Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

Drama and Expressive Arts

Miss K Hardwick (Head of Department and Head of the Faculty of Performing Arts and Sport)

Key Stage 3

Pupils are taught Drama once a fortnight. As it is a practical subject there is very little written work at Key Stage 3. Pupils work mainly in groups to create drama pieces in response to stimuli. This work is then performed or presented to an audience followed by discussion. The curriculum is delivered via a themed approach and at the end of each unit pupils are assessed on skills taught.

If pupils have a particular flair or interest in the subject they are encouraged to attend Drama Club and participate in the various extra-curricular projects throughout the year - Drama Club Showcase Evenings, Young Playwrights' Festival.

Year 7

Expressive Arts

In Year 7, pupils will receive five lessons a fortnight in Expressive Arts. This is made up of two lessons of Art, one lesson of Drama and two lessons of Music. Pupils will develop a range of skills through a thematic approach to the Expressive Arts, where each unit will end in a showcase or celebration of pupil's work. Pupils will also have a range of opportunities to experience working with outside providers and there will be many opportunities to further their skills in the rich extra-curricular programme provided - Various Lunchtime Clubs, Termly Concerts, and Showcase Evenings.

Term 1:

Theme: African Culture.

Learners will explore a sense of identity and belonging through the lens of African tribal cultures.
SKILLS: Pattern, Colour, Ceramic Work, Movement Skills, Ensemble Skills, Singing Skills, Keyboard Skills, Rhythm Skills

Term 2:

Theme: Land of My Fathers.

Learners will explore 'What it means to be Welsh', and strengthen their appreciation for Welsh traditions culminating in a celebration of pupil's work at the annual school Eisteddfod.
SKILLS: Observational Drawing, Imaginative Composition, Performance Skills, Storytelling Skills, Vocal Skills, Communication Skills

Term 3:

Theme: Discovery

Learners will discover artistic works that reflect time, culture and place
SKILLS: Drawing Skills, Communication Skills, Imagination and Empathy, Mime Skills, Slapstick Comedic Skills, Dialogue Skills, Improvisation Skills, Composition Skills

Year 8

Term 1 – Theme: Status & Relationships

High & Low Status – Developing Dramatic Techniques.
Blood Brothers – Working with Text – Improvisation / Script Work.

Term 2 – Theme: Changes

History Changers - Developing Dramatic Techniques.

Term 3 – Theme: Melodrama. Exploring Stock Characters – Role Development

Performing Melodrama – Devising Skills.

Ways in which parents can help

  1. Encourage pupils to actively participate in lessons.
  2. Complete homework tasks – Learning Lines / Research Tasks - Melodrama Stock Characters and History Changers.
  3. Encourage pupils to attend Drama Club.

Useful Websites

  1. Google – Melodrama Stock Characters / History Changers.
  2. SRC – Recording of Blood Brothers Extract for Assessment.

Year 9

Term 1 – Theme: Identity. Gang Culture – Developing Dramatic Techniques

Working with Text - West Side Story / Romeo & Juliet.

Term 2 – Theme: Comedy & GCSE Drama

Technical Project – Developing Technical Skills
Comedy Project – Comic Techniques. The White Rose Story – Developing Dramatic Techniques / Script Work.

Term 3 – Theme: Issues

Script Work – Stone Cold / Walking with Shadows.

Ways in which parents can help

  1. Encourage pupils to actively participate in lessons
  2. Complete homework tasks – Research Tasks
  3. Encourage pupils to attend Drama Club

Useful Websites

  1. YouTube - Gang Culture / Clips from West Side Story & Romeo & Juliet.
  2. YouTube - Physical Comedy Characters

Key Stage 4

Drama GCSE

GCSE Drama involves the study of plays, developing new techniques and learning about different styles and genres. You will develop a good knowledge of theatre history and understand drama terminology and expressions.

The course requires hard work, focus and commitment but most of all love and passion for the subject.

Following a course in GCSE Drama will enable students to:

  • Actively engage in the process of dramatic study;
  • Work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas;
  • Reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others;
  • Develop performance skills;
  • Prepare and present scripted and unscripted material.


The final grade in Drama will be based on three units:

  • Unit One (DR1) – Devised Practical Performance (60%)
  • Unit Two (DR2) – Performance from a Text (20%)
  • Unit Three (DR3) – Written Examination

The aim of the department is to ensure all pupils achieve and work to their full potential. During the course we hope all pupils gain confidence in performance work and further their knowledge of the subject leading into 'A' Level Theatre Studies or BTEC Performing Arts.

Many careers are available from this subject:

Performance, Acting, Drama Therapy, Stage Management, Set/Costume/Lighting Designer, Teaching, Directing just to name a few.

KEY STAGE 5 - AS and A Level

Drama and Theatre Studies

AS and A Level encourages candidates to:

  • Develop their interest and enjoyment of Drama and Theatre both as participants and as informed members of an audience, fostering an enthusiasm for and critical appreciation of the subject.
  • Develop understanding and appreciation of the significance of social, cultural and historical influences on the development of Drama and Theatre.
  • Experience a range of opportunities to develop a variety of dramatic and theatrical skills, enabling them to grow creatively and imaginatively in both devised and scripted work.
  • Integrate theory and practice through their understanding of critical concepts and the discriminating use of specialist terminology.

Assessment Procedure

AS (2 Units)

  • Unit 1: Theatre Workshop
  • Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated
  • (24% of qualification).

Unit 2: Text in Theatre

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • (16% of qualification).

A Level (the above plus a further two elements)

Unit 3: Text in Action

  • Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner
  • (36% of qualification).

Unit 4: Text in Performance

  • Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • (24% of qualification).

  • Higher Education
  • Drama Schools


BTEC National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts

Students have to complete 18 units. In the case of Musical Theatre: five core units plus one compulsory specialist unit plus specialist units that provide for a combined total of 1080 guided learning hours (GLH).

Core Units:

Performance Workshop, Performing Arts Business, The Historical Context of Performance, Rehearsing for Performance, Performing to an Audience.

Compulsory Specialist Unit:

Musical Theatre Performance

Assessment Procedure:

A variety of assessment methods are used, including case studies, assignments and work-based assessments, along with projects, performance observation and time-constrained assessments.

A grading scale of PASS (40 UCAS pts), MERIT (80 UCAS pts), and DISTINCTION (120 UCAS pts), is applied to all units.

For learners who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • A BTEC First qualification in Performing Arts or a related vocational area
  • An Intermediate GNVQ in an appropriate vocational area
  • A GCSE equivalent to four passes at grade C
  • Other related Level 2 qualifications
  • Related work experience

Entry Requirements:

No prior knowledge of the subject is required


  • Employment
  • Degree programmes
  • Other higher education programmes in the same, or related, sector

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