Head of Drama Mrs J Howse
Drama Teachers Mrs G Willcox and Mr J Gold
Curriculum Support Mrs W Coggins



The Drama Department is a very successful area of the school with students achieving good grades at KS3, KS4 and KS5. We believe Drama helps young people understand themselves and the world around them. They are able to build self-confidence and to develop social skills. Drama allows students to grasp concepts, face issues and solve problems through developing ideas, performing and evaluating the work of others.

As a department we believe in providing students with a range of exciting lessons using a variety of stimuli, including scripts, DVD’s, written word, pictures, stage lighting, sound and costume. Students have one hour a week of lessons at KS3 and 5 hours a fortnight at KS4 and 9 hours a fortnight at KS5.

The department provides an extensive extra-curricular timetable offering clubs, trips, school production work, and coursework clinics (see Extended Learning).

Key Stage Three

Cvhs026For the first three years at CVHS, students take part in Drama lessons once a week. As well as developing their acting skills, they learn how to apply dramatic devices to work, therefore enhancing their performances. Many subjects are covered that allow the classes to work on their team building and leadership skills and they have the opportunity to form opinions on a variety of important issues.  It is a wonderful opportunity for students to build confidence and learn skills that they can transfer into other subjects and prepare them for 'the big wide world'.

Students are assessed on four strands - Knowledge and Understanding, Planning and Creating, Performance and Evaluation.  The KS3 curriculum effectively prepares students for the requirements of the GCSE Drama course.

Key Stage Four


Eduqas GCSE Drama

This GCSE course mixes practical work, written coursework and a written exam.  Component 1 involves creating a piece of devised theatre and a portfolio that reflects the process the students have been through.  Students are also required to complete an evaluation in a controlled assessment.  Component 2 focuses on studying a play text and then performing an extract to a visiting examiner.  Component 3 is the written examination where students answer questions from the perspective of an actor, director and designer.  Experiencing live theatre underpins the course and questions in the last section of the exam reflects this.


Key Stage Five

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At KS5, students have a choice of two courses:

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts

The BTEC has a flexible, unit-based structure and knowledge is applied in project-based assessments.  It focuses on the holistic development of the practical, interpersonal and thinking skills required to be able to succeed in employment and higher education.

There are three mandatory units:

1.    Investigating Practitioners’ Work (externally assessed)

2.    Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance (internally assessed)

3.    Group Performance Workshop (externally assessed)

Students are required to complete one further optional unit from a choice of twelve that is assessed internally:

1.    Classical Ballet Technique

2.    Tap Dance Technique

3.    Jazz Dance Technique

4.    Street Dance Technique

5.    Contemporary Dance Technique

6.    Interpreting Classical Text for Performance

7.    Acting Styles

8.    Developing the Voice for Performance

9.    Improvisation

10. Movement in Performance

11. Musical theatre Techniques

12. Variety Performance

This allows students to tailor the course to their strengths and needs.


Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre

Students have the opportunity to explore different areas of Drama and Theatre.  A variety of different texts are studied and explored throughout the course.  These will be practically explored, performed and reflected upon.

Throughout the A Level there is the opportunity to watch a variety of professional productions.  Experiencing live theatre underpins the whole course.

Component 1 is called 'Devising' and this involves students devising an original performance piece using one key extract form a performance text and a theatre practitioners as stimuli.  As well as performing, a portfolio must be submitted as evidence of the process they have been through.  This also requires students to be reflective learners.                                                                                                      

'Text in Performance' is Component 2.  One key extract from a performance text will be realised in a group performance and then another key extract from a different performance text will be realised as a monologue or duologue.

The written examination 'Theatre Makers in Practice' makes up Component 3.  Students must complete a live theatre evaluation as well as practically exploring and studying a complete performance text, focusing on how it can be realised for performance.  Another complete performance text will be practically explored and interpreted in light of a chosen theatre practitioner, focusing on how the text should be-re-imagined for a contemporary audience.



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Drama homework is set on a half-termly basis in KS3. This takes the form of reflections, research, character development, spelling tests, etc.  All are designed to strenghten the students' knowledge and understanding of drama.  Enrichment and extension of students' studies will also come from engaging in lunchtime/after school rehearsals and to further develop classwork.

