Norton College

Norton College

11 - 19 School & Sixth Form Centre

"Pupils are prepared well for life after school"

Ofsted, 2023

I work hard to achieve my full potentialI am resilient and believe that anything is possible with effortI take pride in myself, my college and my communityI am confident, self motivated and ambitious to achieveI am known and respected as an individual.I engage in all aspects of college life with enthusiasm
a s p i r e

Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Subject: Drama

Subject/Curriculum Leader: Mrs G McDonald

Key Stage 3:


Throughout years 7, 8 and 9 students study Drama once a week in an hour’s lesson with a focus on developing self-esteem and self-confidence. By studying drama in Key Stage 3, students are taught a variety of performance skills and techniques, which are scaffolded as they move throughout the school years, enabling students to express themselves effectively, creatively and practically. There is also emphasis on the theory element of drama, whereby students gain an understanding on the industry and the key terminology used within performing arts.

Our curriculum is designed to enable students to access all areas of the subject by giving a well-rounded introduction to multiple styles, formats and elements used within the study of drama.

There are opportunities in almost every lesson for pupils to ‘share’ the creative work they’ve produced, whether this is independently or through group work. Both verbal and written feedback is frequently given by their class teacher and peers to set opportunities for students to develop their evaluative skills and to better their success with the subject.


Year 7 - Autumn term 1

Narration: Focuses on the use of voice and developing effective vocal skills.

Autumn term 2

Charlotte Dymond: Introduces a range of practical techniques through the genre of a murder mystery.

Pantomime: Explores this form of theatrical entertainment and the devices required for this style of theatre.


Year 7 - Spring term 1

Improvisation and characterisation: Both skills are studied and developed through a topic entitled ‘The Island’ whereby pupils devise a fictional character and explore multiple scenarios through techniques.

Spring term 2

Mime: Explores physical skills such as gesture, body language and facial expression.


Year 7 - Summer term 1

 Musical Theatre: Introduces the essential elements associated with this style and studies a range of different genres through text, techniques and practical analysis.


Summer term 2

Evacuees and war: Explores the impact of non-fiction events being replicated and adapted through a performance with cross curricular links of History, by exploring WW1 and English, by reference to the Spielberg Novel ‘War Horse’.


Year 8 - Autumn term 1

 Walter Mitty / Adrian mole: Explores fictional texts and the effect of the play writes artistic intention.


Autumn term 2

 Tv Game show / TV advert: Developing and expressing the technique of devising.


Year 8 - Spring term 1

 Case study and roles and responsibilities: Develops an understanding on the wider theatre industry and the requirements for actors working in professional companies.


Spring term 2

 Shakespearian and globe theatre: Explores this theatrical style through the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as well as understanding the medium of how performances began and have been adapted through history.


Year 8 - Summer term 1:

Darkwood Manor: Focuses on improvisation and characterisation through this stimulus.


Summer term 2

Craig and Bentley: Explores a fictional event through performance and the theme of social injustice.


Year 9 - Autumn term 1 and 2

Murdery Mystery: Students will work in groups for a length of time to devise an original performance around a murder mystery. They will develop teamwork skills and collaborate together to develop their production skills, designing lighting, costumes and set. This will be assessed in a workshop performance at the end of the project.


Year 9 - Spring term 1

Hillsborough Disaster: Exploring a true event within English history and allowing students to develop empathy by creating diary extracts performed through monologues and freezeframe tributes.


Spring term 2

Missing Dan Nolan: Verbatim theatre introduction through Mark Wheelers play “Missing Dan Nolan” students will conduct their own research and take part in workshops to understand the style of theatre and the practitioner. This will also help students with safety in neighbourhoods and morals.


Year 9 - Summer term 1

Soap Opera: Exploring the genre of soap operas, students to work on characterisation, looking at TV acting and realism. Designing and developing their own storyboards and scenes for locations and narrative.

Key Stage 4


In KS4 students have opportunities to devise their own work, using drama techniques to explore themes, issues and ideas, as well as interpreting the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners. Practically they develop their physical and vocal skills and discover how meaning is communicated to an audience. Students also develop a theoretical, as well as practical knowledge of drama. They respond to a wide and diverse variety of stimuli, exploring a range of social, cultural and historic contexts. They also learn how to develop their evaluation skills and discuss their own work and the drama produced by others.

