Curriculum Intent

Our aim is to provide students with a well-rounded drama education that both provides them with the skills to communicate and collaborate whilst also instilling an appreciation of theatre literature and different forms of drama. The creative nature of the subject ensures that students are able to consistently work together to problem solve and encourage each other to create the best work.

The Sunbury Manor KS3 drama curriculum is broad and allows both to prepare students for the subject at KS4 whilst also encouraging students to learn more widely about drama and theatre. In YR7 and YR8, the foundation skills of drama are built and developed through schemes of work including mime, masks, commedia dell’arte and physical theatre. Students in YR7 and YR8 are also introduced to the history of theatre, exploring where theatre started and how it has developed. Throughout KS3 students explore modern play texts, learning how to transfer from ‘page to stage’. YR9 drama students build on these skills but further their knowledge through the exploration of more challenging modern and classic texts. YR9 students also develop their creative skills through creating longer pieces of devised work, using stimulus to conceive ideas. In the latter part of the year, YR9 students explore the role of the designer in theatre.

At KS4 students will explicitly take on the role of the performer, director and designer as they work through the GCSE course. Students are challenged with creating high quality performance work, using theatre practitioner theories to help shape their work. GCSE students also study two play texts contrasting in genre, style and time.

Drama at Sunbury Manor School is a mostly practical subject and all students are expected to take part. The lessons are structured around Making, Performing and Responding with students communicating, problem solving and refining their work. An inclusive and energetic atmosphere is created in lessons to ensure students enjoy the subject and feel comfortable to fully take part. Enjoyment is at the core of lessons but with high expectations of a strong work ethic. Drama is taught in mixed ability groups with the intention that all students work with each other to achieve their full potential and acquire the skills needed to be a successful drama student.

Extra-Curricular activities are important in any drama department to stretch and enrich student experience. It’s a crucial opportunity for the creative arts faculty to come together and for as many students as possible to be involved, from selling tickets to designing and creating sets, to acting, to lighting and sound. We aim to stage a variety of different plays in order to stretch students and to expose them to different forms and styles of theatre. Our previous productions include High School Musical, Macbeth, a 1940’s style variety show, and a modern play The Changing Room produced within National Theatre Connections. It is also our aim to work with at least one professional external theatre company during the year. Our previous work with companies includes Peer Productions, The National Theatre and The Guildford Shakespeare Company.

‘After doing drama I feel I could walk into any room and talk to anyone!’ (ex-student) Drama prepares students for any pathway they wish to take and provides them with the skills to approach problems creatively, with confidence and with strong communication skills. It also prepares students who would like to pursue the subject further with skills and knowledge needed for A-Level and BTec courses.

The drama department at Sunbury Manor is staffed with two drama specialists whose interests cover new writing, comedy and devised work. Staff are also passionate about keeping up to date with changes in theatre and watching as much drama as possible! Sunbury Manor has one specialist space with a built-in lighting rig and one large rehearsal space. We also utilise the school stage for productions.

Curriculm Overview


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2




Introduction to drama

Basic skills:

Still image

Thought tracks

Role play



Escape to Space

Developing Skills:


Role Play

Imagining a world

Introduction to Physical/vocal skills

Darkwood Manor

Developing Skills:


Role play

Creating longer performances

Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations.

Exploration of a performance text- ‘page to stage’ skills

Greek Theatre- 3 lessons- developing theatre knowledge/conventions


Devising- 3 lessons. Introduction to devising from a stimulus

Melodrama- 3 lessons

Developing theatre knowledge- intro to style


Sweeney Todd- 3 lessons devising around a story




Mime and Movement

Re visiting mime

Focus/development on the physical skills of drama

Entrances and Exits

Music and movement



Private Peaceful

Script work- development from Ernie (YR7)


Re-visiting blocking a scene

Character work- developing emotion

Context of the play- WW2 (link History/Life Skills)


Basic Skills – 3 lessons

Recap of basic skills:

Still image, Thought track, Role Play, Staging

Let him have it- story of Derek Bentley- 3 lessons

Devising around a story- characters


Soap Opera-

Introduction to style, recap of melodrama

Stereotypical characters

Romeo and Juliet-

stage combat, exploration of Shakespeare’s language in performance.

