Manor Academy

Outcomes Focused, Child Centred

Performing Arts

Course: AQA Drama

Examination Criteria:


The GCSE course is divided into three sections: Devising (40%), Text based Performance (20 %) Written exam (40%)

Component 1: Understanding drama

What's assessed • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre • Study of one set play from a choice of six • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes • Open book • 80 marks • 40% of GCSE Questions • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks) • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks) • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)

Our written exam paper is designed to help all students realise their full potential. We use a variety of question styles and ask students to combine what they've learned about how drama is performed with their practical experience and imagination. When setting the paper, quality of marking is at the forefront of our minds. We know how important it is that your students get results that reflect their achievements.

Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

What's assessed • Process of creating devised drama • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer) • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed • Devising log (60 marks) • Devised performance (20 marks) • 80 marks in total • 40% of GCSE

Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What's assessed • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer) Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1 How it's assessed • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks) • 40 marks in total • 20% of GCSE

Grading Structure: 1-9

Exam board website:

Course specification: GCSE Drama 601/8575/2

Progress 8 Slot: Open

Head of Department: Sarah Savage

Course Description

KS3: Core Subject

KS4: Option

Our specification engages and encourages students to become confident performers and designers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future.

We've built in as much opportunity as possible for students to do what they like best to ensure they participate in a performance. All students explore texts practically and work on two text-based performances. Students can choose to develop as a:


Designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets)

Performer and designer.

Whichever option they choose, students can be sure to gather many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

Department statement

One of the best ways we can help pupils gain self-esteem is through drama - in lessons and in extra-curricular activities. Working with others, pupils build trusting relationships and enjoy using their imaginations in the creative process. Studying GCSE Drama will help build confidence, improve your ability to work with others and develop your communication skills. Students learn to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts. Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace.

We are delighted that several of our recent alumnae have moved on to study music, acting or musical, having had an excellent grounding during their time at Manor.



Community arts worker


Theatre Director

Broadcaster Presenter


Stage Manager

Useful resource links:

Extra Curricular:

To be confirmed

Schemes of work Overview