Drama (GCSE) -


Examination Board



GCSE Drama is a popular and enjoyable course which, despite being a reformed GCSE maintains its highly practical nature and allows students to gain confidence and creative skills which can support a range of career outcomes.  60% of the qualification is non-examined & 40% is an exam assessment.  Students learn to become performers, devisers and directors  by exploring how to make their own plays. They also interpret a range of play texts and thus enhance their literacy skills. For course work they complete a portfolio of their practical explorations which can include presentations to camera, diagrams, photos, character profiles, designs and written evaluative notes.

Overview of course

This course will enable you to build the following skills and knowledge:

·         acting/directing/devising/designing

·         evaluate own and others’ work

·         creativity

·         confidence and communication

·         leadership

·         literacy

·         problem solving

·         presentation skills

·         research skills

·         social, cultural and historical political knowledge

·         theatrical knowledge

Course content

Component 1: Devising Drama

The focus of this unit will be to explore and develop candidates’ understanding of the devising process using stimulus material. They will explore and gain an understanding of the key principles and concepts of devising a piece of drama.  They can perform a piece lasting 5 to 15 minutes.  They produce a portfolio to evidence the devising process.

Component 2: Text Performance

The focus of this unit will be on how a published play text is brought to life for an audience. The emphasis is upon their interpretation and dramatic intention for the text.

Candidates will work on a selected text through workshops and perform two extracts of 2 – 15 minutes in length and complete a written intention.  The text is selected by the centre.

Component 3: Written Exam Paper (40% examined)

Section A (50 marks)

Having studied a set play text in class, candidates will be asked questions about a short extract of the play.

Questions might be:

·         How would you interpret and perform a specific character?

·         How would you direct the actors in this scene?

·         How would you design a set for this scene?

Section B (30 marks)

Having watched a piece of live theatre, candidates will be asked to write an extended answer about the play seen.

A question might be:

·         What impact did the visual elements of the play have upon the audience?

·         What impact did the character acting have upon the audience?

How you will be assessed


Assessment & Marks

Percentage of overall result

Component 1

40 marks practical / written / pictorial portfolio

20 marks performance

Internally assessed & externally moderated.


Component 2

40 marks practical performance

20 marks written work (2 sides of A4)

Internally assessed & externally moderated.


Component 3

Written exam paper marked by OCR exam board.


Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded on a nine point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade. Our 2016 GCSE cohort achieved 96% A* to C, 37% achieved A* or A grades.

Post-16 courses available to you

A Level Drama and Theatre is a popular subject in The Sandon Sixth Form, which many GCSE students pursue as a natural development from GCSE. GCSE Drama also prepares students well for A Level English Literature, Media Studies and Performing Arts courses.  Our 2016 cohort achieved 100% A – B grades at A Level.

Job opportunities for those qualifying in GCSE Drama and later A Level Drama & Theatre include

A range of careers which value good communication, literacy, team work and a creative skill-set which might include education, childcare, NHS careers, police, media careers, charity, heritage and culture careers and journalism for example.

Specific drama / performing arts careers include; actor, drama critic, director, writer, tv presenter, movement director, teacher, stage manager, stage designer, producer, arts development officer, choreographer, dancer, costume designer, make up designer, lighting designer, sound designer.

Special notes

  1. Those taking this course will be expected to attend extra rehearsals in order to prepare for assessed performances and the drama studio will be booked for the students accordingly.
  2. Visiting artists and trips to professional theatre will be a highlight of this course to enhance candidates’ knowledge of quality performance and production elements.
  3. There is a live theatre review question in the final GCSE exam paper.  Therefore all opportunities to view theatre are encouraged, including cinema screenings.
  4. Enquiries should be made to the course leader Mrs Davis, CTL Performing Arts or Mr Danko, Teacher of Drama.
  5. Some performance assessments take place as evening performances.