Devising around a text


Physical Theatre

Body Propping

Creating a narrative

Text work- page to stage using physical theatre




Physical Theatre

Body Propping

Creating a narrative

Text work- page to stage using physical theatre


Exploring character

Stereotypes- development of vocal and physical skills

Over exaggeration

Multi Role- playing 2 characters in a scene


Commedia Dell Arte, Comic characters, sketch, slapstick comedy

Devising- 3 lessons- introduction to genre/style.

Devising- independent group work- 3 lessons introduction of stimulus


Exploration of a performance text-


‘page to stage’ skills, character in performance

Theatre Review- 3 lessons. Watching and reviewing a devised performance


Tech Theatre- 2 lessons

Using lighting and sound to enhance performance




Practitioner workshops/Introduction to devising C1


Exploration of a stimulus- workshops

DNA by Dennis Kelly C3

Practical exploration of set text from perspective of performer/director/designer

DNA by Dennis Kelly cont.

Exploring the written paper- 3 weeks

Devising- 3 weeks

Recap skills in devising from a stimulus.


Performance of a text C2- whole class exploration of one performance text.

Monologues/Duologues performance.

DNA by Dennis Kelly- C3 revision

Live theatre review- trip to theatre, prep for theatre review answers

C1 Devising- final

Portfolio/group rehearsing.




Devising from a stimulus- Controlled assessment

Portfolio work alongside practical rehearsals.


Devising from a stimulus-controlled assessment. Performance of devised piece. Finish 1st draft of portfolio


Revision of DNA in prep for mocks.

Preparation for C2- performance of an extract.

Monologues/Duologues. Rehearsal.

C2 performance early March.


C3 revision.


Theatre Trip for live review.

C3 revision.

Theatre note prepared.





GCSE Specification

Subject Leader:

Miss S Dhariwal



Exam Specification:

Edexcel GCSE Drama 1DR0

QN Code:


Summary of course content

Component 1 Devising   40%

  • Create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus
  • Performance of the devised piece
  • Analysis and evaluation of the devising process (2000 word portfolio)

Component 2: Performance from Text   20%

  • Performance of two key extracts from a performance text in solo and group work.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice 40%   

  • Practical exploration and study of one complete performance text.
  • Live theatre evaluation.


Component 1 – Teacher assessed

Two parts to the assessment:

  1. A devised performance
  2. A portfolio covering the creative process.

Component 2 – Assessed by an external examiner

Component 3 – Assessed by a written examination of one hour thirty minutes at the end of Year 11

Two parts to the assessment:

Section A: Bringing Texts to Life- one question broken into 6 parts based on one extract from the chosen performance text.

Section B: Two questions analysing and evaluating a live theatre performance.

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Predominantly practical tasks will shape the structure of activities in lessons and feed into written tasks.  You will be expected work individually and in groups

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Reflective and evaluative writing tasks. You may also be required to keep a working journal

How will it help me in the future?

It will build your confidence, allow you to work independently and in groups and will give you fantastic transferable skills. If you want to take Drama beyond GCSE you have a variety of different options:

  • AS or A level in Drama and Theatre Studies.
  • A Vocational A level in Performing Arts.
  • BTEC Certificate or Diploma in Performing Arts
  • Performance Design and Technology.
  • Study Drama at University or at Drama School.

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

It will deepen your understanding of making, performing and responding to drama. It will also build on your ability to recognise and understand the roles and responsibilities of a performer, director and designer; understanding how performance texts can be interpreted and performed.

What skills will I develop?

Creativity – Ability and willingness to cope with uncertain situations and adapting to different personalities and cultures.

Teamwork – Work effectively as part of a team, trust, active listening and negotiation.

Communication – Non-verbal and verbal communication, reasoning and collaborative problem solving.