In Drama, it is our aim to create a secure, supportive and passionate environment in which students can explore and develop, not only their theatrical skills, but also themselves as a whole. At the centre of the teaching of Drama at Bristol Cathedral Choir School is the knowledge that Drama offers our students a unique opportunity to develop in terms of confidence, self-awareness, and to explore the often-challenging world in which they live. Our insistence that the students tackle challenging tasks and subject matters, working on their own, helps them develop as independent thinkers and learners.

Alongside this, there lie a dedication to excellence and a passionate commitment to Drama as a means of communication and artistic expression. For those students who wish to explore and develop their theatrical skills to a high level, the professional experience of the department is an invaluable resource, but its belief that Drama should be a totally inclusive subject (both in class and within the co-curricular programme) means that the success and tremendous personal rewards that performance can give are open to all.

Key Stage 3 

In Years 7 & 8, students have 50 minutes of drama a week. Over the two years they will be introduced to a number of theatrical styles and techniques, ranging from naturalism to Commedia dell’Arte, usually working as part of a creative team to produce short pieces of theatre which they perform to the rest of the class. Each unit is explored through group exercises, class discussion and practical experimentation.


Use of the Three Tools (body, voice, imagination)

Style – naturalism

Techniques – mime, freeze frame, thought-tracking, sound scape

Narrative structure/status

Style – Heightened naturalism

Technique - Scene transition, proxemics

Peek at the Greeks/Commedia dell’Arte

Style – Heightened physical theatre

Techniques – Chorus work, archetypes, voice work


Style – Melodramatic, silent movies

Techniques – Tableaux, slow motion, rehearsal

Devised thematic

Using research to generate a piece of informative theatre

Devised Thematic

Style – Stylised conceptual theatre

Techniques – Visual interpretation, staging, rehearsal

In Year 9, Drama becomes part of the wider English curriculum, in which students explore text studied as part of the course through Drama.

Formative Assessment 

Formative assessment is crucial and will be used to; 

  • Raise students' awareness of their own work, helping them explore and develop their communication, analytical and evaluative skills, raising their awareness of what they are trying to achieve and how to improve.
  • Enable teachers to plan, and adapt, a coherent set of lessons that meet the needs of all students. 

The following practices are followed in Drama in order to facilitate this: 

  • Assessment for Learning is used as part of effective classroom practice.
  • Learning objectives are shared with students as part of everyday practice.
  • Students are given the opportunity to see and discuss each other’s work in a supportive environment.
  • Students’ understanding is explored through careful questioning.
  • Students are given constructive verbal feedback while devising pieces of work so as to help develop their skills.

Summative Assessment 

Students are marked against given assessment criteria at the end of each piece of performance against the outlined success criteria for the project. Targets are set for the following year as part of end-of-term reports. It is understood that formative assessment underpins this process.

Key Stage 4

For details of Drama at Key Stage 4, please click on the link below (PDF document):