the ability to listen and cooperate with others and value each other’s opinions. They compromise throughout the term a life skill needed for whatever their future holds. The ability to hold and develop these skills will enhance their future work life where they will categorically work as a team at some point. Pantomime demonstrates British culture and gives learners tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures.

Learners begin to learn how to devise from a story which is the first steps to begin devising more complex ideas later in GCSE. Teaching this links to the time of year pantomimes are traditionally performed and also gives early knowledge of the process of devising


unit overview-  spring term 1

Subject: Bullying


  • Building a character using characters from a short story.
  • Devise a performance using a story as the stimuli to create performance.


Performance knowledge:

  • Explore and develop vocal skills through the use of soundscape. Demonstrating how tension can be created with the voice.
  • Develop vocal range to create a character delving into the exploration of pitch and the tools needed to develop this range.
  • Using hot-seating as a tool to investigate the characters background building the knowledge of how a character is a complete person.
  • Building the knowledge of subtext and how vocal intonation and inflection can change the meaning of what a character says.
  • Developing devising skills through the use of building a character to not only demonstrate the ability to create a character but to also demonstrate the ability to create complex characters.

~Extended writing:

  • Embedding the role of the director using exam style question.
  • Understanding the complexity of a director and how the director visions a whole performance.
  • Demonstrating the ability to view the entire performance and analyse the impact of the director’s choices on the character.


Learners develop the knowledge of subtext through this term exploring how we say things and how the meaning can change. Learners begin to become aware of the intonations and inflections in a voice that can determine people’s reactions towards them as individuals. The ability to use their voice is a transferable skill as learners will identify the way they speak socially and professionally to each other. Allowing them to interpret skills to conduct themselves in professional interviews, social situations, presentations, and engaging in appropriate conversations with colleagues in the future.

Bullying links to whole school initiative and learners become aware empathetic towards each other. Learners begin to learn subtext during this term which creates deeper more meaningful performance is KS4.

Through extended writing they begin applying directorial skills and analysing how to perform a character. Written through practical is central to the component 3 for GCSE therefore developing those skills that will be essential for KS4. Early knowledge of this extended writing will allow learners to continue the skills as they progress through the Key stage.

unit overview - spring term 2

Subject: Script Work


  • Be able to understand staging and blocking for a performance
  • Create a script for an off script exploration of characters.
  • Develop vocal pitch and pace for performance



  • Explore the use of the stage and different staging styles which create different audience connections with performance.
  • Direct and perform in a scene considering blocking and how this is to be avoided through stage blocks and stage space.
  • Create and perform a script demonstrating knowledge of the character from the original script.
  • Explore different staging styles and the benefits of using these.
  • Use the stage directions in the performance to explore the use of props, stage furniture and stage space.

Extended writing:

  • Learners must produce an evaluation of their scripted performance a link with GCSE Drama portfolio.
  • Learners analyse the skills they used in performance and how this communicated intent to the audience. This is a question within the written GCSE portfolio.
  • Evaluating the use of script and how this differs from devised work.


Script work is a component in GCSE Drama learners must perform two extracts of a script to communicate meaning to an audience. This is the first introduction to script work after building the essential skills needed for characterisation. This is placed at this part in the term to link to further script work in the coming term which links with English scripted work.

Learners are encouraged this term to consider the relationship formed between audience and performers and also between performers on stage. Learners look at how we communicate with each other using eye contact and facial expressions. Learners become aware of their non-verbal communication and what this is saying about themselves become socially aware of each others actions.

unit overview - summer term 1

Subject: Shakespeare


  • Develop practical Drama elements such as chorus, narration and marking the moment through Shakespeare.
  • Analysing Shakespearean text to create modern day Shakespearean performance.


Performance skills:

  • Exploring Midsummer Night’s Dream through mime and thought-out-loud. Applying the key moments of the scene conveying the story through the use of facial expressions.
  • Analysing Midsummer Night’s Dream in order to create off text improvisation developing extended knowledge of the characters.
  • Learners build knowledge on creating an atmosphere for the setting of the scene through the setting of Macbeth
  • Apply the use of chorus work to the three witches’ scene developing physical skills to tell a story.
  • Apply symbolism to a performance and understand the impact this has on audience interpretation.
  • Use Romeo and Juliet to explore gang culture. Using practical skills to explore different points of view.
  • Analyse the language to create a performance using modern English terminology.

Extended writing:

  • Create a monologue for Macbeth demonstrating an understanding of the characters.
  • Evaluate performance and the interpretation of the character.


Shakespeare is an important part of British history and is a vital part of British culture. Through the exploration of the plays learners appreciate the influence Shakespeare has had. Learners learn about the dangers of gang culture and how this impacts society.

Learners learn skills during this term which links directly with English. English teach Shakespeare to Year 7 during the Summer 1 term. Learners evaluate their performance in extended writing which is core to GCSE Drama component 1 where they develop a portfolio for their work

unit overview - summer term 2

Subject: Melodrama


  • To explore stock characters in performance and look at stereotypes.
  • Be able to identify melodramatic language
  • Be able to use different performance structures



  • Explore the use of flashback and how this can show an additional part of a story or character information to an audience.
  • Apply flashback to a scene using the stock characters to do so.
  • Use exaggerated vocal and physical skills to apply to stock characters.
  • Apply the use of mime to scene stressing the importance of actions and body language.
  • Demonstrating that speaking is equal to voice and body.
  • Use a stimuli to create a devised performance considering the over the top dramatic characters within melodrama.

Extended writing:

  • Learners will consider the costume the characters would wear to show their personalities in performance this is due to little to no speech being used.
  • GCSE Drama costume question will be used to apply the costume skills to.


This SOW is placed here will be a direct link to the next academic year where learners look at slapstick and stage combat. Learners will apply non-linear performance structure with the use of flashbacks which allows for KS4 progression, during GCSE Drama learners are asked to consider the structure of their devised piece of work.

Learners build their confidence in exploring more exaggerated characters in this SOW. They are expected to perform these characters and break out of their comfort zone. This allows for confidence to build and grow within themselves.

Co-curricular programme

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


knowledge Organisers

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.