At St Mary's I take creative risks

Drama GCSE

Broaden your knowledge of drama by studying contrasting works including the brilliant play ‘An Inspector Calls’. This varied course invites you to experience and respond to live theatre, as well as creating your own work and showcasing your skills as a performer or designer.

Why St Mary's

GCSE Drama is an exciting opportunity to broaden your understanding of drama and explore a number of contrasting and engaging play texts.

In Year 10, you will embark on your devising project which involves you creating an original performance piece based on a stimulus of your choice.

In Year 11, you will choose a play, from which, you will either perform or design two extracts, for assessment by a visiting examiner.

You will also see a piece of live theatre which you will explore, discuss and evaluate. In addition, you will imagine yourself being a director or performer of the brilliant play ‘An inspector Calls’ which you will write about in the final exam.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Theatre trips in Cambridge and London
  • Cambridge Arts Theatre
  • Performances at the University of Cambridge
  • Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Workshops with professional theatre companies
  • Audition coaching
  • Working with local community groups
  • St Mary’s Senior School productions
  • Lunchtime teacher surgeries

Course overview

Component 1: Devising drama

This component deals with devising, which is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work collaboratively with others to explore a range of stimuli in order to create an original performance piece. Whether you are a performer or a designer, this course will stretch the limits of your creativity and imagination, while exploring a theme or topic of interest to you and your intended audience.

You will develop skills in group work, research and negotiation, while also developing creativity, performance and design skills. You will consider the impact you can make on an audience, by developing the ideas you want to communicate. In addition to the performance, you will be marked on an accompanying portfolio which documents evidence of the development process, analysis and evaluation of their performance.

Component 2: Performance from text

You will take part in a showcase, demonstrating your chosen skill in a live performance. This component deals with developing knowledge, understanding and skills in exploring and performing from a performance text. It includes interpreting, rehearsing and refining work in preparation for  a final performance of two key extracts from a play. You will be required to produce a short accompanying outline explaining your intentions for and approach to each performance piece.

Performance and response

You will explore practically how a complete performance text might be interpreted and realised from ‘page to stage’. This exploration will give an insight into how texts may be brought to life for an audience and the creative roles within this process.

You will also analyse and evaluate an experience of a live theatre performance as an audience member. You will develop skills to recognise the meaning created in the theatre space in order to communicate ideas to an audience, as you develop a more critical and varied approach to your own work as a theatre maker.


  • Component 1: Devising drama - 40% of the total mark
  • Component 2: Performance from text - 20% of the total mark
  • Component 3: Performance and response - Written Examination - 40% of the total mark

Drama scholarships

We offer scholarships for talented drama students.

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What our students say ...

About Drama at St Mary's

At a glance
  • Syllabus: Edexcel
  • Devising drama (40%)
  • Performance (20%)
  • Performance and response (40%)
  • Two drama studios
You will enjoy this course if you ...
  • Want to develop your performance skills
  • Are keen to learn more about theatre making
  • Have creativity and imagination
  • Can undertake independent research
  • Like analysing and evaluating ideas
  • Can work to solve problems
  • Like working with others

Production: Chicago

What our teachers say...

"Although I'm entering my 15th year of teaching drama, I remain completely engaged and excited by the performance work here at St Mary’s. The creative, collaborative process means that the journey, is always unique and special, just as the students are."

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” Bertolt Brecht

As creators and producers of original theatrical work, you have a unique opportunity to mould the opinion of your audience or get them to view the world from a different perspective.

Past students here have used their own theatre to illuminate issues and give voice to the voiceless; uncovering stories of the incredible female air pilots of WW2, the brave munition factory workers who risked their lives during WW1, and shedding light on the current shocking refugee crisis. 

As well as preparing students who wish to apply to Acting and Drama Schools, this course opens up a wide range of career paths. It is a strong academic discipline, which will develop your confidence, control and finesse and is perfect preparation for any career in which communication and collaboration, or meeting goals in a tight timeframe are key. Through theatre studies, you will also develop your team skills, and an understanding of others – opening up careers in management, or any context where working with others is important.

Universities offer theatre and drama degrees as single honours or combined courses. Some institutions offer creative or performance arts degrees where theatre can be combined with other arts or literary subjects such as film, music, dance, art, fashion, media, design, photography, history, classics and English. Previous students have gone on to read drama and English, acting, media studies and languages, and another student set up her own media company! Other students have followed careers in stage management, theatre administration and theatre production.

Our results

Achieve the results you need to fulfil your dreams.

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Beyond St Mary's

Our Senior School students go on to pursue exciting futures.

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Senior School life