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GCSE Drama

Examination Details: AQA 8261

Course Specification available here

Assessment Details

  1. Written examination (40%)
  2. Non exam based pieces of coursework (60%)

1 tier of entry for all pupils

Course Information

Written Examination/ Component 1 (40%) 1 hour 45mins 80 marks

The written paper comprises three sections:

A.      Multiple choice questions

B.      4 questions on a given extract on the set play chosen

C.      one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production

 Component 2 Devising Drama (40%) 80 marks

What's assessed

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed

  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)

Component 3 Texts in Practice (20%) 40 marks

What's assessed

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1

How it's assessed

Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)
40 marks in total
20% of GCSE

Pupils must attend at least one organised Theatre trip in Year 10 and another in Year 11. These trips are a compulsory part of the course.

Steps to Success in GCSE Drama 

  1. Be enthusiastic in lessons – ‘Have a go’!
  2. You must attend all lessons and rehearsals (lunchtime and after school) to avoid letting others down in group assessment situations.
  3. Be supportive of others’ performance work.  You can learn a lot from evaluating the work of other people.
  4. Be organised about looking after the notes and scripts you are given.  Complete all written tasks diligently.  This will help you in your coursework and final examination.
  5. Attend as much live theatre as possible. You live in London, theatre capital of the world!
  6. Be the leader – do not be afraid to initiate ideas.  Listen to everyone’s ideas and select the best ones to try out.
  7. Listen to the advice of your teachers and act upon it.
  8. Think about the emotions of the character.  Can you imagine how they feel?
  9.  Think about your voice: pitch, pace and volume.
  10. Think about your body language, posture, facial expressions and gestures.
  11. 11.   Keep a journal of all the lessons in which you participate. Explain the skills you are learning or developing. Make sure you keep a record of the ideas you contributed and how others responded to those ideas and how you respond to the ideas of others.

Useful websites:
National Theatre YouTube Page