Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy

Drama (KS4)

The Drama Department

The Drama department enables the individual to work in groups or individually, to devise and develop performance work from a range of visual, written and oral stimuli.  Students develop communication to ensure they produce practical work which is dynamic, challenging and original for a live audience.  We aim to provide a wide range of appropriate and exciting experiences within and beyond the classroom, to allow the student opportunities to showcase their best work. 

It is our intention for students of all levels to develop practical skills in Drama and communication; to gain understanding of scripted and improvised work and to recognise the impact technical options such as lighting, costume, set design, properties and theatrical make-up have on the final production of performance work.

Learning Experience

At KS3, the Drama course is embedded within the English Curriculum allowing students the opportunity to focus on script writing, set design, improvisation and role play.  Students learn to work collaboratively, developing shared pieces of work and increasing their confidence in playing numerous roles.  The Key Stage 3 curriculum in Drama prepares students for team work, collaboration and reading set texts and plays therefore broadening their experience of Literature prior to GCSE.

At KS4, we follow the AQA GCSE Drama examination course.  This course allows students the freedom to solely focus on acting or they can combine modules in costume, set design, lighting, theatrical make-up, puppets, masks and stage management.  The GCSE consists of 60% controlled practical assessment and 40% written examination.



Predominantly, GCSE Drama is a practical acting qualification which is supported by a linear written examination where the students are expected to describe, explain, analyse and evaluate live theatrical performances; show their understanding of Drama terminology and be able to analyse the study of scripted and unscripted texts in performance. However, in some cases, selected students may have the opportunity to opt for a technical acting assessment in the following topics: Set design, Lighting, Sound, Costume and Puppetry but these students must have practical skills-based artistic flair to be able to achieve highly in these areas of study. Students wishing to take these options must make an appointment to discuss this with Mrs Smith-Hughes to assess suitability for these options in GCSE Drama.


Component 1: Understanding drama

What's assessed?

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play from a choice of six
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed?

  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (46 marks)
  • Section C: one two part question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)

Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

What's assessed?

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed?

  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 80 marks in total
  • 40% of GCSE

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What's assessed?

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1

How it’s assessed?

  • Performance of Extract 1 (25 marks) and Extract 2 (25 marks)
  • 50 marks in total
  • 20% of GCSE

This component is marked by AQA.