Subject Overview

Welcome to the Drama and Theatre Studies Department at Waddesdon. The aim of Drama in the curriculum is to provide opportunities for students to develop their confidence, personality and understanding of others. Students are encouraged to become skilled communicators and lessons are heavily focused on group work. The department exists within an ethos of mutual respect for all, where students feel safe to challenge themselves creatively and explore complex subjects through performance.

Course Information

Drama is a very popular option at Waddesdon, and many students opt for our GCSE and A Level courses. In Years 7 and 8, all students follow practical-based courses which introduce and extend key dramatic skills and techniques. Courses are varied, encompassing a wide range of themes and issues; the broad nature of the subject allows students to respond to world events and current affairs as well as engaging with historical and contemporary playwrights.

Key Stage 4

The Drama Department offers GCSE Drama in Years 9 - 11.  We follow the Eduqas examination board, which can be accessed here: Eduqas GCSE Drama specification.

The GCSE study begins in Year 9 where students engage with a number of theatrical styles, texts and themes. (Surrealism, Race and Prejudice, The Hunger Games, Bouncers by John Godber, Devising and Page to Stage). The units of work in this first year of study are designed to engage and challenge learners, in order for them to develop their existing skills in creating, performing and evaluating. Over the course of Years 10 and 11, students complete the 3 GCSE components: Devising, Performing, and Interpreting Theatre. The Devising unit is highly demanding and requires students to create an original piece of theatre from a stimulus set by Eduqas. The Performing unit allows students to choose a performance text and edit and perform an extract from the play. For each of these units, students can choose to take the design route (lighting, sound, set or costume). Interpreting Theatre is the final examination unit (1 hour 30 minutes). Students will study practically a play set by the examination board (DNA by Dennis Kelly). These workshops will consider plot, structure, characters, relationships, themes etc. The students will also be required to consider how they could design, direct and perform the play. Finally, students will see a live theatre production and will need to analyse and evaluate the production values of the performance.

Key Stage 5

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies is offered for post-16 study, following the Edexcel (Pearson) examination board, which can be accessed here: Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre specification.

A Level study is academically demanding and requires students to engage in the historical landscape of theatre as well as with theatre-makers of today. Students’ study a range of practitioner styles (Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud, Frantic Assembly) and are encouraged to see as much theatre as they are able.

The A Level course comprises 3 units which mirror and build on the work done at GCSE level: devising, performing and the written examination. The devising process asks students to research and create a unique and original piece of theatre to be performed to an audience and accompanied by an assessed written record of the process. It is challenging but a hugely exciting part of the course which really allows the students to create work they are passionate about. Text in Performance gives students the opportunity to perform, as part of a group, an edited extract from a published play and to perform a monologue or duologue from a second performance text. The final examination requires the student to approach two specified texts (Colder Than Here by Laura Wade and Woyzeck by Georg Buchner) as a theatre director, designer and performer. Additionally, learners will write a live theatre evaluation based on a production seen over the course of the A Level.

To further enhance and develop students' understanding and appreciation of theatre, the Drama Department regularly organises trips to see some of the best theatre available across the UK. Recent theatre visits have included: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Othello by Frantic Assembly, People, Places and Things by The National Theatre and Macbeth at The Young Vic.


The course is broken down into the following units:

 Component 1: Devising Theatre Non-examination assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated, 40% of qualification
  • A realisation of their piece of devised theatre
  • A portfolio of supporting evidence
  • An evaluation of the final performance or design.
Component 2: Performing from a Text Non-examination assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner, 20% of qualification
  • Learners study two extracts from the same performance text chosen by the centre
  • Learners participate in one performance, using sections of text from both extracts
 Component 3: Interpreting Theatre Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes, 40% of qualification
  • Section A: Set Text - A series of questions on one set text
  • Section B: Live Theatre Review
One question, from a choice of two, requiring analysis and evaluation of a given aspect of a live theatre production seen during the course.

A Level

Devising performances and portfolios are internally marked. Written work is marked regularly and regular tutorials are given. Final marks for coursework are discussed with the student before submission to the examination board for moderation. For the Text in Performance unit, students perform to an examiner from Edexcel. A 2 ½ hour written examination forms part of the final year.

A final grade is awarded at the end of Year 13.

When working in groups, Drama students must appreciate the importance of loyalty and commitment to their fellow students; the actions of a disaffected student can be injurious to the high standards and examination grades of the rest of the students within the group.
  • Student Achievement Manager: Kate Turner
  • Teachers:Lauren Osborne