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Curriculum: Drama Key Stage 3

All students have a weekly Drama lesson throughout Key Stage 3.  Students are able to work in groups to devise and perform their pieces, within the studio environment of the Drama facilities. 

The key skills which students will develop are:

  • Making - devising pieces, working together, rehearsing and directing
  • Performing - performing work to the class; both individual and group pices
  • Responding - providing constructive feedback to others so they can improve, adapt and polish their work. Developing their knowledge of subject specific vocabulary.

As a result, students enjoy increased confidence and self-esteem and this will benefit all aspects of their life. Indeed the ability to speak out, perform and work as part of a team is essential for most jobs.

Schemes of work encourage students to reflect on their place in the world; both locally and globally, and through role play they learn to empathise with the thoughts and feelings of others. 

Topics include: Melodrama, Shakespeare, improvisation, building atmosphere, characterisation, script work, movement, stage craft skills, status, issue based work on truancy, child labour and peer pressure, news reports and adverts. Students will also be able to include props and costumes and make and evaluate short video pieces.

Year 7

We start the curriculum with a series of fun team-building and “getting to know you” exercises.  This is to promote inclusivity and co-operation.  Next, we introduce techniques to build convincing characters and encourage students to write and perform their own scripts.  We learn about the history of theatre in our scheme of work in which we explore Victorian melodrama and we perform the tragic story of “The Murder in the Red Barn.”

In “News Report” students reflect on the role and function of the characters with particular emphasis on voice. These schemes of work promote collaborative skills alongside building confidence and creative thinking. Each topic culminates in either peer assessment and/or teacher led formal assessment.

Year 8

We start Year 8 by building on prior knowledge of working in small groups to explore the impact of status on a situation or role play.  We also dip into different performance styles and explore physical theatre and movement as a new way to tell a story with a more stylised or non-naturalistic approach. We encourage our students to apply their drama skills to the exploration of subjects, which are more issue based, and we look at the topics such as peer pressure and truancy. During the summer term, students are encouraged to explore characterisation, performance, vocal skills and technical support. In the play “Trainers” they consider the wider world as they reflect on the issues of the living wage and child exploitation in the manufacturing of sportswear. Lighting, sound and costume are made available to the students during this term.  Each topic culminates in either peer assessment and/or teacher led formal assessment.

Year 9

Students are encouraged to explore a range of topics and techniques as they start to include some basic GCSE skills into their work. We visit the GCSE syllabus as students are making their option choices and this is reflected in their group work. We start the year off with “Scriptlines” as we break down a script and learn to lift the meaning off the page.  We use our creativity and imagination to apply newfound skills to our work.  We use our collaboration and co-operation skills to work as a team towards a whole class project.  We ask students to reflect on a variety of stimuli and to create original drama whilst considering the use of technology too. Students learn to use thought tracking, cross cutting and characterisation in their improvised work before moving on to interpreting material from a classic source.  The year ends with a whole class performance with lighting, sound, costume and props. As students look forward to choosing their options for next year we provide the opportunity for them to work as a performer or as technical support (lights/sound/costume design/ set design.)  This culminates in either a whole class version of Romeo and Juliet or we ask students to reflect on a variety of stimuli and to create original drama whilst considering use of technology too. Each topic culminates in either peer assessment and/or teacher led formal assessment.

For additional information relating to the Drama curriculum at Key Stage 3 please email

Ms L Charleston - Head of Drama

Richard Lander School