Pupils currently have one lesson a week of Drama in which they study a variety of different topics that will build upon their knowledge and understanding of Theatre Arts, techniques and practitioners. Students will develop their acting skills and will be introduced to different forms of Theatre such as Genre, naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance, Theatre in history and Theatre practitioners such as Stanislavski.  Students learn the importance of control, communication, working to deadlines, co-operation, building confidence and consideration, in addition to characterisation and the use of facial expression, body language, voice and gesture. Within each KS3 year group students develop work based on 6 themes. Each theme will imbed acting skills and stage craft within its content:





Year 7 Skills and techniques
Introduction to drama mediums such as lighting and music and explorative strategies such as freeze frame and split stage.
Students also explore different genres such as Horror, Greek Theatre and Melodrama.
Skills and  techniques
Development of acting skills such as voice, facial expression, body language and gesture to create characters.
Students learn about different acting styles through research into Stanislavski (naturalistic) and Brecht (non-naturalistic).
Skills and techniques
Students explore the use of mime whilst studying the silent movie genre and develop the use of music to create atmosphere. Students also consolidate their knowledge of different acting styles, explorative strategies and drama mediums.
Year 8 Topics
Students learn how to sustain a character using ‘Mantle of the expert’ a technique where the student becomes a character throughout the whole of the lesson.
Students also study the ‘Plague’ by exploring the true story of Eyam. This develops student’s skills in non-naturalistic acting and the use of lighting and music to create atmosphere.
Students are introduced to script studying the play ‘Our Day Out’ by Willy Russell. They learn how to bring the page to the stage and are required to learn an extract from the script as part of their assessment.
Students also revisit the practitioner Bertolt Brecht and non-naturalistic drama whilst studying Rosa Parks and Discrimination.
Students end the year by studying the genre of Soap Opera. Using current storylines as a stimulus, they create their own mini Soap Opera and look into stereotypical characters, social issues and family.
Year 9 Topics
Students begin the year by studying drama mediums such as lighting and music. They use these to create atmosphere and tension and create their own ghost stories using storytelling and narration.
Students then look into true events from history and capital punishment by studying the story of Derek Bentley, who was hung for a crime he did not commit.
Students use script to solve moral dilemmas by studying the play DNA by Dennis Kelly. It asks the question, ‘if you did something really bad but got away with it, would you own up?’
Students continue on the theme of moral dilemmas looking at Joyriding and consequences. This develops student’s character work and use of explorative strategies such as cross-cutting and narration.
Students finish of the year developing their improvisation skills and looking into ‘Gangs’. This is in preparation for KS4 and consolidates students previous work throughout KS3 by creating drama on the spot and reacting in character to teacher in role. ‘Gangs’ uses whole class performances to explore the reasons for joining gangs and peer pressure.

Current work 2017/18


Year Seven: Skills and Techniques

In year 7 students learn new skills and knowledge to build upon their experience of Acting and the Theatre from KS2 by engaging in various activities using a range of techniques to develop their skills focusing on the basic acting skills and drama mediums.  They study a variety of topics ranging from ‘bullying’ to ‘Fairy tales’. This gives students with no prior knowledge of Drama the skills to progress and develop confidence in performing, communication, teamwork, control and stage directions.

Year Eight: Topics

Students work on script and begin to understand how to take a play and perform it on stage using drama mediums such as lighting and music, and explorative strategies like Tableau and Cross-cutting. Students are introduced to non-naturalistic drama and physical theatre, creating spaces and places using their bodies. They look at events from history by exploring the Black Death and how it affected the small village of Eyam, and studying discrimination using the story of Rosa Parks.

Year Nine: Topics

Students study real life issues and create social based dramas in year 9 in preparation for KS4. Using a variety of different stimuli, students work on creating plays based on moral dilemmas and explore issues that may affect them. They look into the consequences of bullying and joyriding and how peer pressure can make young people make the wrong choices. They study the play DNA which focuses on a group of year 10 students who ‘accidently’ kill someone during a bullying prank that goes too far. They then try to cover it up with disastrous consequences. Students create devised thematic work by learning a section of the script and adding off-script improvisation to complete their performance.

Students also use the work of Brecht to explore ‘Gangs’ exploring the reasons for gangs, why young people join, the consequences of joining and how it affects society. They listen to the story of a young boy drawn into a gang and follow his journey into crime with surprising results.

Year 9 embeds skills learnt over years 7 and 8 and equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to study drama at KS4. They look at the use of costume, lighting, music and in-depth character work, gaining confidence in producing pieces of work ready for the stage.

KS4 Curriculum

Students who opt for Drama currently follow the Edexcel BTEC Performing Arts – Acting syllabus which allows students the opportunity to explore a range of acting skills from a variety of Theatre practitioners. Students complete 3 Units over the 2 years exploring the world of Theatre, acting skills and key skills required by actors in order to be successful. The course is designed to give those who want a career in the performing arts, the skills that employers are looking for. Over the 2 years they will produce plays from a variety of stimuli, including homelessness, The Great War, Idolisation and Human Rights. This is in combination with script work, allowing students to gain more in-depth knowledge of Theatre Practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht. I aim to give students a variety of performance styles, an understanding of different genres and essential knowledge of the voice, body and characterisation.  Students will study a variety of plays including ‘Hard to Swallow’ a play about anorexia, ‘Missing Dan Nolan’ looking at the true story of a boy who went missing and was never found, ‘Burning Bird’ a contemporary play looking following the journey of a young girl growing up in a difficult world, and ‘Blood Brothers’ a classic from the eighties exploring social class.





Year 10 Unit 3 Acting Skills.
Students take part in a series of workshops exploring the use of voice, movement and body, physical skills and improvisation.
Students then identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses and develop ways of improving as an actor.
This unit is internally assessed.
Unit 3 Acting Skills
Students then take the knowledge to produce a devised piece on a given stimulus. They must put on a performance using skills learnt, showing these confidently on stage. Throughout Unit 3 students will create a log book detailing the work they have done, rehearsal diaries, targets for improvement and video recordings of their final performance.
Introduction to Unit 2
For the remainder of the year students study a variety of plays in preparation for their showcase performance in year 11. This will give students the knowledge of a variety of contemporary works which they can then use to put on a play.
Year 11 Unit 2 Preparation, performance.
Students take part in a series of workshops looking at rehearsal expectations, teamwork and from page to stage. They then pick a play they have studied and take an extract that they will prepare for a live performance, showcasing their acting skills. This unit is internally assessed.
Unit 1 exam
Students prepare 2 monologues on a given theme supplied by the exam board. These will be performed and filmed. They will also sit a 2 hour exam where they have to write a letter of application to a drama school college of further education or a holiday camp. This is again set by the examining board.
Unit 1 exam
Students perform their monologues and sit their written exam which is sent to the examining board for external assessment.


At Alder we offer Drama club after school on a Thursday for all key stages. The Extra-curricular sessions allow students to refine classwork and independent learning tasks or develop their own themed based work.

We also put on a whole school production each year examples of which include ‘Our Day Out’ by Willy Russell and ‘A Musical Extravaganza’ a showcase of several musicals including ‘Oliver’, ‘Wicked’, ‘The sound of music’ and many more.

This year we will be highlighting the talent of students at Alder by putting on a show ‘Alder Got Talent’.

© Copyright 2018–2022 Alder Community High School

School & College Websites by Schudio