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KS3 - Arts Council England

Drama remains an important part of the balanced arts curriculum and is taught extensively as a discrete arts subject in Years 7, 8 and 9. Good teaching at Key Stage 3 builds on that in primary schools. Pupils research, discuss and use drama techniques to explore character and situations. They devise and present scripted and improvised dramas in response to a range of stimuli, demonstrating their ability to investigate ideas, situations and events and an understanding of how theatre can communicate in innovative, challenging ways. They experiment with sound, voice, silence, movement, stillness, light and darkness to enhance dramatic action and use theatre technology creatively. They take part in scenes from plays by a range of dramatists and recognise the particular contributions that directors, designers and actors make to a production.


UNIT ONE: Devised Practical Performance (60%)
Controlled Assessment
120 marks (120 UMS)


40% Devised Performance (AO1, AO2)

Candidates will devise a practical performance based on a theme, linked with a practitioner or genre.

Candidates may choose either acting or a theatre design skill;

Teachers record the work on DVD/Video;

Internally assessed and externally moderated with task two.

20% Devised Performance Report (AO3)

Candidates w ill complete a written report on the practical work they completed in Task One, under formal supervision.

The report should include details of live performances candidates have seen, that have influenced their practical work; details on decision making;

the inclusion of technical elements and the content of the piece and an evaluation of their own work and that of the group;

Internally assessed and externally moderated with task one.

UNIT TWO: Performance from a Text (20%)
External Assessment
50 marks (40 UMS )

Candidates will be assessed on either their acting or a theatre design skill, in a scene from a published play.

Candidates to work in groups of between 2 to 5 members;

No more than two additional design candidates per group, each working on a different skill;

Externally assessed by a visiting examiner in April/May.

UNIT THREE: Written Examination (20%)

Written Paper: 1½ hours

50 marks (40 UMS)

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to analyse one set text as an actor, designer and

director and to evaluate practical work completed in Unit 2


At both AS and A2, candidates are required to show knowledge and understanding of:

• how performers, designers and directors communicate meaning to an audience
• theatre practice through their own engagement with the medium as both participant and informed audience member
• the appropriate vocabulary and specialist terminology for the subject.

At AS, candidates are required to show knowledge
and understanding of:

• two published plays, in relation to the ways in which style, form, dramatic structure and characterisation can be interpreted and realised in performance. The two plays studied must
be varied in terms of period and genre and candidates are required to understand how each play relates to its historical, social and cultural context.
• the work of at least one influential director, designer, theatre company or other practitioner who has made a significant contribution to theatre practice.

At A Level, candidates are required to show knowledge and understanding of:

• two more published plays, one of which is pre-twentieth century and one of which is twentieth century or contemporary
• the connections between theory and practice demonstrated through a range of forms, genres and performance styles
• the directorial overview required in the interpretation and realisation of a theatrical performance
• how relevant research supports practical work.

At both AS and A2, candidates are required to develop:

• the ability to form judgements about live theatrebased on their understanding of drama and theatre
• skills in the use of subject-specific terminology in a range of contexts
• performance and/or production skills appropriate to the creation and realisation of drama and theatre
• the ability to work creatively and collaboratively to achieve shared dramatic intentions
• the ability to respond to plays imaginatively, conveying ideas clearly and coherently.

In addition, for A Level, candidates are required to develop:
• a more advanced level of performance and/or production skills
• the ability to think independently, make judgements and refine their work in the light of research
• the ability to analyse the ways in which different performance and production elements are brought together to create theatre.