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Townley Drama Teaching & Learning Curriculum Drama

Drama is a well-established and popular subject within the Performing Arts faculty. It is taught one lesson a week within the Key Stage 3 syllabus and as an option at GCSE and A Level.

The ethos of the Drama Department is to provide fun, active lessons and to give students an opportunity to understand themselves as decision-makers and problem solvers; a place where they can learn to function collaboratively and can explore - within a supportive framework - not only a range of human feelings, but also a whole spectrum of social situations and/or moral dilemmas. 

One of the best things about this subject is the incredible live performance opportunities students have in our versatile theatre space inside and outside of lessons. We have a fully equipped theatre that allows students to experience the adrenaline of performing in front of a live audience. We also offer endless extra-curriculum opportunities to see live theatre and perform in outreach programmes.


Course Progression

Key Stage 3 Drama

Year 7

  • Term 1:  Introduction to Drama Skills, Dance and Drama Showcase
  • Term 2: Spear Sport, Mr Fox
  • Term 3: Myths and Legends, Shakespeare

Year 8

  • Term 1: Commedia, Melodrama
  • Term 2: Mental Health, Wreck of the Mignonette
  • Term 3: Musical Theatre, Showcase Performance

Year 9 

  • Term 1: Stage Craft, Non-naturalism, Joyriding
  • Term 2: Devising from Stimulus, Joyriding, Elephant Man
  • Term 3: Forum Theatre, Creating Characters through scripts, Documentary Drama Showcase

Key Stage 4 Drama (GCSE)

Students taking Drama at GCSE can expect a course which is varied and stimulating as well as challenging.  The syllabus tests a number of skills: besides acting ability students must demonstrate that they can research a role or topic, work well in a group, manage their time effectively, reflect upon and evaluate their own work and that of others, and analyse live productions.  Because the course is so varied no two lessons are the same and homework will be similarly diverse – writing up practical work, researching a character, learning lines, finding props and costumes, developing ideas, and so on. Drama is not an easy GCSE, but it is extremely rewarding and students can expect to gain much in terms of self-confidence and teamwork skills, as well as developing their dramatic ability and understanding of theatre and performance.

Assessment Structure

We follow the AQA GCSE Drama syllabus, based on the following structure:

  • Practical Component (60% of final mark)
    This is based on two different elements of practical work, One of these will be a scripted piece of work (an extract from a play or short piece of drama, not written by the candidates), and the other will be Devised. For both aspects of practical work marks are awarded equally for preparation (including a written response) and performance. This has the advantage of rewarding hard-working and enthusiastic students as well as strong performers. The practical component is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated.
  • Written Paper (40% of final mark)
    In the written examination candidates are required to answer four questions on set plays and one on live productions. Because of this there may be one or two compulsory theatre trips over the two years, as well as additional, optional trips, and students will be expected to make the most of the opportunities they are given. Those who are unable to attend compulsory trips will need to make arrangements to see the production themselves. The written paper is externally set and marked.
Key Stage 5 Drama (A Level)

Theatre Studies is a life enhancing subject; it offers you rare opportunities to develop as a performer and a communicator. At Townley you will be able to take part in large and small scale productions. You’ll be working with people who are talented and well - motivated. You will become experienced in the interpretation and direction of plays through performances and workshops.

Course Requirements

You will need a 6 grade in GCSE Drama and English to progress to A Level, or attend a practical audition to assess suitability.

Exam Board: AQA

Assessment Structure

There are three components

  • Component One – Students will study two set plays and analysis and evaluate the work of live theatre makers. This is a written exam worth 40% of the A Level
  • Component Two – Students will devise a performance and write a reflective journal on the process. This is worth 30% of the A Level.
  • Component 3 - Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts each taken from a different play. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3. Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director. There is also a written Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts. This is worth 30% of the A Level


Students can pursue their interests and develop their skills in a range of practical drama elements including acting, directing, costume, setting, mask and technical design. However, the requirements of the specification, with its 60% written paper weighting, also enable students to gain an entry qualification for courses in higher education, whether in the area of drama and theatre studies or in a host of other subjects.

Student Testimony

“Drama has always been one of my favourite subjects, not only because it is immensely enjoyable, but also because it allows you to be creative in such a different way from most other subjects. In KS3 Drama was good but it gets even better at GCSE; we have already been on a trip to the theatre and developed and performed a scene from the play we went to see. It’s amazing how much you can learn and achieve in Drama in just one term. Take Drama and you will find yourselves looking forward to every lesson!"
Kitty, Year 11 Drama Student

Related Careers

We are incredibly proud of our alumni, here's just a few further education pathways of our most recent leavers:
  • Rose Bruford
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • East 15 Acting School
  • Mountview
  • Bristol Old Vic Theatre School







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