Drama is an activity that focuses upon human behaviour and our perceptions of the world. As probably the oldest, and certainly the most encompassing of art forms, drama allows students to learn to discuss topics that arise from exploring the social, cultural and historic context of a wide variety of stimuli. Just like Aeschylus, the ‘father of tragedy’ living in Ancient Greece, who as a child fought imaginary monsters with his wooden sword, students are encouraged to continue to use this innate instinct to make believe as they once did and explore imagined realities.

Drama is a life skill and a creative art form. It helps students develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, within a range of practical role playing activities. Through Drama, young people are given opportunities to express and manage their thoughts and feelings, responding to a wide range of issues and situations.

The Drama department is a busy and exciting department at Clyst Vale. We offer many drama opportunities for our students to extend their learning and enjoyment of drama beyond the classroom, ranging from whole school productions, drama workshops, theatre visits, drama clubs as well as hosting visiting theatre practitioners and performers to come into school to work with our students.

Miss E Williams Head of Performing Arts
Miss A Ruscoe Head of Drama

The KS3 Drama curriculum helps to develop transferable skills such as negotiation, resilience, team work, cooperation, and public speaking. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and self-awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together. During KS3, students explore both factual and fictional texts that help to broaden their understanding of different social, cultural, moral and historical contexts and situations.

  • Students are taught two lessons of drama per fortnight
  • Students are taught in our two custom built drama spaces, as well as in our outdoor amphitheatre in the summer term

Schemes are likely to be drawn from the following 

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
§  The Elements of drama 1

§  Grimm Tales

§  La Commedia dell’ Arte

§  Pirates

§   The Elements of drama 2

§  Melodrama and silent comedy

§  Naturalism

§  Physical Theatre

§  Greek Theatre

§  The Elements of drama 3

§  Ghost stories and The Woman in Black

§  One act plays

§  Farce

§  Murder Mystery

§  Non–naturalism and witchcraft

Subject information

It is a common misconception that GCSE Drama is for those who want to be ‘actors’. In fact it is a subject concerned with the development of transferable skills that are relevant to all, in terms of personal and social awareness and future employability, whatever the ultimate career choice. Drama gives you vital qualities for life and is highly regarded both in the world of higher education and of employment. A GCSE in Drama, in short, is valued and valuable.

What will I study?

There are three units in which students will

  • Devise your own work in response to a wide and diverse variety of stimuli.
  • Develop use of drama techniques to explore themes, issues and ideas, exploring a range of social, cultural and historic contexts.
  • Discover how to interpret the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners and realise text.
  • Develop physical and vocal skills in performing to an audience.
  • Explore how meaning is communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention and develop a theoretical, as well as practical, knowledge of drama and theatre design.
  • Learn to evaluate and discuss your own work and the drama produced by others, including the work of professional theatre makers.

Students can choose to explore the disciplines of performing and/or designing. For the practical units students choose to work as performers or designers (design students may choose lighting, sound, set, or costume).

In GCSE Drama you will get the opportunity to

  • Take part in exciting workshops
  • Take trips to the theatre
  • Showcase work in front of staff, students and parents
  • Discover your favourite styles and forms of theatre

…and so much more!

How will I be assessed?


40% exam (worth 80 marks)

Focus: knowledge and understanding, set text and live theatre production analysis


40% Non-exam (worth 80 marks)

Focus: Exploration on the role of performer or designer

60 marks: Portfolio

20 marks: Final performance.


20% Non-exam (worth 40 marks)

Focus: Practical application of the performer or designer

20 marks: performance of Extract

120 marks: performance of Extract 2

Practical, vocational based BTEC courses are offered for 6th formers and they can opt to take Performing Arts at Level 3 National Certificate or Music (Performing) at either National Certificate level (equivalent in UCAS points to AS) or National Extended Certificate level (equivalent in UCAS points to A2).

The units taken allow a flexible approach and students can focus on the areas of performance that interest them and capitalise on their strengths. Both courses offer extensive performance opportunities at local venues such as Exeter Phoenix, Barnfield Theatre, Cygnet Theatre and many other local concert venues.