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GCSE Drama

Robert Smyth performs We Will Rock You



Do you love watching and performing Drama?  GCSE drama is a predominantly practical course where everyone will be expected to work with a wide range of others and take part in a variety of activities.  You will learn skills that will allow you to tackle the two practical coursework units (worth 60%), performed in front of a peer audience and a visiting examiner respectively, and the final, externally-examined written exam (worth 40%).


Course Aims

The course seeks to develop your:


  • knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre forms, processes and practitioners.
  • ability to think creatively and independently and take responsibility for your own work.
  • competence in the skills and techniques of drama.
  • ability to operate in a social art taking account of individual, group and subject needs.
  • ability to conduct a dramatic exploration and from this communicate your ideas to an audience.
  • ability to evaluate constructively your own work and that of others.
  • team working skills, time management and confidence.

Robert Smyth Market HarbroughGCSE Drama Showcase


Overview of GCSE Drama



Component 1: Devising Drama – (coursework; 30% of the GCSE)

Students will create a devised performance in groups. They will be able to select a starting point from a range of stimuli provided by the exam board.

They can choose to work as a performer or designer in this component.

Performances will be between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

All performances will be supported by a portfolio which is evidence of the students’ devising

process and can be a made up of a combination of writing, images, observation notes and artefacts.

40 marks: For the evidence in the portfolio

20 marks: For the final performance.

Internally assessed and externally moderated.



Component 2: Presenting and Performing Texts – (coursework; 30% of the GCSE)


Students will study a text chosen by the centre.

Students will take a part in two performances of two extracts from the text. They can work as a performer or designer in this component.

Performance lengths will vary according to the size of the group. In this unit students can work individually, or in a group of up to 6. The time range is between 2 and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

Students must present at least one performance as part of a group to a visiting examiner.

Students will be required to produce an accompanying concept document which outlines their intentions for the performance.

20 marks: Interpretation of the text and creating an intention for performance

40 marks: For the demonstration of the chosen theatrical skill in the final performances.

Externally assessed by a visiting examiner from the exam board.



Component 3: Drama: Performance and Response – (written exam; 40% of the GCSE)


The written exam, lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes, will take place at the end of Year 11. Students will have to complete two compulsory sections:


Section A – 50 marks



Students will study one whole text during the course from a list set by the exam board. This section of the paper will contain questions about the set text which require short and medium length answers. It assessed students’ knowledge and understanding of how drama is developed and performed.


Section B – 30 marks

This section asks the students to review a performance they have seen on their course.

They will be primarily assessed on their ability to analyse and evaluate, but will also be marked on their accurate use of subject specific terminology.