Theatre allows you to develop a better cultural understanding of the world and Drama allows you to develop a better understanding of yourself. Drama GCSE gives pupils the opportunity to express themselves creatively and confidently.

A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”
Alan Rickman

Course description

GCSE drama provides not only the opportunity to develop your skills as a performer, but to be inspired by the variety of roles responsible for making excellent theatre. You will experience devising original drama alongside performing extracts from both well-known and more contemporary texts. These skills are further developed through the study of our set text ‘Blood Brothers’ which allows students to engage in the genre of musical theatre. There is also a requirement for students to see and review live theatre, meaning there is an abundance of trips across the course for students to attend.

Exam board

Exam Board: AQA GCSE Drama – https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama/gcse/drama-8261


  • Component 1 (40%): a written exam assessing students skills as a designer, actor and reviewer. Half of the paper is based on Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ and asks students how they would perform in and produce their own production, whilst the final section asks students to review a piece of live theatre they have seen across the course.

  • Component 2 (40%): in groups, students devise their own piece of theatre inspired by a range of stimuli. Their pieces are further influenced by the range of practitioners we study over Year 10 and culminate in a performance and a written log book.

  • Component 3 (20%): at the end of the course, students perform two extracts from a play selected to suit their individual acting style. A visiting examiner comes into school to mark the performance.

Ways to help my child succeed

Students should be encouraged to view as many theatre productions out of school as possible- this can be either live, or through a streaming service. Furthermore, students should engage in every opportunity out of lessons to perform in or contribute to creating live theatre. This could be as part of the school’s annual production, assisting in leading KS3 Drama club, joining AHS Backstage, or committing to one of the excellent performing arts schools the city has on offer.

Useful websites

  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zrnjwty
  • https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york/
  • https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/