Curriculum rationale:

In Expressive Arts we aim to foster a love for the Arts by offering a broad and balanced experience across art, dance, drama and music.  We want to enthuse passion, creativity and a love for our subjects that you may not have previously experienced.

The KS3 curriculum is intended to adequately prepare students for and feed into OCR drama at KS4 but ultimately, should serve as an enjoyable, engaging and broad drama experience for all students. 

Our drama curriculum has been designed around the three core areas of drama; performance, devising and appreciation. Drama is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject. This curriculum recognises the role of drama in young people’s lives and has been designed to inspire, challenge and motivate every student, no matter what their level of ability. Each area of study is progressively built upon over time using a spaced-learning/interleaving approach e.g. in year 7 they start learning about performance skills, move onto learning about devising skills in unit 2 and then in the third unit they combine performance and devising skills. This structure is then applied in year 8 and 9 reviewing prior knowledge and introducing new skills and more challenge. We aim for all students to be independent learners, critical thinkers and effective decision makers by the end of KS3- all personal attributes that can make them stand out as they progress through their education and apply beyond the classroom into adult life. 


Curriculum Design:

Aspects from the GCSE specification are incorporated into the KS3 curriculum in various topics e.g. students study devising skills in Year 7, Blood Brothers is explored across all key stage 3 and is the performance text used at GCSE. Written elements are incorporated into each unit of work through summative quizzes, exam style questions and devising portfolios to provide a springboard for the demands at GCSE. Assessment is regular and uses a model personalised to our curriculum allowing students to make rapid progress and take ownership of what is required from them to progress to the next step.

The curriculum is designed around securing deep understanding of key knowledge and developing academic literacy through exploratory talk and oracy. At KS4 there is also a strong emphasis placed on developing extended writing as the demands of the GCSE course requires this skill.

 The 4Rs are at the core of the drama curriculum and can be seen throughout curriculum planning and delivery.

Curriculum Plan:

Key Stage 3

In Years 7-9 drama is taught on a rotation system so modules are not tied to specific terms.


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Rotation 1

Aladdin: Learning about fundamental vocal and physical  skills

Blood Brothers scripted piece: (Part 2) extract When Mickey and Eddie meet

Presenting and performing texts: exploring Girls Like That developing performance skills

Rotation 2

Fairy tales adaptation: Focusing on ‘Theatre in Education’ genre

Teechers scripted piece: Developing character through improvisation techniques

Devising drama: Responding to a stimulus in an abstract and physical style 

Rotation 3

Blood Brothers scripted piece: (Part 1) extract “I wish I was our Sammy”

Devising Drama: Responding to a stimulus and developing the devising process and skills

Blood Brothers scripted piece: (Part 3) extract Kids Game

Introduction to reviewing a piece of live Theatre Review

GCSE Drama


Year 9/10

Year 10/11

Autumn 1st half term

Introduction to genre and style

Exploring Blood Brothers by Willy Russell looking at act 1

Learning how to make Cornell notes in drama

Baseline assessment on characterisation

Mock paper 1

Introduce the Devising drama exam paper

Research on chosen stimulus

Complete section 1 of the portfolio

Analyse and evaluate ‘Things I know to be true’  

Autumn 2nd half term

Introduction to Presenting and performing texts developing character and performance skills

Exploring Blood Brothers by Willy Russell looking at act 1 and focusing on historical context

Creating and developing devised pieces

Devising drama final assessment

Complete section 2 of the portfolio

Analyse and evaluate ‘Things I know to be true’  mock question section b only


Spring 1st half term


Presenting and performing text mock assessment and introduction to writing a concept pro forma (1 per group)

Exploring Blood Brothers by Willy Russell looking at act 1 and focusing on social context

Mock paper 2

Complete portfolio

Introduction to presenting and performing texts

Complete CPF question 1

Explore in more depth Blood Brothers considering actor/designer/director roles

Mock paper 5

Spring 2nd half term


Introduction to devising drama exploring a past paper and creating a portfolio

Exploring Blood Brothers by Willy Russell looking at act 1 and focusing on cultural context

Developing and rehearsing presenting and performing texts

Presenting and performing text final assessment (external examiner)

Complete CPF questions 2/3/4

Analyse and evaluate ‘Things I know to be true’  

Summer 1st half term

Devising drama mock assessment and complete portfolio

Exploring Blood Brothers by Willy Russell looking at act 2 and focusing on key themes Mock paper 3

Written paper preparation/revision

Mock paper 6

Written paper exam

Summer 2nd half term

Preparing for the written paper

Exploring Blood Brothers by Willy Russell looking at act 2 and focusing on key characters

Introduction to Live Theatre Review- watch ‘Things I know to be true’ by Frantic assembly

Mock paper 4

Course completed  

Curriculum Assessment:

Years 7 - 9 will have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and allow teachers to address misconceptions. They will also have an end of rotation practical and written assessment. These assessments allow teachers and students to identify areas of strengths and areas to improve.

Years 10 and 11 will also have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and various accumulative written tests every half term to check their understanding. These tests build each half term in length and complexity as they review previous topics as well as current ones. Alongside this they will be assessed in their practical work where they receive regular, personal verbal feedback and written feedback on areas of strengths and areas to improve.


Extra-curricular opportunities:

Drama offers a wide variety of opportunities outside of the classroom. We offer an after school drama club at key stage 3, which leads to performance opportunities in our Summer Arts Festival. We also offer the opportunity to gain bronze or silver Arts Award for students who produce excellent classwork and demonstrate a passion in drama. Alongside side this we plan in an annual theatre trip and we work collaboratively across the Expressive Arts Team to stage a whole school musical production.

Essential equipment:

No specific requirements at key stage 3.

GCSE classes at key stage 4 are required to purchase two revision guides to support the OCR course.