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Devonport High School for Girls

Drama and Theatre Studies

Name of Head of Department

Mr T Newman, NPQML+, BA (Hons), PGCE

Statement of Intent 

Drama makes learners of us all by offering an integral view of society. It delivers meaning to its students, purpose to its performers, and understanding to its audiences. All the while challenging society to reflect upon itself and the world we have created. 

Drama instils a passion for the Performing Arts and teaches the students at DHSG to explore performance skills, enhance academic skills, and refine interpersonal skills. Our students have a dynamic and ambitious curriculum evolving from the foundations of KS2 skills and knowledge, leading to a framework of knowledge and skills, deliberate practice, and self-evaluation in the lower years. This allows further building blocks based on theatre history, influential practitioners, and the ability to operate as an actor, director, and designer in the Middle years. Consolidating all this knowledge and theorising on the psychology of the character, conceptual vision of the director, and the thematic choices of the designer equip students as active practitioners encompassing all the above in the upper years. 

With a reflective and academic approach to all aspects of the course, we aim to explore both process and performance theatre. Process theatre being the progressive tradecraft where students actively learn skills as they engage with stimuli, explore techniques in rehearsals, and devise scenes all to learn in the moment. Performance theatre being the traditional approach to starting a production and working with a stimulus or script, developing acting, directing, and designing skills with previously learnt techniques to produce a completed performance for assessment, analysis, and evaluation. 

We take as many students to theatre as possible during their time at DHSG, believing that the cultural investment deepens and broadens minds and benefits the students in all aspects of their learning and of their life. 

Contribution to School Curriculum 

Drama’s place, both in lessons and in the wider extracurricular program, is to offer an incredible set of skills vital to all students’ social, cultural, historical, and political (SCHP) education during their informative schooling years. We pride ourselves on being a modern subject that explores any human need or issue through the medium of performance and reflect the learning from many other curricular subjects such as English, History, Psychology, Music, Dance, to name a few. 

Drama brings value to students using their brain uniquely, introducing them to alternative learning methods. We balance adaptive and critical thinking with an open and creative mind-set needed to not only envision a performance, but to access the skills and knowledge as an actor, director, and designed to see the idea of the performance become a production. 

Many of the practical and academic skills practised and refined within Drama compliment many other subjects, such as an investigative analysis and evaluation of one’s performance has pedagogical links to a scientific experiment in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, whereupon the student will analyse and evaluate their findings. 

It is the positive performance pressure and individual resilience our students embrace that reinforces the self-belief and confidence we see in cycle assessments and GCSE examinations. Coupled with desirable 'soft skills' our students present themselves as confident, purposeful, and communicative individuals, which are the qualities further education and future employers require. The students are increasing their chances for success in future interview prospects such as university and employment opportunities, by applying their learning beyond the classroom and using it for real world purposes. 

Curriculum Programmes of Study 


Cycle Content

Year 7

Cycle 1

Mr Fox

Process Theatre In role; Role play; Narrative; Hot Seating; Teacher in Role; Storytelling; Dramatic Tension; Prepared Improvisation; Directing Constructive Criticism; Analysis

Cycle 2

Fairy Tale fights

Characterisation (In role); Facial Expression;  Body Language; Tone of voice; Devising; Narrative Arc (start, middle, end); Directing; Character Archetypes; Constructive Criticism; Assessment

Cycle 3

Year 8 


Cycle 1

Darkwood Manor

Spontaneous Improvisation; Planed Improvisation; Role Play; Devising; Writing in Role; Sound scaping; Process Theatre; Mantle of the Expert; Tension; Suspense; Climax; Narrative Arc; Structure

Directing; Constructive Criticism; Assessment

Cycle 2


Process Theatre; Intro of a stimulus; Still Image/ Tableau; Thought Tracking; Body Language; Facial expressions; Tone of voice; Flashback; Directing; Constructive Criticism; Study of society-Cross curricular History/ PSHE

Cycle 3

Year 9

Cycle 1

Alternative Monologues

Monologue; In role; Characterisation; Annotation; Articulation; Voice-pitch, pace, pause, tone, accent, pause, volume; Movement skills; Communication (audience); Directing; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Assessment

