Drama at Key Stage 3

Drama is a vibrant part of the curriculum at the Academy. It is taught as a discrete subject in every year group and there are many exciting extra-curricular projects that are open to all students within the Academy. Drama is a life skill and a creative art form that enables pupils to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which help them make sense of reality. It helps develop the ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, in acting, mime, dance drama and improvisation.

Students can express and manage their thoughts and feelings – shared and experienced – while working in a safe and controlled environment. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and self-awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together.

Our programmes of learning in Year 7 focus on skills development and the exploration of many different theatrical genres. We begin with a scheme using the literature of Roald Dahl. Students have an opportunity to explore and develop their vocal and physical skills and gain an understanding of the importance of structure and clear characterisation. We explore the key techniques of Greek Theatre, through a scheme on Myths and Legends and in the spring we introduce students to Elizabethan Theatre and the plays of Shakespeare. During the Summer term of Year 7 students study the Italian style of theatre called Commedia dell’ Arte, developing their understanding of archetypes and physical comedy.

Our Year 8 students begin with a programme of learning exploring Gothic Horror. During the year we build on the Shakespeare work we completed in Year 7 by exploring the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and introduce the students to the work of Bertolt Brecht through a programme of learning inspired by the play ‘A Caucasian Chalk Circle’. In the summer term students have an opportunity to devise their own performance project to gain an insight into the demands of the GCSE Drama course in Key Stage 4. Our regularly revised schemes of work support transition from Key Stage 2 to 3 and facilitate progression to Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 where students can develop their skills at GCSE and A level.

GCSE in Drama

Why study this subject?

Choosing to study GCSE in Drama is an excellent decision to make for lots of different reasons. The Performing Arts industry employs a huge number of people who undertake a wide range of job roles using an array of different skills and techniques. Just think of the roll of credits and different jobs you see at the end of a television program, film or read in a theatre programme.

What will I learn?

You will study a range of units that will allow you to explore and experience the skills and techniques used by actors. You will develop your vocal and movement skills and your ability to explore and take on characters in a range of performance projects. Developing realistic, believable characters is a skill that every actor must possess. You will learn techniques that will allow you to explore and develop characters through research, group and individual activities. Having developed the techniques described, you will be given opportunities to perform in a range of performance pieces; these may be low-key classroom presentations or full-scale theatrical events.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by completing practical assignments in addition to a written examination at the end of the course.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

You will gain a GCSE in Drama at a grade that reflects your work ethic and commitment.

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

Students studying this course can progress to the BTEC National course in Performing Arts, A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies or enter the world of work within the industry.

Post 16 Progression

There is a wide variety of university courses available in Drama, Theatre, Film and Television, Media, and the Performing Arts.

Do I have to do any coursework?

You will be expected to keep an actor’s logbook to show the development of your practical work and characters. You will be given clear deadlines and support with written coursework at all stages of the course.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

You can speak to any of the Drama teachers at the Academy.



King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Tel: 0121 472 1147.

King Edward VI MAT

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