Key Stage 3 Drama


Key stage three Drama at St Birinus School is wide ranging and introduces students to key principles of both Dance and Drama. Although Drama is not a required National Curriculum subject, we believe that it is vital to give our young men opportunities to express themselves in these creative, practical subjects.  Both Drama and Dance develop student's creativity and imagination and allow them the opportunity for self-expression. The key skills of team work, problem solving, communicating and presenting can also be found within both subjects.

Curriculum sequence

Year 7

Starting Drama

  • Introduction to drama as a subject
  • drama games and kinaesthetic based activities.
  • 5 core principles of performance work.



Starting Dance

  • Introduction to dance as a subject
  • practical dance-based activities. This unit can be delivered in any dance style. Currently Hip-Hop based.



  • Introduction to the genre of mime building on principles of freeze frame from term 1


Swan-Song- Contemporary Dance

  • Introduction to contemporary dance and professional dance works.
  • Swan-Song by Christopher Bruce.
  •  Introduction to basic student led choreography and lifts



Evacuation - drama

  • Development of students vocal skills and introduction to role play.
  • SoW based on WW2- Builds on basic principles of characterisation acquired I Term 1 and 3. Students are given further opportunity to develop vocal skills


The Wind in the Willows - drama

  • Exploration of script and interpretation of character.
  • SoW based on play text. Students put in to practice performance skills acquired throughout the year to create a performance piece.



Year 8

Issue Based Drama- CDE

  • Introduction to issue-based drama. Real life themes and ideas explored through character and context




  • Introduction to ballroom dance- Jive
  • Based on Hand-jive from the musical Grease. Development of dance skills exploring a new style and building on their knowledge of partner work and lifts.

Dramatic Tension

  • Introduction of performer/audience relationship
  • Group work around devised and scripted work.



West-Side Story- Street Dance

  • Lyrical dance.
  • opening scene of West Side Story- How gang unity and a fight scene ca be explored through dance.

Mask Theatre

  • Introduction to the genre of Mask based on Trestle theatre masks
  • Body language. Introducing the genre of physical theatre and the style of non-naturalism.


Blood Brothers

  • Exploration of script and interpretation of character.
  • performance skills
  • final performance piece


Meeting the needs of SEND and Pupil Premium students

By its nature Drama and Dance are multi-sensory subjects that offer learning visually, orally and kinaesthetically, thus providing a fantastic opportunity to engage pupils with special educational needs. St Birinus has a history of providing students with the skills to achieve far beyond their expectations. Performing Arts teachers place SEND and pupil premium students at the centre of their lesson planning.  This ensures high quality teaching: we direct questions to disadvantaged students, check their understanding regularly and provide frequent feedback using our CAR feedback system. Students are given opportunities, in lesson time, to act on their feedback. 


Formative assessment is integrated into lessons in the form of small embedded practical tasks. 

Students work is assessed at the end of each unit with a practical assessment or performance.


GCSE Drama

Drama is an exciting and challenging GCSE and is ideally suited to students who have a passion for acting and the theatre. The course will involve students creating a variety of practical drama performances, completing essays, visiting live theatre performances and responding to questions in a written exam.

The course requires dedication and students will at times be required to give up their own time both at lunch and after schools to rehearse. Drama is viewed positively by sixth form colleges and universities as it address the key skills of confidence, team work and public speaking.

Course outline

The course is divided into 3 key sections, each of which is examined in at the end of Year 11.

Unit 1 – Devising Drama. (30% of the GCSE)

Learners will research and explore a stimulus, work collaboratively and create their own devised drama.

Unit 2 – Presenting & Performing Texts (30% of the GCSE)

Learners develop and apply theatrical skills in acting or design by presenting a showcase of two extracts from a performance text.

Unit 3 – Performance & Response (40% of the GCSE)

Learners will explore practically a performance text to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama. There is also an expectation that learners will analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance.

This unit is assessed via a formal, written examination.

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  


Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)


3 final examinations

Unit 1– Devising Drama- Practical Exam based on the creation of an original piece of drama.

Unit 2 – Presenting and Performing Texts- Practical Exam based on performing a play text.

Unit 3- Performance and Response- Written exam paper.

Exam questions are essay style responses.

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Drama- BTEC Performing Arts

Future career links:


Musical Theatre


Sales and Marketing



Mrs M Tottman - Drama










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