Why should I study drama?
This exciting course requires a high level of collaborative and communication skills, so studying GCSE drama can really help to boost your confidence.
These skills set pupils up for working in the world of business, sales and marketing, customer services, law, teaching and many other sectors. Most importantly, performing and creating will give you a buzz that cannot be replicated in any other area.
The course is a good mixture of practical and theory work and some of the core assessment objectives focus on important skills such as analysis and evaluation, which are widely transferrable skills that can help pupils across their GCSE study and beyond.
The subject content is divided into three components:
Are there any field trips or enrichment opportunities?
You are required to watch at least one live theatre production for the written exam. The drama department runs an annual trip to the theatre which is open to Year 10 and Year 11.
Do you have to love performing to do GCSE Drama?
No, there is a lot more than just performance skills to be gained from this GCSE. For those who are interested in theatre but do not want to perform there is an option to be assessed in a design role. Provided they work in support of a performance group, candidates can be assessed on lighting, sound, costume or set design for both component 1 and component 2.
Which performance texts do we study for the main components?
For the written exam, we will look at DNA by Dennis Kelly, a black comedy that follows a group of teenage misfits as they come to terms with the consequences of a practical joke that ends in tragedy. There is a free choice of plays used for Component 2, which means the play can be tailored to the pupils’ needs and abilities. The performance text must contrast the one studied for the exam, therefore it must be pre-2000 and must not be a black comedy, but of course the teacher will help pupils to select an appropriate text taking into consideration their preferences.
How will I be assessed?
The exam board for drama is Edexcel and assessment consists of two non-examination assessment (NEA) components in addition to one written exam paper.
Component 1: Devising
- Create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus
- Performance of this devised piece or design realisation for this performance
- Analyse and evaluate the devising process and performance
- Pupils submit a portfolio covering the creating and developing process and analysis and evaluation of this process (45 marks) and a devised performance/design realisation (15 marks)
- Total 60 marks – 40% of GCSE
- Timescale: The performance and written portfolio is completed by the end of Year 10
Component 2: Performance from text
- Pupils will either perform in and/or design for two key extracts from a performance text
- Externally assessed by a visiting examiner
- 48 marks – 20% of GCSE
- Timescale: Extracts are introduced at the start of Year 11 and performances examined before Easter
Component 3: Theatre makers in practice
- Written exam covering practical exploration and study of a set performance text, and evaluation of a live theatre performance that they have seen
- Exam duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
- 60 marks – 40% of GCSE
- Timescale: The performance text is studied throughout Year 10 and 11. We see a live theatre production at the start of Year 11, but this component is not examined until the end of the course
What are the next steps?
Should you wish to choose drama, you will need to add it as the main choice in the Option 1 box. If you have any further questions about this course, please contact our Teacher of Drama, Mrs Taylor, at