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Drama at Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 students study the AQA Drama GCSE syllabus, which is split into three components.

Component 1: Understanding Drama 40%

Students sit a 1 hour 45 minute written exam in the summer of Year 11. The exam comprises three sections: some multiple choice questions assessing their subject knowledge base; questions about how they would design for and act in a particular scene of a set text; and an extended essay evaluating a performance they have seen. The set text we study is ‘The 39 Steps’ by Patrick Barlow and the production we go to see is ‘The Woman in Black’ at the Fortune Theatre. Students are offered multiple opportunities to watch live performance during the two year course.

Component 2: Devising Drama 40%

This component involves students putting into practice what they have learnt during the course about multiple styles of drama and the work of different practitioners. They are given a selection of stimuli from which they select one to pursue and inspire their original devised work. After a practice version of this component at the very start of the course, students spend the summer term in Year 10 devising their pieces before performing them and then evaluating the experience in a 2,500 word essay.

Component 3: Texts in Practice 20%

Students are given a complete play text from which they must perform two extracts in front of a visiting examiner. We complete various practice versions of this component before students perform their final assessed pieces in front of a visiting examiner halfway through Year 11.

More information about the course can be found here: