Important Messages: Please see the letter from Ms Jackson regarding current arrangements.           We are currently consulting on our admissions for 2022-23. Please see our admissions page for more information.
Year 10 Curriculum Information - Drama
Examination Board


Topics Covered

The GCSE Drama course has three key components:

  • Understanding Drama a written exam at the end of Y11 in which you will be assessed on your knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed, including in connection to a set play you will study and on your ability to analyse and evaluate a live theatre production you will see.
  • A Devising Drama unit, where you will create and perform a devised performance from stimulus in the possible form of photographs, poems, song lyrics, news events, themes or myths. You will carry out research, develop your ideas, collaborate with others, rehearse, refine and amend your performance work and analyse and evaluate the process of creating the devised drama in a devising log.
  • Preparation: A text-based performance unit, where you will perform two key extracts from the same play to an audience, including a visiting examiner. You will be given a mark for your acting skills, interpretation and artistic intentions.

Unit 1: Written Exam: (worth 40% overall)

The written exam is split into three sections. (80 marks total)

Section A: Theatre Roles and Drama Terminology (4 marks)

You will answer four very short multiple choice questions on theatre maker roles and/or drama terminology.

Section B: Study of Set-Text (46 marks)

You will answer short and extended questions from the perspective of a performer and a choice of either performer or designer (lighting, sound, costume) on extracts from one set play you will have studied in class. You will know and understand the characteristics and context of the play and can support your answers with sketches or diagrams.

Section C: Live Theatre Production (30 marks)

You will answer one two part question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in one live production you will have experienced. You will discuss a variety of aspects from acting techniques to design elements used in the production giving a personal analysis and evaluation of the theatrical elements that contributed to its total effectiveness.

Unit 2: Devising Drama: (worth 40% overall)

This is a both a practical and reflective unit in which you are assessed by your teacher (moderated externally) on your ability to create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for performance. You will apply performance techniques to realise artistic intentions and analyse and evaluate your own work by producing a devising log.

Unit 3: Performance of Key Play Extracts (worth 20% overall)

You will perform two key extracts (a monologue, duologue or group performance) taken from the same play in front of an audience and an external examiner will be present. You will be examined on your acting skills and your ability to apply performance techniques to realise artistic intentions in live performance. You can also choose to work as a lighting, costume, set or puppet designer in which case you will present your designs on realising artistic intentions to the examiner in an interview session.

Special Requirements/Equipment

You may have done some acting before or helped out backstage on a theatre production at school or beyond. You may have always wanted to have a go at making a play, performing, making costumes, building a set or operating the lights but never had the chance. You will enjoy this course if you enjoy working as part of a team as Drama involves a lot of group work.

Students record notes, ideas, feedback and evaluations in an A4 exercise book, with a glossary at the back.

Teachers provide stimulus and assessment materials.

Home Learning

Students are often asked to complete practical home learning tasks, such as:

  • Line learning and rehearsal
  • Research and observation
  • Character development
  • Sourcing and/or making props, soundtracks and costumes
  • Reflection and analysis
Reading List

Although not a requirement of Edexcel's specification criteria, the sample of reading materials below would help support and broaden a GCSE Drama students learning:

  • GCSE Drama Student Book- Garry Nicholas
  • The Excellent Audition Guide - by Andy Johnson
  • Stage Lighting Design - The Art, The Craft, The Life - by Richard Pilbrow
  • The Staging Handbook (Stage and Costume) (Backstage) - by Francis Reid
  • Taking Stock: The Theatre of Max Stafford-Clark - by Max Stafford-Clark and Philip Roberts
  • Theatre in Practice A Student's Handbook - by Nick O'Brien, Annie Sutton
Useful Websites

There is no setting in drama, the groups are taught in mixed ability.

© The Hollyfield School 2015 - 2021A+ A-