What we are trying to achieve with our curriculum

Theatre is a form of knowledge, it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Augusto Boal.

Creativity cannot exist in the absence of knowledge. It is this rich knowledge which forms the basis of our drama curriculum at St Thomas a Beckets. Our aim is to provide a high quality and relevant curriculum, rich in cultural capital. We aim for all students to read, perform, technically support and analyse a wide range of texts from different cultures. Understanding key features of performance styles from absurdism to verbatim will support students to develop their own creativity by providing them with the framework upon which to build. We study drama for two key purposes: to develop an understanding and love of the theatre and to develop ourselves as individuals and members of society, developing skills for the world of work and life in general.


How we deliver our curriculum

Firstly we study drama to understand and explore plays, productions and the world of theatre (one of the biggest industries in the country) We look at the different roles and the styles of drama and experience them through watching performances as well as practical work. In Key Stage 3, students will explore a key text, an influential practitioner and/or performance style, then will use these skills in devising their own work. By exploring diverse, high quality plays, students will be able to unpack the components that make successful theatre before applying these to their own work. These components, along with links between performance styles are interleaved throughout the curriculum so that students develop their knowledge and are able to make connections between how great playwrights, directors and practitioners have developed their work throughout history. This then gives a breadth and depth of knowledge for students studying GCSE as they study a key text, develop their own devising skills and perform key extracts of influential work.

Assessment in drama is focused on 3 key areas: Creating, Performing & Evaluating. Each half term students will perform a piece of drama for assessment during which teachers and students will give both verbal and written feedback, following the SPADE model used by school.


The difference that our curriculum makes to our pupils

Students grow in confidence during their time in drama, they learn a discipline which supports them to be creative and express ideas. We nurture talent, encourage creativity and strive to develop empathetic, confident students who can analyse and question the world around them. For students who wish to progress into a career within the creative industry, they will have acquired the knowledge and skills to support them. They will have had opportunities to perform at various events in school and work alongside professionals within the industry, such as National Theatre.

The department aims to engage and promote a life-long love of not just Drama but the arts in general through the extracurricular activities offered alongside the curriculum.


KS3In both year 7 and 8 students will develop their confidence and team working skills through working on developing their understanding of the Drama Conventions and how to create performance work. They will also develop their confidence in performing, through exploring extracts from a range of scripts. The three key aspects students are assessed on in Drama at KS3 are as follows;

  • Creating
  • Performing
  • Evaluating

By the end of Year 9, students will have gained knowledge of historical topics, studied contemporary and classical playwrights as well as performance work from theatre companies. They will have developed their devising skills in producing work factored around a range of stimuli and developed their performance skills in both produced performance work as well as script work.


Specification at a glance

•  Component one: Understanding Drama (written exam)

•  Component two: Devising drama (practical and written log)

•  Component three: Texts in practice (practical)


•  Written exam (40%)

•  Devising log (30%)

•  Devised performance (10%)

•  Performance of two extracts from one play (20%)

GeneralDrama provides students with a solid foundation in creative, practical and performance skills.

It is important for 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.

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. Studying GCSE Drama provides a solid foundation for further Drama studies and vocational opportunities.

Skills you will develop

• 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 making masks and puppets to makeup

• Collaboration and communication skills

• Enquiring and reflective minds

• Independent thinking and working

DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas à Becket celebrates their highest ever GCSE progress score! Click here to find out more