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Jenny Alborough - Head of Drama - jenny.alborough@swale.at

Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasise about a world we aspire to


Drama is life, with the dull bits cut out


Subject Overview

The Drama curriculum is designed around key principles:

Confidence & Communication - A command over their vocal and physical skills to allow them to approach speaking in front of others with confidence.

Empathy and sensitivity - Understanding the viewpoints and emotions of a range of characters that will enable students to understand the world around them.

Cooperation and team-work skills - Getting the best out of each other when striving towards a common goal.

Commitment and self-discipline -students are encouraged and helped to excel when challenged, developing resilience.

Creativity - An understanding of the benefits of participation in the arts, performance and creativity.

Evaluation developing an ability to evaluate their own and others’ work.

Extra-curricular activities - such as theatre trips, drama club and school productions that engage students and help build cultural capital as well as an appreciation of the art of theatre.

Teaching and Learning


In Year 7 and Year 8 students have one hour per week of drama lessons.  Over the course of three years, as well as drama skills, students are building skills in empathy, personal confidence, cooperation and communication.

Year 7

In terms 1&2 students will be introduced to  basic drama skills.  Students learn about still image, improvisation, levels, interpreting script and status.  They are also encouraged to enter into the ethos of developing personal skills required in drama such as teamwork, cooperation, flexible thinking and communication.

In terms 3&4 students recap skills learnt in terms 1 & 2 continuing to focus on team building, and empathy.  We study non-verbal communication and oracy as well as tableau and response to music.

In terms 5&6 students will be looking at drama through the eyes of history focusing on World War 2 and using devising methods to respond to the film ‘Carrie’s War’.

Year 8

In terms 1&2 students will be re-interpreting opening scenes from selected Shakespeare plays.  They will also learn about the Restoration Period, Oliver Cromwell and the Merry Monarch, and learn how to apply Restoration make-up, continuing the Historical theme from the end of year 7.

In terms 3&4 students will be working on devising a piece of drama based on Dorothy Heathcote’s Warden X.  Students will need to use their skills of empathy, cooperation and focus and will be working together as a group to create an engaging piece of drama.  Students also study lyrics to the song Stan by Eminem creating small group devised work based on their interpretation of the themes in the song.

In terms 5&6 students study technical theatre and learn how to use lighting, sound and to create a set design, before moving on to study Blood Brothers by Willy Russell.  Students recap techniques stitch as still image, levels and narration as well as working from script and interpreting stage directions.

Year 9

In terms 1&2 students will study and recap drama skills and techniques learnt in Year 7 and 8 as well as developing their skills in how to communicate with an audience.  They look at different types of staging and how to select an appropriate staging for specific text.

In terms 3&4 students will study verbatim theatre, making their own verbatim piece based on current issues before moving on to physical theatre and learning how to use the body to communicate.  Students will create work using the company Off Balance as inspiration.  There will be a focus on developing comedy skills as well as focusing on ensemble work and exploring themes.

In terms 5&6 students will be participating in an extended technical module making Kabuki masks, special effects make- up, lighting and sound design.


In year 10 and Year 11 students have three hours a week of lessons. They study for the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts which is the perfect blend of academic learning and practical training. We offer two pathways, acting and production.


Year 10

In terms 1&2 students will study Component One: Exploring the Performing Arts studying Stanislavski and naturalism and practically investigating the play DNA by Dennis Kelly discovering the creative intentions of the author, director and actors as well as looking at their roles and responsibilities.

Students then move on to study physical theatre, studying the practitioners ‘The Sleeping Trees’ and ‘Off Balance’ to investigate creative intentions and roles and responsibilities.

In terms 3&4 students will move onto Verbatim theatre and the work of Alecky Blythe.  They study the Mark Wheeller play I Love you Mum I Promise I Won’t Die and investigate creative intentions and roles and responsibilities.

In terms 5&6 students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the three styles of theatre they have studied before moving on to Component 2: Developing skills in the Performing Arts.  Students will take part in workshops and rehearsals keeping logs that show progress and knowledge and understanding of their development

Production students study the same plays and styles but focus on the key skills of sound design, lighting, make-up and set design.

Year 11

In terms 1&2 students will complete Component 2 and will be assessed on either group scripted work or monologues.

In terms 3&4 students will be sitting Component 3: Working to a Brief this is set by the exam board and is a devised piece.  Students will work in small groups to devise their work.

Production students work closely with the actors on Component 3 and select a  key skill to focus on: either sound design, lighting, make-up or set design.

In term 5 students will sit three one hour exams based on their devised work.


Homework is set weekly and will be coursework that is part of their final assessment. The expectation is that every student completes their homework on time in order to stay on top of their coursework.

Tasks will be on Google Classroom and are often research based, or will be writing up information learnt in their lesson.

Additional Resources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zxn4mp3/revision/1 - Stanislavski

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zwmvd2p/revision/1 - Brecht

making-a-scene-dna-plot/zf6kjhv - DNA