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Drama Department

Walthamstow Academy has a thriving drama department that aims to challenge and stretch the students as performers as well as individuals. Drama is a powerful tool that helps students understand the world they live in whilst nurturing self-confidence, spiritual, moral and cultural awareness and creativity. An enjoyable and varied curriculum is compulsory at KS3 with students participating in 1 hour of drama per week.


GCSE Results:

  • 52% Grades 7-9
  • 97% Grades 5-9
  • 100% Grades 4-9

Drama Key Stages

Key Stage 3

At KS3 we aim to introduce students to a range of topics and issues that stimulate and educate. Students explore many different topics such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Greek Theatre, and real life issue based stories such as bullying where students explore action and consequence. Within each scheme of work students are introduced to a full range of drama techniques such as Physical theatre, Mime and the conventions which students develop through their 2 years of KS3.

At year 9 level, students begin building the foundations for their GCSE. They work on a variety of skills sets, both academic and practical and study the subject over 2 hours a fortnight. New and exciting schemes of work have been written by the teaching staff including devising, Dennis Kelly’s DNA and an in-depth empathetic exploration into the Holocaust.

Key Stage 4

Drama is an extremely popular option choice at Walthamstow Academy with students participating in 5 hours of drama per-fortnight. Students study the Edexcel GCSE drama syllabus in which students explore a whole variety of themes, stimuli and topics that aim to develop and refine their skillset even further.

Students are assessed practically through their drama and prepare for their written exam through a variety of techniques in lesson.

A section of component 3 exam requires students to answer a question on a live performance. In preparation for this students will see a piece of professional theatre which they will evaluate.

Previous theatre visits have included trips to the West End to see ‘Blood Brothers’ and recently ‘The Woman in Black’.

The GCSE comprises of the following components:

  • Component 1: Devised (40%)
  • Component 2: Performance from Text (20%)
  • Component 3: Written exam – Theatre Makers in Practice (40%)

Component 1: Devising

  • 40% of the qualification – 60 marks
  • Create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus (free choice for centre).
  • There are two parts to the assessment:
  1. a portfolio covering the creating and developing process and analysis and evaluation of this process (45 marks, 30 marks assessing AO1 and 15 marks assessing AO4).
  2. a devised performance/design realisation (15 marks, assessing AO2).

Component 2: Performance from Text

  • 20% of the qualification – 48 marks
  • Students will either perform in two key extracts from a performance text.
  • Externally assessed by visiting examiner.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice – Section A / B

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 40% of the qualification – 60 marks

Section A: Bringing Texts to Life

  • 45 marks
  • This section consists of one question broken into five parts (short and extended responses) based on an unseen extract from the chosen performance text.

Section B: Live Theatre Evaluation

  • 15 marks
  • This section consists of two questions requiring students to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen

Students are allowed to bring in theatre evaluation notes of up to a maximum of 500 words.

Key Stage 5

Drama & Theatre Studies

Exam Board: Eduqas

Entry Requirements: GCSE Grade 5 in Drama

Subject Content:

Students will learn how to use their knowledge and understanding of theatrical forms to explore and perform plays. They will learn how plays relate to the contexts in which they are created and performed. Students will study the ways in which plays are interpreted by different directors, designers, performers and audiences. They will need to acknowledge that drama and theatre texts have a range of intentions and meanings.

Units Studied in Year 12 & 13:

Component 1 - Theatre Workshop: internally assessed, externally moderated. 20% of qualification.

Learners will be assessed on their acting and will participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of theatre based on a reinterpretation of an extract from a text chosen from a list supplied by the exam board.

Component 2 - Text in Action: Externally assessed by a visiting examiner. 40% of qualification.

Learners will be assessed on their acting and will participate in the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a stimulus supplied by the exam board.

Component 3: Text in Performance written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes. 40% of qualification. Sections A and B Open book: Clean copies (no annotation) of the two complete texts chosen must be taken into the examination. Two questions, based on two different texts, one written pre-1956 and one written post-1956. Section C Closed book:

Skills gained and enrichment opportunities:

The Eduqas course allows us to put an emphasis on Drama as a practical, intellectual and artistic subject with practical exploration of social, cultural and historical context. The construction of Drama as a means of enquiry and communication is a focal point and to encourage critical analysis through the making of informed judgments as part of the drama process.

Progression/career opportunities:

The course is designed to provide a stepping-stone towards any career in the theatre industry. As well as teaching key skills in acting, devising and designing, the course also provides an excellent theatrical grounding for a degree in Drama and English and English Literature. Knowledge and understanding developed during the course can, however, be usefully applied to a diverse range of higher education courses including Law, Communications, Teaching and Journalism to name a few. The skills developed in A-level Drama and Theatre enable students to develop vital skills for all degrees and career prospects. These include becoming confident individuals, excellent problem solvers, team workers, public speakers, creative, analytical and critical thinkers.

Drama Staff

  • Mr Stee Gill - Head of Drama
  • Ms Chloe Curd
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