Our Ethos.

The Drama Department has a firm philosophy founded on preparing the minds of young people to cope with the outside world as well as educating students about theatre and its history.

The Department holds firm the following three principles throughout all lessons:

1) Listen

2) Respect

3) Focus

Students use the above principles to explore given cultural and social issues in Drama.

They also learn about theatre with schemes based around plays, playwrights, directors and theatrical techniques. The department believes strongly that the vast amount of theatrical literature to be found in the world should not be ignored.

KS3 Drama

In Year 7 and 8, students learn to express themselves in a safe environment. The main focus of teaching and learning is to encourage the free use of creativity and imagination, through exploration of story and character. Students will explore drama through looking at social themes and issues, key extracts from texts and refining their skills and preparing them for the future. They will be also introduced to historical, social and cultural aspects of theatre and many techniques that they can build on for KS4 and 5.

Students are encouraged to join the KS3 Theatre Club where they can develop their skills further and showcase them throughout the year by performing to an invited audience. KS3 students are also encouraged to audition for the school productions and enrichment opportunities throughout the year.

KS4 Drama

The Edexcel GCSE Drama syllabus can be explored in Year 9 and 10. This was chosen because of its close relation to our vision for drama . Students continue to explore text, issues and skills. Students are assessed on the ideas that they contribute to the process of devising drama and have to produce written portfolio to track their progress. They are also assessed by a visiting examiner where they will perform extracts that can be a combination of group work, duologues and monologues. In addition students sit a written exam which assesses their analysis of live theatre , key texts and practitioners. Students will be given an opportunity to see a piece of live professional theatre to prepare them for this and will be encouraged to see many examples of live theatre throughout the course to inspire and challenge them further.

You may also choose to take the vocational option of Level 2 BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts. This course has strong links to the Performing Arts industry and prepares students who are wanting to work in this field. Students are expected to approach all practical workshops with self-discipline and complete a written log of their learning and progress. Students will perform a repertoire piece in front of a visiting examiner and devise work based on a brief given by the exam board.

KS5 Drama/Performance

Year 12 and 13  can progress on to Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre Studies. The students are asked to explore a variety of texts that will challenge their understanding of life in the outside world. Students are expected to approach the course with a high level of maturity and are encouraged to embrace the holistic study of the theatre. Students are assessed on the ideas that they contribute to discussion and the process of creating drama. They also have to produce written portfolio and are assessed by a visiting examiner in a Performance Exam in Component 2 where they will perform a monologue and a group piece. In Y13, students are asked to sit a written exam and  are expected to attend Live Theatre to prepare them for this. Throughout the course students are given as many an opportunities as possible  to do so and trips are often subsidised to allow students enrichment opportunities.

Students also have the opportunity to take the vocational option of exploring  drama alongside music and dance by taking Level 3 Performing Arts in Year 12 and 13. During the course students will be expected to devise original material using all three art forms. They will study key practitioners in all disciplines and produce a portfolio of their learning throughout the course. They will also be assessed by a visiting examiner who will mark them on their practical ability. All practical elements are assessed on students' ability to create and perform each discipline with accuracy, flair and creativity.


As mentioned we offer a rich and varied enrichment programme throughout the school week. These session are integral to the ethos we have created in Drama and has had a positive impact on student's enjoyment and progress in drama.


Each year we take part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival and 35 students perform on a professional stage in the festival alongside other students from across the region. We have been praised year on year for our outstanding performances and I know every student who has ever been involved will reflect positively on their experience.


Annual School Production

We also produce a school show every year where all students can audition and take part. There are also opportunities for cross curricular links where art students have been involved in helping to create the set/costumes for previous shows.

Showcases/Nights of Excellence.

We invite friends and family to see excellent classwork/exam pieces throughout the year and often use these as nights of celebration and recognition for our fantastic students.

Live theatre/ professionals.

We also offer opportunities for all students to see live pieces of professional theatre and to work with professional drama practitioners. This is an invaluable experience encouraging students to develop their own skills and provides them with an enriched experience of Drama at Don Valley.


We have a mentor system in place where our Year 12/13 students are 'Theatre and Performance Prefects. These students offer guidance to our younger students when we are producing performances and also offer coaching/mentoring when preparing for assessments.   Many of these students also formed their own Cabaret Theatre Company last year and put on an amazing evening of extracts from Musical Theatre. This raised over £200 towards the set and costume for the school production and inspired many of our younger performers to get involved in the arts.

We are very proud of the learning that takes place in the Drama department and believe that we can continue to develop, challenge and inspire young people.

Mrs Threapleton

Head of Faculty – Creative Arts