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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



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