Cycle 2


Verfremdunseffekt; Epic Theatre; Placards; Breaking the fourth wall; Direct Address; Actor as demonstrator; Multi role; Split role; Gestus; Episodic Structure; Tickle and Slap; Narrator; Songs/ music; Alienation; Freeze Frames; Directing; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Assessment

Cycle 3


Naturalism; Stimulus; Concentration of attention; Feelings of truth; Magic If; Relaxation of muscles; Emotion Memory; Units and Objectives; Accentuation; Making the body expressive; Restraint and control; Diction and singing; Intonation and pauses; Temp, rhythm and movement; Directing ; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Assessment

Year 10 

Cycle 1

Frantic assembly

Abstract physicality; Physical Theatre; Stylized movement; Push hands; Hymn hands; Round by through; Learning to fly; Jetpack lift; Chair duets; Directing; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Assessment

Cycle 2

Theatre in Education

Facts and figures; Flashback; Audience participation; Direct address; Narration; Strong message/morals; Only significant props and costume; Multi-rolling; Split role; Target audience; Stylized movement; Ensemble; Directing; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Assessment

Cycle 3

Component 1

Chosen practitioner; Direct; Design; Costume, lighting, props and set; Response to stimulus; Devising; Creative Log; Ensemble; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate

Performance 10%

Creative Log 20%

Analysis and Evaluation 10%

Introduction to Component 3

An Inspector Calls; Script Work; Original Performance Conditions; Themes and Issues;

Playwright; Interpretation; Acting- Motivation; Voice; Movement; Interaction; Directing-

Context; Intention; Techniques; Result; Designer- Mood and atmosphere; Intention; Effect/ Equipment; Product; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Mock Assessment

Year 11

Cycle 1

Component 3

Character profiles; Set design; Costume design; Lighting design; Directing techniques; Mock: Acting, directing, designing

Component 2

Script work; Actioning; In role; Pitch, pace, tone, accent, volume; Actioning; Accentuation;

Articulation; Interaction; Communication; Movement skills; Costume; Set; Audience; Performance 20%

Cycle 2

Component 3 (examination prep)

Set text: An Inspector Calls’; Evaluation of live theatre; Writing structures; Acting- Motivation; Voice; Movement; Interaction; Directing- Context; Intention; Techniques; Result; Designer- Mood and atmosphere; Intention; Effect/ Equipment; Product; Constructive Criticism; Analysis and Evaluate; Mock papers for A + B

Cycle 3

Lower Years Assessment Framework

To view the Lower Years Assessment Framework for Drama, please click here

Middle Years Exam and Specification Information 

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the WJEC website GCSE Drama Specification

Extra-curricular activities 

At DHSG we make sure that all students have access to drama through a bi-annual large-scale musical production, such as Bugsy Malone, cast, rehearsed and performed to the highest possible standard. Students from year 7 to year 13 were involved in acting, singing, dancing, backstage management, lighting, sound, props, costume, and set design to produce a truly memorable experience for all. In the desire to create as close to a professional experience as possible for our students, we perform with a live band to accompany the performance and radio mics to showcase our amazing talent.

On the opposing bi-annual year we present a Sixth Form production performed at the Plymouth University theatre to create further access for our students to experience, in a first-hand manner, the reality of the profession in acting, directing, and designing, which can be a uniquely developed, and originally devised performance or a play script that is re-interpreted for a modern-day audience.

A student favourite, also on the bi-annual Drama extra-curricular calendar, is the ‘Theatre Land’ London residential trip. This comprises 3 days and 2 nights of backstage tours of the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, whilst seeing a play at the National Theatre such as Phaedra, a play at the Globe Theatre such as Tutus Andronicus, and West End musical such as Matilda. This once in a lifetime experience provides our students access to the country’s best Live Theatre that they will need to analyse and evaluate in their Component 3 written exam, but offers incredible aspiration for those students who wish to pursue a career within the performing arts. Not only is this a wonderful cultural experience in the country’s capital, it is also an opportunity to view the career paths that branch out from Sixth Form, university, and apprenticeships within the professional world of drama.