AWA Drama Curriculum principles



Intent Statement:

To introduce students to a range of theatre practitioners, to develop performance skills/techniques building each students confidence. To gain an understanding of a range of theatre performance styles and to introduce students to live theatre. To develop written/evaluation skills. To nurture a lifelong interest/ passion for theatre.

Implementation Key Principles:

  • Performance - an exploration of various theatrical styles/genres. Students learn about the purpose of theatre and the roles and responsibilities involved in making theatre.
  • This focuses on the performance knowledge and skills: technical, expressive, mental and physical skills; safe working practices.
  • Devised theatre is the art of creating performances, the gathering and organisation of ideas and styles into order and pattern. This involves the ability to construct scenes and characters, in response to a chosen idea(s)/meaning(s)and theme(s). This must be clear to the observer/audience, effectively communicating the dramatic/artistic intention. These skills focus on group work, communication and developing structures and form.
  • Appreciation – the ability to appreciate theatre styles, developments, and processes; using critical appreciation skills. Students learn to celebrate artistic creations; reflect to help with improvements for future performance work. The meaning of skills and drama techniques -e.g Vocal projection, physicality; understanding how to use techniques within their work -e.g staging, direct address, moving in unison, motif, action, space, dynamics, relationships,
  • Content is rich, relevant and reflective of the diverse world in which we live.
  • Learning is sequenced to enable young people to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Literacy is explicitly delivered across the curriculum.
  • Learning is adapted to support the specific needs of individuals.
  • A sustainable approach is supported through the curriculum.
  • Resilience is promoted for students by frequent (low stakes) assessment to inform teaching

In classrooms, this may look like:

  • Devised pieces performed by students.
  • Extracts of Scripted text – that has been studied and developed by students. 
  • Students developing their physical and technical performance skills.
  • Practical task-based exercises.
  • Independent practices focusing on rehearsal and refinement skills.
  • Exploration of stimuli -looking at various ways to generate  ideas.
  • Critical appreciation of peer work and feedback.
  • Exploration of professional performance works analysing practitioners influences and creative processes and skills (across genres).
  • Theatre History - A deepened understanding of professional influences and contributions to dance practices.
  • Carefully planned shared schema, developed by experts and tailored by teachers to meet the needs of teaching groups
  • DO NOW tasks drawing on prior learning and introducing work.
  • Shared literacy and reading strategies in place, such as Inside Outside Beyond and whole class reading work
  • Precise pedagogical decisions made for students with additional needs (EHCP, SEND K, PSP, Behavioral, PA) including additional adults, alternative resources or outcomes, seating arrangements, precise deployment of signature strategies
  • Teaching which alters according to student understanding demonstrated both from assessment points and within lessons

In work produced, this may look like:

  • Performing: solo or ensemble performances using physical, technical, expressive, and mental skills.
  • Devising: creating creative phrases/use of development and manipulation .
  • Critical Appreciation: Do Now tasks, peer feedback, teacher feedback, written analysis and evaluations of professional performance works and student works.
  • Regular feedback, which addresses knowledge or skills gaps
  • Opportunities for conscious practise by students (reteach episodes, ‘fix-it’ sessions, revision)
  • Opportunities for self and peer assessment, engaging with success criteria
  • As relevant to course opportunities to engage with exam-style content
  • Home learning will promote digital literacy in line with school strategy when necessary.

For students, this experience may include:

  • Practical workshops led by professional practitioners and drama teaching staff
  • Recorded performances in the classroom
  • Live performance opportunities in the classroom
  • Live performance opportunities outside the classroom.
  • Consistent staffing in lessons with teachers who know them and similar learning journeys across year groups
  • Regular opportunities to engage with feedback on progress (parents’ evenings, progress grades, reports, assessment feedback, in-class feedback, marking)
  • A clear sense of the curriculum journey leading to CEIAG – how can you pursue this field of study? What might it lead you to?
  • Where students are taught by professionals at the start of their career, they can expect additional adults in classes supporting through a range of strategies (live coaching, learning walks, observations, team teaching)

Impact Key Principles

In evaluating the impact of our curriculum, we will consider:

  • Outcomes data, BTEC Results, Additional qualifications (sports leaders, community languages, Entry level qualifications) and the performance of vulnerable groups within that data
  • Destinations data at common points of transition from the school (Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5)
  • Internal and external Quality Assurance processes (Ark review processes, governor accountability processes, internal audit processes, Ofsted)

The development of professionals into experts in their field through their work in supporting colleagues, supporting other schools, developing curriculum resource, becoming examiners etc.




Core Purpose

Students who choose to study drama develop skills in expressing themselves, further their creativity and become more assured performers. The history and changing styles of performance are a fascinating topic to study academically too.  Drama is not all about the performance, there is so much more:  history, politics, psychology, issues of justice and injustice, culture changes and our right to an identity are all central to what is covered.

Studying drama also helps students to develop important skills such as collaboration, analysis, communication and evaluation. These are skills that they need to use for the rest of their lives, in higher education and in work.

GCSE Drama guides students in how to have three perspectives when viewing a text or an idea: students consider and analyse from the points of view of a director, a designer and a performer. To understand this, students develop a knowledge of other times and cultures, including political, ideological and social changes in this country and across the world.

We aim to involve the largest possible number of students in productions: as performers, musicians, backstage or technical team members. In addition to our annual Shakespeare festival, we also team up with the Old Vic Theatre so that our senior students attend workshops where they can network with industry professionals and educate students in other schools.  We also have a close working relationship with the Royal Court, Young Vic and Donmar Warehouse Theatres, benefiting from discount and free tickets plus workshops from industry professionals.

GCSE students are expected to form small theatre companies and run educational workshops for local primary schools.

British Values Coverage

  • The history of British myths and storytelling
  • Drama (mythos) and the birth of Ethos (our way of living)
  • How literature and stories from other cultures have affected our contemporary beliefs


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Coverage


The myths of creation and belief are studied across various cultures’ storytelling arc

The connection between religion, ritual, belief and performance is extensively studied

Family relationships and the foundations of historic and contemporary morality are studied in the context of the spiritual ‘self’ of the character

The study of theatre practitioners and their belief in the ‘eternal’ and decoding of archetypes


Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong

Understanding of the consequences of behaviour and actions

Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues

Ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues


Use of a range of social skills; working and socialising with other pupils

Range of stories and writers studied including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds

Performance in communities and social settings, including schools and with local theatre companies

Exploration of attitudes that will allow students to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain


Texts and stimuli from a broad cross section of cultures are studied

British Values and their place in a European and world context are studied with historical referencing (Influencing and reflecting political and social change through theatre)

Theatre in Education projects promote research into marginalized, socially stereotyped or underrepresented cultures

There are regular theatre trips and evaluations of the intended and perceived meaning of the writer, director and designer.


Please Click here to see the Drama Curriculum Coverage


Last updated September 2018