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All pupils and students at Hagley Catholic High School follow a taught course of drama. The Department is made up by two specialist teachers who are fully committed to the education of the pupils:
  • Mr. G Pounder - AST, Teacher of Drama and English
  • Mrs. R Jenkinson - Head of Year 10, Teacher of Drama with English
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Why Choose GCSE Drama:

AQA GCSE Drama is an excellent preparation for Level 3 creative subjects such as A level Theatre Studies or BTEC Performing Arts. It provides students with a solid foundation in creative, practical and performance skills. This subject enables students to engage in and actively explore a wide range of activities that are stimulating and creative, drawing from a variety of situations and contexts that they can relate to. GCSE Drama encourages students to develop critical thinking skills and become effective and independent learners. With the focus on working imaginatively, collaborating creatively and communicating effectively, GCSE Drama provides a solid foundation for further performing arts studies as well as a wealth of essential transferable skills.


What students like about GCSE drama:

  • Having a say about which texts to study;
  • Getting the chance to watch live theatre that is a fun way to experience high quality professional performance skills, as well as an essential part of preparing for the written paper.
  • The choice available in the practical work from acting and devising to mask performance and physical theatre
  • Being assessed for contribution and ability during the preparation period of their final piece, as well as the practical performance itself
  • The opportunity to work collaboratively
  • The opportunity to communicate creatively
  • It’s potential for both academic and vocational career paths 

Drama will help students to develop their:

  • Knowledge and understanding of style, genre and social context
  • Performance techniques – interpretation, improvisation, voice, physicality,          stage relationships with others
  • Design skills – interpretation, visual and design impacts and the use of scenic       devices
  • Technical abilities – lighting, sound, technology and appropriate equipment
  • Practical skills - from creating props to designing costume and make-up
  • Collaboration and communication skills
  • Enquiring and reflective minds
  • Independent thinking and working.

Career opportunities and further studies:

Throughout the GCSE Drama programme, students are encouraged to collaborate with others, engaging in stimulating and creative activities with confidence. These fundamental cooperative, collaborative and social skills are integral to almost all disciplines, careers and life experiences in general. GCSE Drama could lead on to further study in Drama, Theatre Studies, Performing Arts and  Expressive Arts at A-level and above,  or other related subjects such as English, Music, Dance, Art and Design. Career opportunities for students who study Drama at a higher level include: the media, theatre, television, radio, the film industry, arts administration, drama therapy, education.

Course Outline:

Unit 1 - Written Paper 40% of total marks (1 hour 30 mins)

Section A – Review and analysis of any practical work completed during the course

Section B – Analysis of the preparation and performance of a scripted play

Section C – Review of a live production seen during the course

Students must answer Question 1 from Section A and choose one further question from either Section B or Section C.

Unit 2 – Practical Work 60 % of total marks:

Students are required to present practical work for two controlled assessment options:

  • Devised thematic work
  • Acting
  • Improvisation
  • Theatre in Education
  • Physical Theatre
  • Masks

In the first half of Year 10, students will get an opportunity to develop a range of practical performance skills before undertaking a group preparation and performance of the first controlled assessment (normally devised thematic work). This will be presented and assessed in the second half of the summer term. In Year 11, students will be able to choose the script of published play for the second controlled assessment. This will be a group presentation of an extract of the chosen play to a public audience and a visiting AQA examiner in the school theatre during the second half of the spring term.

Examination Board: AQA    Syllabus Code: 4240

Head of Department: Mr. G. Pounder





The practical units provide you with the challenge of producing a diverse range of performance work. The practical Unit 2 involves the presentation of an extract from a play. At A2, you create and present a piece of devised drama based on a specific genre of theatre. There is a set text module at both AS and A2, and these units include prescribed plays from Greek drama to the work of contemporary writers. You are also required to respond critically to live theatre seen during the AS course. At A2, the synoptic module tests the student’s ability to analyse and comment on an ‘unseen’ extract from a further play studied during the course.



Drama and Theatre Studies at Hagley is a rigorous academic and practical discipline. Writing and analytical skills are developed along with a sophisticated level of production and performance techniques. The practical modules are based on group presentations; therefore, the ability to work as part of a team is an essential requirement for success in this subject. Whilst Drama and Theatre Studies is clearly demanding, it has also proved to be an immensely rewarding and successful course. Indeed, the last Ofsted report noticed that students at Hagley are able to make ‘significant progress’ at AS and A-level in terms of ‘building on the good drama skills acquired at GCSE’.



The department prides itself on having committed, experienced and fully qualified staff.



Regular visits to the theatre are an integral feature of this course.



This subject is often successfully studied as either a single or joint honours with English.



We have had a 100% pass rate for the past ten years and recent students have successfully gone on to take Drama, Drama with English and Musical Theatre.



Students who have studied Drama and Theatre Studies have successfully combined it with both humanities and science subjects.



GCSE in Drama and English at Grade C or above.


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