Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of the Sir Graham Balfour Multi-Academy Trust


Subject overview

Alongside creativity, Drama encompasses a wide range of skills, giving students the opportunity to work with others, to collaborate, to compromise, to listen, to lead and to follow their peers- all of which are valuable in any future career path. Drama aims to inspire and create confident, unique and empathetic individuals who each have a clear understanding of social, moral and cultural values. Students will gain experience in performing, directing and designing theatre, articulating their own viewpoints in an analytical and evaluative way and encouraging discovery through experimentation, bravery and teamwork.


Exam Board - Edexcel

The Edexcel GCSE Drama qualification is broken down into three components.

Component 1: Devising

40% of overall GCSE grade. Completed in Year 10.

This component deals with devising, which is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work collaboratively with others to explore a range of stimuli in order to create an original performance piece. Students will develop skills in group work, research and negotiation, while also developing creativity, performance and design skills. Students will consider the impact that they can make on an audience, as they develop the ideas that they want to communicate.

There are two areas of focus:

  • A recorded devised performance, created as part of a group.
  • 2000 word coursework piece that analyses and evaluates the performance created.

Component 2: Performance from Text

20% of overall GCSE grade. Completed in Year 11.

Performance texts have been at the core of drama since the inception of theatre. The need

to hand down stories has been fundamental to human development and for thousands of years, people have written, performed, watched and enjoyed innumerable plays. Understanding a performance text is fundamental to the subject, as this provides students with opportunities to explore plot, structure, narrative and stories from around the world and from different time periods. It encourages them to develop empathy skills, as they consider different characters and develop methods of communicating ideas and themes.

There are two areas of focus.

- Interpreting and exploring two key extracts from a chosen performance text.

- Performing or realising a design of two key extracts from this text.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

40% of overall GCSE grade. Completed in Year 11.

This component is a written exam that focuses on the work of theatre makers and the theatrical choices that are made by crucial members of the creative and production team in order to communicate ideas

to an audience. The exam will be split into two sections.

There are two areas of focus.

1. Study of one complete performance text (section A).

2. A live theatre evaluation (section B).

Section A

Students will explore practically how a complete performance text might be interpreted and realised from ‘page to stage’. This exploration will give students an insight into how texts may be brought to life for an audience and the creative roles within this process.

Section B

Students will analyse and evaluate their experience of a live theatre performance as informed members of the audience. They will develop skills to recognise the meaning created in the theatre space in order to communicate ideas to an audience. This will give them a more critical and varied approach to their own work as theatre makers.

Year 8

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Whilst on rotation, Year 8 students develop their skills in interpreting images as a stimulus through mime and narration. Through a study of The Arrival by Shaun Tan, they have the opportunity to develop a multicultural understanding in their drama, alongside interpersonal skills.


Students will become familiar with exploring play texts in preparation for GCSE Drama. Through the exploration of Frankenstein, students develop their skills as performers, directors and designers. Key elements of this scheme of work include textual analysis and theatre evaluations, monologues, duologues and group based performances.

Year 7

Physical theatre through space

In year 7 all students begin with developing their understanding of subject specific terminology, enabling them to articulate their ideas and begin to evaluate what is successful about the theatre they create and observe and why.  Through the space scheme of work, students have the opportunity to participate in numerous group tasks, introducing them to the process of collaboration as a key skill in devised theatre. Under this topic students complete physical theatre and hot-seating tasks, alongside developing their characterisation skills and understanding of stagecraft.

History of Theatre

The History of Theatre scheme of work allows pupils to understand the theoretical elements in the development in theatre, alongside gaining experience in performing different styles. Greek theatre, medieval theatre, Elizabethan theatre, Melodrama and Kitchen Sink drama are some of the important points in the history of theatre that are explored.



Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ


01785 223490