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The Wavell School

Year 11 Drama

GCSE Drama


Students following this course will gather a knowledge and understanding of Drama, Theatre and related skills. Also, the social, historical and cultural influences that inform the way drama is devised and structured.  The course consists of the following units:

Understanding Drama – A study of a set play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare, Analysis and evaluation of a piece of live theatre.

Devising Drama – The process of creating a devised Drama. The performance as an actor or designer. Analysis/evaluation of own work.

Texts in Practice – Performance (as an actor or designer) of 2 extracts of one play.

Specification at a glance

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Code: 8261




 Understanding Drama


 Written exam

1 hour 45 mins

Devising Drama


(10% performance - 30% Devising Log)

 Performance +

Devising Log

 Texts in Practice



What did my child study during Year 10?

The Drama GCSE is split into three components, the topics covered during Year 10 were:

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term


(Component 2)

  • Responding to a stimulus
  • Creating atmosphere for an audience
  • Section 1 (devising log)

Performing Shakespeare

(Component 1)

  • Introduction to Shakespeare
  • Shakespearian language
  • Introduction to Romeo & Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

(Component 1)

  • Practical exploration of Romeo & Juliet


(Component 1) & Scripted performance

(Component 3)

  • Revision for component 1
  • Theatre roles
  • Live theatre
  • Introduction to script

What will my child study during in Drama in Year 11?

The Drama GCSE is split into three components, the topics that will be covered during Year 11 are:

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Scripted performance

(Component 3) & Theatres Roles/ Live theatre

(Component 1)

  • Rehearsals for scripted performance
  • Exam skills

Romeo & Juliet

(Component 1)

  • Practical & written exploration of Romeo & Juliet


(Component 1)

  • Revision for component 1 exam
  • One to one sessions


(Component 1)

  • Revision for component 1 exam
  • One to one sessions

How will my child be assessed and how will I know how well they are doing in Drama in Year 11?

The Drama course during Year 11 focuses on exam skills in order to best prepare the students for their written exam. Students will have completed 40% of their GCSE in Year 10 by completing devising drama (component 2). Although the exam is written students will explore the set text practically and are required to watch live theatre, which is organised by the school, however they are encouraged to see as much live theatre as possible at home. Students will complete a mock written exam, from this they will be given detailed feedback in order to streamline their revision over the Christmas holiday and Easter. Late in the autumn term students will complete their scripted performance (component 3) – students must perform or create realised designs for two extracts from one play which contrasts to the set play (Romeo & Juliet) studied in Component 1. After this the focus will be on exam skills.

What homework will my child be expected to do in Year 11 in Drama?

Students will be set weekly homework that they will be expected to spend around 30 minutes - 1 hour completing. The homework will be a variety of tasks that will primarily be:

  • Completion of classwork with further research and note-making
  • Completion of past GCSE questions
  • Revision for tests
  • Line learning

Students will be expected to read the set text for both component 1 (Romeo & Juliet) and component 3 in their own time.

How can I support my child to do well in Drama during Year 11?

  • Ensure they complete their homework properly
  • Support them by ensuring they have somewhere suitable to work, away from distractions but with online access – this is particularly useful for revision sources for Component 1
  • Buy a revision guide
  • Support them to revise and prepare properly when learning lines
  • By regularly viewing and watching live theatre where possible – this can be done at home by using websites such as the national theatre

My child is struggling during the course, what additional help is available to help them keep up?

  • Revision guides will be provided via Satchel One
  • Students will be given the opportunity to watch live theatre or theatre recordings to further their studies
  • Students should be encouraged to seek assistance from their teacher when they are struggling with any concept.
  • Students have access to Satchel One were extension home learning tasks will be posted weekly

What work did students complete during the school closures that they may not fully understand?

The topics covered during the school closure from Jan to Mar were:

  • Roles and responsibilities of theatre makers
  • Stage configuration including types of staging
  • Genre
  • Romeo & Juliet including plot, characters, key themes and wider context
  • A review of live theatre

How will we support those students who were unable to work properly during the school closures and have gaps in their knowledge/understanding?

In Drama students will now be given one theory and two practical lessons a week to help assist them with their writing, literacy and written exam skills, but also still building their practical knowledge of the subject.

Students will have access to KS4 catch up clubs which will run afterschool and during lunchtime. These catch up sessions will be targeted to help students with the written exam (component one). The exam is split into three sections: section A refers to theatre roles, terminology, stage configuration and genre. Section B focusses on the set text, students have been working on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Section C refers to live theatre – students have already seen two recordings of theatre shows and should be encouraged to see as much live theatre as possible. A schedule of the catch up timetable will be put up weekly on the drama notice board.

Students will be given post class recommendations/ these are extensions to homework tasks which will further their learning and give students the ability to answer questions with a higher level of understanding.

What changes have been made to the exams to take into account the disruption due to the pandemic?

Permit live performance statement to be satisfied through streamed or recorded performances.

Require exam boards to permit students to analyse and evaluate the work of others based on live theatre and/or streamed or recorded performances.

Devised Performance: Require each student to participate as either a performer or designer in a devised performance of at least 1.5 minutes (for monologue), and/or 2 minutes (for duologue or group). Permit exam boards to accept alternative evidence to illustrate the intended final piece, the student’s contribution to the creation and development of ideas, and their analysis and evaluation of their own work, as appropriate to the task. Alternative evidence may include audio-visual recordings of complete performance/physical demonstrations of key aspects with explanation of how they inform final piece/original and non-original photographs, images, drawings or sketches with annotations to illustrate intentions for performance or design/scripts/written accounts/video diary.

Text Based Performance: Require each student to participate as either a performer or designer in a text based performance of at least 1.5 minutes (for monologue), and/or 2 minutes (for duologue or group). Require students to evidence their application of theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions, contribution to the creation and development of ideas, and analysis and evaluation of their own work, as appropriate to the task. Permit evidence to include either a complete and unedited audio-visual recording of the text based performance and/or presentation of each discrete aspect/each student’s individual contribution. For performance, permit audio-visual recording of acting performance alone without need for fully designed set/lighting/costumes. For designers, permit alternative Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021 16 GCSE subject Decision evidence4 that may include prototype of product/original photographs, drawings or annotated sketches of designs /annotated scripts/video or written account/physical demonstrations.

Both NEA components: Permit participation in a monologue for both the Devised Performance and Text Based Performance. Permit both NEA components to be marked by the teacher and moderated by the exam board or to be marked directly by the exam board.


Last Updated July 2023