Drama clubs and productions are open to all students and there are a variety of opportunities to participate throughout the school year.

There are a selection of independent tasks available to encourage a love of the subject, under ‘Home Learning’ on the school website.


Homework is generated in a variety of ways, including from practical coursework, research tasks, and written exam preparation. Work is graded according to the exam criteria.

Final coursework is completed at home and during lesson time. The Component 1 Evaluation is completed under controlled conditions during specified class time as instructed by the exam board.

Students are expected to continue to develop practical exam work outside of lesson time as well as attending the required revision sessions that run throughout the year.


Homework is generated in response to classroom activities. There is the expectation that students will research and make notes around topics studied in class time as an independent driven activity.

Homework is generated in a variety of ways, including from practical coursework, research tasks, and written exam preparation. Work is graded according to the exam criteria.

Students are expected to continue to develop practical exam work outside of lesson time as well as attending the required revision sessions that run throughout the year.

Extended Learning and Enrichment


Productions and Performances

There is always at least one school production each year that takes place in the Main Hall. All students are invited to be involved, whether it is on the stage or as part of the backstage crew. Previous productions include; 'We Will Rock You', ‘The Magic of the Musicals’, ‘We Go Together’, ‘The Bards Birthday Show’, 'Bugsy's Dolls', 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Oliver', 'Our House', 'Our Day Out', 'Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass', and 'The Wiz'.

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We have previously participated in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, collaborating with other schools in Chelmsford with different condensed performances of plays, such as; 'Twelfth Night’, The Taming of the Shrew' and 'King Lear'. We have even adapted the telling of a classic in our modernised version of 'Romeo & Julien'!

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Other performances have been in the form of a Summer Creative Arts Festival where students get opportunities to perform Drama that they have created throughout the year. Previously, the school has hosted a huge cross-curricular event where all students were able to get involved in Drama and Music performances and have their artwork displayed in an exhibition.  The festival utilised the outdoor space for further entertainment such as a bouncy castle, the Blue Falcons gymnastics display team, stalls, food outlets and much more!

We have also participated in the Mercury Theatre Schools' Festival. An example being where a group of Year 10 students devised a short performance based on the title of ‘Untold Stories’. In preparation for the event, our students took part in a theatrical/devising workshop and a directing workshop at school, led by professionals from the Mercury Theatre.

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Annually, we run a Creative Arts Day where students are given the opportinity to take part in a range of workshops and activities linked to the creative arts. This has seen a number of industry professionals running workshops with students throughout the day.  These included physical theatre and performance skills.  The students were given the opportunity to learn and develop new skills across the Arts, with links being made to possible careers that are available to them.

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KS3 Drama Club

There is a KS3 Drama Club running weekly after school every Wednesday until 4.15pm, where students have the opportunity to work with a variety of peers and take part in activities such as improvisation, drama games, directing and performance. Students are encouraged to make suggestions regarding what they would like to cover whilst at Drama Club so it can be tailored to those that attend. 

Lunchtime Rehearsals

GCSE Drama, A Level and BTEC Performing Arts students can work in the department at lunchtimes and by arrangement after school to rehearse any examination work. There is also the possibility that KS3 students can use the drama or dance studios at break or lunchtime, but this must be agreed by their teacher and/or the Head of Drama.

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Coursework Clinic

Sessions are run where GCSE, A Level and BTEC students can come along and do their coursework and get one-to-one teacher help. These are arranged and different times throughout the year depending on the course requirements.

Extended Work

GCSE Drama students have the opportunity to visit the theatre to see professional productions. They also act as an audience for A Level and BTEC performances, helping to develop their thinking and extend the ‘theatre’ they have experienced.

A Level & BTEC Performing Arts students have regular trips to see a variety of productions to enhance and back up the work they do during lessons and in preparation for practical and written exams.

There are many performance opportunities available for 6th form students. Throughout the two-year course it is essential to perform in front of an audience as well as an external examiner. The performances include scripted and devised pieces.


Drama Photo Gallery

School Production 2019 - 'Schools Will Rock You'

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Page Downloads  
Drama Curriculum Intent Download
KS3 Curriculum Map 23 24 Download
KS4 Curriculum Map 23 24 Download
KS5 BTEC Curriculum Map 23 24 Download