At Test Valley School, Drama is an art form, a practical activity and an intellectual discipline. Through Drama, pupils learn not only the skills needed to perform successfully, but also how to cooperate effectively with others in a variety of situations.

Drama is held in high regard by the school and is a popular subject at all levels.

“The most valuable asset a nation has is the creativity of its children”.
Alan Plater (playwright)

Key Stage 3

At Test Valley School, Drama is taught as a discrete subject in Years 7–9.

The majority of lessons take place in our purpose built Drama studio, which is equipped with all of the necessary technical equipment for a variety of performance styles.

In Year 7 pupils learn basic drama performance and rehearsal skills including mime, mask, and character work.

In Years 8 and 9 pupils build on their skills and take on more imaginative and challenging schemes of work including working on scripts. They also have the chance in Year 9 to gain more experience of the technical aspects of Drama, including lighting and sound. There is a whole school play every year and pupils from Year 9 are invited to audition for main roles and pupils in lower years make up a chorus where required.

Key Stage 4

Examination BoardOCR
SpecificationGCSE (9-1) in Drama
Assessment60% Non-exam assessments (Practical performances and written tasks)
40% Examinations (Written)
English BaccalaureateNo

What do pupils need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

  • They need to know that there is a written exam and that they will spend at least one lesson a week on written theory work.
  • They need to be prepared to show all of their work in performances.
  • They need to be able to listen carefully to instructions and to other members of the group.
  • They will have to go and see live theatre and write notes up on these.

Is this course suitable?

Pupils will learn how to:

  • become more independent
  • become more responsible
  • become a leader
  • become a better communicator
  • make better decisions
  • solve disagreements more effectively
  • reach their full potential
  • become better at making plans and carrying them out

What will pupils learn on this course?

On this course, pupils will:

  • Gather knowledge and understanding of Drama and Theatre and related skills.
  • Learn about the social, historical and cultural influences that inform the way drama is devised and structured.
  • Develop their use of different performance styles and genres.
  • Look at creating Drama from the point of view of a deviser, director, performer and designer.
  • Learn how to analyse their work and improve it after self and peer evaluations.
  • Learn how to write about their performances and the plays they have studied.

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

60% – Non Exam Assessments

Component 1 – Devising Drama – Pupils will create their own piece of drama using one of 10 stimuli set by the board as a starting point.

Component 2 – Text Performance – Pupils study a text chosen by the centre and then select two extracts from the text to be performed in front of a visiting examiner.

40% – Written Exam Assessment

Pupils will sit a 1 hour and 30 minute exam where they will answer questions based on a set text and on a live performance they have seen.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

  • Explain their work from lessons and the reasons behind their decisions made in rehearsals and performances and evaluate their work in lessons in written form.
  • Learn lines for assessments.
  • Go and see live theatre and write up notes

What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?

  • Study an AS Level in Theatre Arts.
  • Study a BTEC in Performing Arts.
  • This course is valuable for careers in medicine, law, public relations, journalism, diplomacy, politics, social work, hospitality, tourism and leisure.

Additional Information

Every year there is a whole school play, where pupils take on all roles both on-stage and backstage. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the talent we have at Test Valley.