Drama is an exciting, creative and collaborative subject that allows students to explore and better understand the world in which we live.

At Diss High School, we are proud to foster a strong appreciation for the Arts and aim for every student to recognise the valuable contribution Drama makes to our spiritual, cultural mental and physical development beyond the classroom. We seek to:

  • Build dramatic skill/s based on learners acquiring the knowledge of the various elements that create an effective performance piece.
  • Devise work from both improvisation and a range of performance texts.
  • Explore a range of themes and issues that will contribute to making students at our school better equipped to become ‘global’ citizens, stimulating deep thinking, reflective and evaluative skills that help them to better understand the world in which we live in.
  • Develop interpersonal skills in communication and collaboration, exploring group dynamics and increasing self-awareness.


Our curriculum seeks to support and enhance learners Speaking and Listening skills, so the emphasis in our lessons is placed on learning to work effectively as part of a team.  Students will explore a range of topics and performance texts practically.  Any independent tasks will help to create a deeper knowledge, understanding and engagement with the performance work. 

Discussion and reflection are a key feature in our lessons.  Discussion may take the form of small group or whole class debate whereas reflective tasks could be completed individually, as well as part of a group or whole class.  As students’ progress through the KS3 curriculum, they will be introduced to relevant social, cultural and political contexts that will enable them to think more deeply about the themes and issues explored.  Students will also be asked to justify their performance choices and explain the intentions behind the work created. 


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Autumn Term

Fairy tales and Pantomime

An introduction to storytelling and creating stories in the theatre, exploration of stock characters and how to engage/involve the audience as well as learning a brief history of pantomime.

Commedia Cluedo

A detailed exploration of Italian Commedia dell’Arte conventions and characters.

This knowledge and understanding of the theatrical style are then used and applied to create a comedy murder mystery!


Students will learn about the role and function of the Greek Chorus and use these devices to explore the issue of cyberbullying.  Learners will work with extracts from Girls Like That to explore the effects of cyberbullying.

Spring Term

The Haunted House

Exploring ways to build tension and suspense through the exploration of ‘The Nurse’s Story’. 

Students’ will also be asked to research local ghost stories from Norfolk and Suffolk.

The Pardoner’s Tale

A process drama set in a post-apocalyptic world that gives students opportunities to develop detailed characters using Stanislavski’s techniques, exploring character relationships and devise scenes.

Fame and Celebrity

Using extracts from Totally Over You, students will explore celebrity/Instagram culture and the role that influencers have in shaping our own dreams and aspirations – as well as expectations we have for our own lives.

Summer Term


A detailed exploration of Victorian melodrama.  Learners will learn S/C/P context that influenced the movement, as well as practically experimenting with acting style and conventions of the genre.


An introduction to key scenes from Shakespeare’s canonical text, exploring how to interpret a text in performance and discovering why the themes and issues are still relevant and engaging for a contemporary audience.


Students will explore the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, working with script extracts to present these issues to an audience. 

The unit culminates in students creating a Theatre in Education piece raising awareness of aspects healthy/unhealthy relationships teenagers experience.

Supporting Extended Writing

How to write a Point and Evidence section of a PEEL paragraph in Drama.

How to write the Explanation section to justify your Point and Evidence section of your PEEL paragraphs in Drama.

How to write about the work of other theatre makers.



By the end of our KS3 curriculum, learners will have developed the necessary group work and thinking skills to help prepare them for collaborative learning across the wider school curriculum.

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups with one formal assessment per unit of study.  Marking criteria is shared and discussed with students, and each student will be given both a mark and ability descriptor.  Targets will be set to help improve performance outcomes.  Feedback and guidance are a regular feature of our drama lessons, with students being offered both formal and informal direction to help develop their skill. 

How can I help my child?

Good websites:






Other things you can do:

  • Encourage your child to see local productions.
  • Read a range of play texts together and discuss the stories, characters and events are presented.
  • Talk to your child about their drama lessons, asking them what they have learnt about group work and how drama is created.
  • Look for local Youth groups, clubs and performance opportunities if your child is interested in performing.



Studying Drama gives you a wealth of skills to add to your CV, some of which include teamworking and collaboration, time-management, self-presentation, being open-minded with the creativity to push boundaries and experiment with new ideas, the ability to accept and learn from constructive criticism and research skills.

Careers routes may be in performance – as an actor, theatre director or designer – but are not limited to the performance industry.  Other careers that are a suited to the skills you have gained include Arts Administration, Digital Marketing, Dramatherapy, Events Management, Teaching and Social Media Management.



A qualification in Drama prepares students for life beyond the classroom, equipping them with essential communication and team working skills, as well as the resilience to work under pressure to meet deadlines. It is both challenging and hugely rewarding.

Students choosing to study Drama at KS4 will study the OCR syllabus.

 - Component 1 – Devising Drama: Learners will work in groups to create an original piece of theatre based on their choice from a range of stimuli provided by the exam board. A written portfolio is submitted alongside the performance as evidence of the development process. There is also a designer option available for this unit.

- Component 2 – Text in Performance: Students will study set performance texts chosen by their class teacher and will select two extracts from it to perform to a visiting examiner. Performance length is dependant on the group sizes but can last between 2 and 15 minutes. Students will also submit a written piece outlining their intentions for the performance. There is also a designer option available for this unit.

- Component 3 – Written Exam: In Section A, students will answer questions on ‘Kindertransport’ by Diane Samuels. Questions will focus on the creating and developing a performance. They will be required to write as a performer, designer and director. For Section B, students are required to review a performance they have seen during the course of study.