St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy


Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Drama in Year 7 you will follow six units of work - two in each term. The first unit is an introduction to Drama where you learn how to improvise and how to take on different roles. You will learn about specific dramatic styles as well.

The sorts of things which students have done in the past in Year 7 include a project looking at a favourite story and acting it out. You would look at the viewpoints of different characters and work out how the drama unfolds. You would need to work hard within a group to come to decisions together.Your parents will be interested to hear about what you are learning and doing in Drama. They might try and take you to live theatre productions, or encourage you to attend extra-curricular activities in Drama. Extra rehearsals and taking part in college productions is a great way to boost your self-confidence!

You will also find yourself using your Drama skills in lots of other subjects, as role play and enactment are used by many teachers to help you understand things.

Year 8

In Drama in Year 8 you will follow six units of work - two in each term. You will build on the skills learnt in Year 7, as well as learn new, more advanced techniques. You will also learn more about different dramatic styles as well.

The curriculum is exciting and varied; one of the things which students have done in the past in Year 8 is a project on 'Superheroes'. This involves creating your own superhero and links in with other areas of the curriculum such as Music.

You will also continue to develop other valuable skills in Drama in Year 8, such as team working and decision making. You will find this useful in many areas of your studies. You will also find yourself using skills learnt in Drama in many other subjects, as role-play and enactment are used by many teachers to help you understand things. Taking part in extra-curricular Drama activities can also help to build up your confidence, as well as being a great way to meet new people.

Homework will take the form of Arts Independent Projects (AIPs), as well as more traditional types of homework tasks. AIPs are extended projects which you will work on each week. This might involve independent research to create a poster, completing a weekly journal or preparing and rehearsing a performance in your own time.

GCSE Drama

"All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players."
William Shakespeare

About the course:

GCSE Drama is 60% coursework and 40% practical and is split into three units:

Unit 1: Drama Exploration: Exploration of creative and structural aspects of Drama using a set theme, topic or issue. Students will study forms of stimuli, exploration of strategies, Drama medium and elements of Drama. There will be a six-hour practical exploration on the chosen theme and documentary evidence of 2000 words.

Unit 2: Exploring a Play Text: Practical exploration of a play, focusing on characters, interpretation, issues and themes. Students will have the opportunity to watch a live performance. There will be a six-hour practical exploration based on a play text, documentary evidence of 1000 words and a written response to live performance of 2000 words.

Unit 3: Drama performance: A devised or scripted play performed to an audience including a visiting examiner. An assessment brief will be set each year with a theme that students must base their performance on.

How it will be assessed:

  • Unit 1 - internally assessed, 30% of final mark
  • Unit 2 - internally assessed, 30% of final mark
  • Unit 3 - externally assessed, 40% of final mark

What it prepares you for:

GCSE Drama develops transferable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and communication which are all highly valued by employers. Should you choose to study after Year 11, all A level and BTEC Drama and Performance courses are open to you.

AS / A2 Drama

"The course is hard work but lots of fun. The teachers are SO enthusiastic and helpful!"
Jenny, Year 13

About the Course:

This course is designed to provide a balance across a range of drama activities. It combines the activities of exploring plays, creating theatre, the performance of plays, the analysis of theatre and the critical analysis of all the elements.

AS Course:

Unit 1 Section A Exploration of Drama & Theatre: In this unit students will practically explore two plays. They will also study a drama practitioner and link this to one of the plays studied. A set of Exploration Notes and an analysis of the practical work is the coursework for this section.

Unit 1 Section B: In this section students are required to experience a live theatre performance and submit an evaluation of 1500 words.

Unit 2 Theatre Text in Performance: This unit allows students to demonstrate their practical skills in two performances: a monologue/duologue and a group performance of a published play in front of a live audience.

A2 Course:

Unit 3 Exploration of Dramatic Performance: This unit requires students to create an original piece of theatre and they will be marked on the whole process from initial research to the actual performance.

Unit 4 Theatre Text in Context: This unit is the written examination where students will be examined on:

  • A set text
  • An historical period of theatrical development

How it will be assessed:

Units 1 (30% of overall mark) & 3 (30%) are assessed internally

Units 2 (30%) & 4 (10%) externally

What it prepares you for:

Following the A level Drama course, students can progress to a variety of University courses or choose to work within the field of performing arts.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or above, including English and Drama

BTEC Performing Arts

About the course:

There are many varied roles for individuals within the performing arts, including singing, acting and dancing. Rewards for those who reach the top of their profession can be great, but this is an enormously competitive environment. This course will provide you with the qualifications and vocational experience required to make the best possible start to your future education and career in the performing arts.

This course will focus primarily on the art forms of drama and physical theatre, though there will be opportunity for you to utilise additional performance skills such as singing or composition should you have the interest. You will study 3 core units which will form the basis of your learning, and provide you with the essential knowledge and skills required to work in the industry. These are :

  • Performance Workshop
  • Performing Arts Business
  • Performing to an Audience

In addition, you will study a variety of specialist units, which will be tailored to suit the needs of the class, but may include:

  • Theatre in Education
  • The Principles of Acting
  • Performing Arts Business
  • Contemporary Theatre Performance
  • Devising Plays

These Units will be delivered through a series of assignments that will combine criteria from each unit. Example assignments include:

  • Essential Skills for creating and performing
  • Exploring Metamorphosis

The emphasis of the programme of study is on practical work, supported by written portfolios and evidence that may take the form of:

  • Rehearsal journals
  • Power-points
  • Evaluations
  • Log Books

How it will be assessed:

Assessment is ongoing and is based on the practical and portfolio work you do. Full attendance in lessons and at extra rehearsals is vital.

There are no external examinations.

What it prepares you for:

This is a vocational course which provides you with the skills and experience within the performing arts that you will need to work in the Performing Arts Industry. If you want to continue studying the Performing Arts, this course will give you the equivalent of 2 A Levels and could give you up to 280 UCAS points.

Entry Requirements:

You need to have a genuine interest in Drama, confidence and energy, and at least 4 GCSE's A*-C

AS / A2 Performance Studies

"I'm enjoying this course because I can combine my interest in Drama with Dance and Music."
Danielle, Year 13

About the course:

During this course you will develop your knowledge and performance skills in Dance, Drama and Music. The course is a combination of practical work and written components.

The AS course is divided into two units:

Creating Performance: In this unit you will create performance pieces in the art forms of Dance, Drama and Music and a final piece which combines the three art forms. Finally, you will produce a written analysis of this work.

Performance Contexts 1: Here you will study the work of two practitioners and write about them in an examination.

The A2 course is also divided into two units:

Performance Project: In this unit you will be asked to create two pieces of practical performance work.

Performance Contexts 2: Here you will study the work of practitioners in the Performing Arts in more depth.

How it will be assessed:

Through practical performance, written coursework and examination.

What it prepares you for:

After completing A Level Performance Studies many students progress to Higher Education or choose to go straight into work in the Performing Arts and related areas.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or above, including English Language grade C. Previous experience in at least one of the three art forms of Dance, Drama or Music is essential.