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Drama Exam Information


Course Content

Drama is a popular option and results are consistently very high. We follow the Cambridge International IGCSE Drama specification. Drama students develop high level performance skills through work on devised and scripted projects. They study the theatrical possibilities of play texts and examine how they can be taken from page to stage. In addition, Drama students are taken to see a variety of professional live theatre productions and develop knowledge of theatrical styles, genres and theatre practitioners. Parents are invited to see Coursework Assessed performances in May of Year 10 and October of Year 11.

Course Structure

Component 1: Written Examination 40% Externally examined

Based on pre-release material supplied by the exam board

Component 2: Coursework 60% Internally assessed/ Externally moderated

Students submit three pieces of practical coursework. They are marked as an individual.

  • One individual piece (3–5 minutes):

-  one performance of an extract from a play (monologue)

  • Two group pieces (maximum 15 minutes each):

- one performance of an extract from a play (scripted)

- one original devised piece.

Year 10: Students spend the first term developing devising and acting skills in short mini-projects. After Christmas they start work on researching, developing and devising their first piece of assessed coursework; the group original devised piece. This is performed and assessed in early May. The Year 10 Written Exam requires them to answer questions based on the development and evaluation of their practical coursework. After their exams they will choose their individual monologue piece and will be given their group script piece both of which will be learnt over the Summer Holiday.

Year 11: The Autumn Term is spent completing the final two pieces of assessed coursework. The group script performance takes place just before half term and the solo script performance takes place during the Trial Exams period in December. There is no written Trial Exam for Drama in December. After Christmas, students spend all their time working on the pre-release exam material in preparation for the written examination. This is focused on text analysis and on responses to stimulus materials. A written Trial Exam will take place before Easter.

Exam Board: Cambridge International IGCSE Drama

*Due to examination reform there will be a change in the specification for first teaching in September 2016. A decision as to which examination board is to be used will be made once all specifications are available for review.

A Level Drama and Theatre

We currently follow the OCR Drama & Theatre linear specification. This is assessed through 60% Non-Exam Assessment and 40% Written Examination. Results are consistently excellent. The subject combines very well with other Arts and Humanities courses and develops essay writing and research abilities, as well as performance, theatre design and technical knowledge and skills.

Course Content

OCR’s A Level in Drama & Theatre has been designed to be a practical, engaging and creative specification. It provides students with opportunities to interrogate drama and the work of others, to explore a range of drama as a practical art form, and to work independently to create their own drama performances making informed artistic choices. The main purpose of this qualification is to allow students to study drama and theatre in an academic setting, interrogating this art form and applying their knowledge and understanding to the process of creating and developing drama and theatre and to their own performance work. It also prepares students for the further study of Drama or Performing Arts courses in Higher Education as well as developing transferable skills desired by all sectors of the industry. The course creates independent learners, critical thinkers and effective decision makers – all personal attributes that can make them stand out as they progress through their education and into employment.

OCR’s A Level in Drama & Theatre will encourage students to:

  • develop and apply an informed, analytical framework for making, performing, interpreting and understanding drama and theatre
  • understand the place of relevant theoretical research in informing the processes and practices involved in creating theatre and the place of practical exploration in informing theoretical knowledge of drama and theatre
  • develop an understanding and appreciation of how the social, cultural and historical contexts of performance texts have influenced the development of drama and theatre
  • understand the practices used in twenty-first century theatre making
  • experience a range of opportunities to create theatre, both published text-based and devised work
  • participate as a theatre maker and as an audience member in live theatre
  • understand and experience the collaborative relationship between various roles within theatre
  • develop and demonstrate a range of theatre making skills
  • develop the creativity and independence to become effective theatre makers
  • adopt safe working practices as a theatre maker
  • analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others (may include their own, their peers, amateur and/or professional works).

Course Structure

There are four components that make up the A Level:

  • Practitioners in Practice*
    • Creating, Devising and Performing Original Theatre (Research Report/ Explorative Portfolio/ Devised Performance)
    • Internally marked/ Externally moderated
    • 120 marks 40%
  • Exploring & Performing Texts*
    • Performing Live Theatre (Group Performance of Script)
    • Visiting external examination
    • 60 marks 20%
  • Analysing Performance
    • Explore practically two performance texts on a chosen theme
    • Analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance
    • Written Examination
    • 60 marks 20%
  • Deconstructing Texts for Performance
    • Interpret and explore practically a performance text considering how to create, develop and direct a performance for an audience.
    • Written Examination
    • 60 marks 20%

* = NEA (Non-exam assessment)

All components will be assessed in the Upper Sixth. The Devised and Scripted performances will take place in March. Theatre visits will take place in the evenings throughout the two years to broaden knowledge and prepare for the Analysing Performance exam

In the Lower Sixth students will prepare and perform a group piece as preparation for the Practitioners in Practice module. This will be assessed internally as part of the L6th Summer Exam.

Exam Board: OCR Drama & Theatre