Drama at Paulet

What do students learn in Drama in Key Stage 3?

In Key stage 3 students learn and explore the key skills, concepts and techniques of drama and theatre. The key concepts in drama are skill driven and aim to build personal skills which can be relied upon to succeed, not only in drama lessons but beyond school life and in future employment. At the heart of drama is the development of these skills in all young people; engagement, communication and oracy, creative imagination, clarity of expression, autonomy, leadership confidence and cooperation. There is more to drama than being able to perform on stage. Opportunities are embedded for students to be able to hone and develop performance talent but equally important is the ability to understand the purpose of the theatre we create.

The skills and techniques at KS3 build progressively in difficulty over the course of the years and through the different schemes of learning and these all aid the secure knowledge needed at GCSE, BTEC & above. We have worked backwards from A-LEVEL down to GCSE/BTEC and then through to KS3 and build a robust and challenging curriculum model that will ensure secure foundations can be made at an earlier age with the help of specialist drama teachers.

The craft of theatre is as follows: process, devising, ccript work, analysis and deconstructing texts, performance, live theatre evaluations, self and peer evaluations, Directorial intent including vision and concept through independence. Drama is about narrative. It’s about creating, examining, deconstructing and criticising narrative. Drama explores relationships through role-play and in a practical sense. It empowers students to make judgements about themselves and for themselves. Drama allows students to explore life and everything that goes with it in a safe and secure environment.  Drama essentially is about craft, character and cultural capital.

What does it give the learners…?

What doesn’t it give the learners? Leadership, effective communication through group work and solo presentation, compromise, adaptability, responsibility, concentration, focus, builds confidence, imagination, maturity, control, resilience, taking risks, building opinions, critical thinking, develops empathy, gives young people the chance to explore and learn about cultural diversity, SMSC , LGBTQ and other contemporary issues.

How do students learn in KS3 drama?

Through practical, written, discussions and workshop activities students are taught a broad range of processes and techniques that enable them to be creative. Students learn how to develop ideas, refine their work and realise their intentions. Through a series of devising and scripted units and tasks students gain knowledge, in how to use and apply these elements using a variety of devices and techniques. Students explore a wide range of drama and learn to analyse theatre from a variety of styles and genres. Students participate in a range of independent activities as well as group and paired work. Students learn how to evaluate and reflect on their work and the work of others, including their peers. Units of work are designed and developed to build on prior theatrical knowledge and understanding.

Students are encouraged to learn from their mistakes and take creative risks.

Learning activities in drama include –

Creating and shaping their own work
Developing and improving the key skills in each strand of drama through creating, performing, response and evaluation.

Making and exploring theatrical connections.

Experimenting with ideas, themes and theatrical devices.

Exploring the work of others.

Evaluating and reflecting.


What topics are covered and when in each year group? What is the sequence of teaching?

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Scripted and devised performance Exploring stylet genre Devising project
Exploring analysing texts for performance Scripted performance Roles and responsibilities in the theatre industry
Soap opera-naturalism
Refugee boy scripted performance
Page to stage project – exploring practitioners
Blood brothers scripted performance

How are students assessed in KS3 Drama?

Throughout lessons students receive regular verbal feedback on their work.

Students are given written and verbal feedback, where appropriate.

Assessment is diagnostic and help students reach for the next level.

At the end of unit students work is formally assessed against shared success criteria.

Each half term students receive a holistic grade in line with the school’s data collection policy.


Home Learning

Home Learning is set to complement and support the learning taking place in lessons.

Activities include:

Watching and responding to various styles of theatre

Researching genres, themes, styles and actors

Completion of written work

Continuation of classwork projects through group rehearsal within school time/after school where appropriate.


Extra-curricular opportunities

Drama clubs

Performing within assemblies

Christmas Carol Concerts

JTMAT integrated performances

Annual Talent Show

School productions


Cultural capital

Students are involved in discussions that build on questioning and are encouraged to critically question and challenge the theatrical and ‘real’ world around them.

Students are encouraged to ‘think like a performer’ through their exposure to real life performers- we have touring companies into school to perform to them, we take the students to the theatre regularly to watch shows, we encourage the students to take part in practical workshops within the theatre and school with professionals in the industry to further their skill development, exposure to the arts and careers in this area.

Students study their heritage as well as explore the theatrical and social cultures and practices of other areas of the world. They develop personal, social, moral and cultural understanding through their studies within drama.

Through drama and theatre exploration students are encouraged to develop an ‘acceptance for all’ cultures, identities and protected characteristics.

The Performing Arts department promotes the PAULET CHARACTER through creating performance workshops for all our students to enjoy as part of an audience. BTEC & A-level students create performances that promotes the theme, charity, message that the schools is promoting and through participating/being an audience member it helps the message to be fostered by all through a different format.



Within the teaching of drama, teachers frequently link the curriculum and activities to industry and the creative industries. Students are given examples of how drama and drama therapy fits into the world and how ‘The Performing Arts’ impact on our lives. Throughout KS3 careers are linked and explored and careers in drama are discussed as part of the year 9 option process and we have assemblies to promote the different careers in the arts but also the different pathways too. Within the Derby Theatre workshop day, we have Derby University deliver a seminar on the academic and vocational courses they offer and ways into Higher Education. Our students meet and work with professionals in the industry within the workshop days and are able to question their job role and the key skills needed for this role.