St. Mary's

Drama Subject Overview

“Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer to shape It”
Bertolt Brecht

Statement of Intent

Drama at St Mary’s focusses on the development of the whole person whilst raising the cultural capital of all who study it as well as developing the students into global citizens. The curriculum is vertically integrated and designed to develop both the practical skills needed for Drama as well as the knowledge of its historical development through the ages.

Drama is taught once per fortnight in Year 7, once a week in year 8 and students select to study it as an option in Year 9 where they undertake a mini GCSE.

Drama in Key stage 3 is focussed on the promotion of social justice, increasing the students’ knowledge of the wider world and the development of both their performance and social skills. They should be culturally aware of themselves through exploration techniques identifying different character traits, behaviours and relationships. They should be able to understand different theatre styles and know how Drama can be used as a vehicle for change and has been throughout history. All pupils should have the experience of creating and performing both their own work and that of other playwrights. They should know how a play is transferred from the page to the stage. All students should have the opportunity to visit the theatre and to see theatre in a variety of styles. In Key stage 4 students study the WJEC/Eduqas specification. In sixth form students study the Btec Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts.

In addition to the curriculum, Drama plays an active part in the extra-curricular life of the Academy. There is an annual musical, a Year 9 showcase and we are also an associate member of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s school programme. The Department runs regular theatre trips in the North West and we ran a successful theatre trip to London on a regular basis prior to the pandemic

Key Concepts


Students will study significant events and developments in theatre from its origins in early Greece to Shakespeare and the present day. They will learn about key practitioners in theatre from Stanislavski to Brecht as well as key theatre styles such as Naturalism, Epic theatre, Theatre in Education and Frantic Assembly.

Students learnt to create in a variety of styles culminating in a showcase at the end of Year 9 to parents and staff and at GCSE a devised performance in the style of one of the key practitioners.
Students will be encouraged to rehearse in small groups from Year 7 and also be able to understand the key conventions of performance and the use of a set to create meaning. They should be able to create believable characters. As they progress the students will also understand the use of lighting and sound to create additional meaning to a piece and in Year 9 movement. Students will develop the skills of time management and effective feedback.
Students should be able to perform confidently and be able to use the voice and body effectively. They will develop their use of space and be encouraged to use different types of staging and proxemics. Where appropriate, students should be able to use an accent for their character and the key vocal skills of pace, pause, projection.
Analyse and Evaluate
Evaluation of themselves and others is essential to the student’s development. In KS3 students are encouraged to write reflections at the end of every lesson and formative feedback forms an essential part of all the schemes of learning. At GCSE students will write a portfolio detailing their creative process and this skill forms an essential part of the A level programme of study.

KS3 Curriculum Map

Year 7 Overview

Drama in Year 7 is based around the introducing the key skills of Drama using a variety of stimuli. Pupils will be assessed on their performance skills (both vocal and physical) as well as their understanding of theatrical forms and conventions.

Year 7 Topics
Year 8 Overview
In Year 8 we continue to develop the key skills of Drama and assess their performance skills. We also introduce the historical journey of Drama from its origins in Greece through to the modern day.
Year 8 Topics
Year 9 Overview

Students select to study a mini GCSE. They focus on theatre practitioners in depth (Stanislavki, Brecht and Frantic Assembly).

Year 9 Topics

KS4 Curriculum Map

KS4 Overview

Students follow the Eduqas Specification in Drama. This is assessed through Devising (40%), Scripted Drama (20%) and a written examination which includes an evaluation in of live theatre. This is available to all students even those who haven’t studied the subject at GCSE.

Year 10 Topics
Year 11 Topics

A Level Curriculum Map

A Level Overview

At A level we study the Pearson Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing arts. This is equivalent of one A level. There are 4 unit, 3 of which are mandatory and 2 are external. This is for learners for who are interested in learning about the Performing arts alongside other fields of study.

Year 12 Topics
Year 13 Topics