Whilst our curriculum is designed to support students in the development of their skills in making and performing, it is fundamentally about the growth of the individual. The drama curriculum allows students to develop essential skills for life that are highly regarded both in the world of higher education and of employment. Our expectations are that students consistently challenge themselves and take risks in the creation and performance of drama in their lessons.


Year 10 - Autumn term

Component 1

Verbatim Theatre - Exploring Alecky Blythe and the production London Road, students will take part in researching London Riots, Black Lives Matter and creating a production within the Verbatim style through workshops and live theatre.

Musical Theatre - Exploring a variety of musical theatre productions looking at the acting, singing and dancing.  Students re-create some of the musicals in detail and explore the contextual factors surrounding this genre.

Year 10 - Spring term

Physical Theatre – Studying Frantic Assembly’s productions, Things I Know To Be True and Love Song, students will develop their understanding of Physical Theatre and work in both partners and groups to develop their own performances within this style.

Year 10 - Summer term

Component 2

Students will take part in workshops of characterisation and understand the process of line learning, voice and presentation. They will explore the effectiveness of monologues and will perform these as a preparation for an audition in the industry.

Year 11 - Autumn term

Blood Brothers

Focusing solely on Willy Russell’s production Blood Brothers, the students will watch live theatre and work on accents, characters and duologues exploring skills through workshops and independent work. This component really helps the students to understand the idea of becoming a character where they look at different age ranges as well as a character’s journey through life.

Year 11 - Spring and Summer term

Component 3 – External Unit.

Responding to a Brief – Students will take part in a group workshop performance where they will respond to a stimulus as a group and devise an original performance. This component allows students to work independently as well as in a group and collaborate ideas for both performance and production values. Alongside this student’s will complete 3 milestone written assessments.


Key Stage 5


In KS5 our students have lots of opportunities to be creative in different ways whether it be devised pieces or scripted.  The curriculum is complete with exploration of themes, disputes and ideas, as well as understanding the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners both old and contemporary. Practically students will progress their physical and vocal skills further to a high level and uncover and demonstrate how meaning and creative intentions are communicated to a target audience. Students also widen and develop their theoretical knowledge, through the exploration of texts and workshops. Within the course, the students will highlight and research issues and ideas which are diverse and look into contextual factors and historical context of given stimuli.

Whilst performing the students will use their mutual respect skills in the delivery of evaluation conversations where students are taught to critically analyse performance work from piers and existing repertoire, this allows students to be open minded as well as resilient when being creative.


Year 12 - Autumn term

Unit 1 – Investigating Practitioners.

Bertolt Brecht – “What are you Doing Here?” Developing a deeper understanding to Brecht and his works, students will take part in individual presentations and collaborate together to create a performance from a given script.


Year 12 - Spring term

Unit 1 – Investigating Practitioners.

Exploring a vast range of practitioners from across the theatre industry, students will understand the key themes, techniques and styles of these practitioners whilst watching and analysing live works. As a written exam, this allows students to think critically about the live works taking into consideration contextual and production factors.


Year 12 - Summer term

Unit 2 - Skills and techniques

Students will partake in a variety of scripted pieces to perform as duets, solos and group piece. They will engage in workshops to understand techniques and themes of different practitioners and experiment with theatre styles through performance work.


Year 13 - Autumn term and Spring term

Unit 27 - Musical Theatre Techniques.

Exploring the genre of musical theatre, students will gain skills in all disciplines movement, voice and musicality. Analysing musicals both old and contemporary allows students to see how musical theatre has evolved over the years. Focusing on different musical genres over the period, students will gain a rich understanding of what is needed to become a triple threat within the industry.


Year 13 - Summer term

Unit 3 – Responding to a brief

Students will take part in a group workshop performance where they will respond to a stimulus individually and as a group to devise an original performance. Students will use their skills both in performance and production to devise and develop their ideas and log there progress throughout. Students will research for this unit and use their findings to help them with their creative intention and style of performance as well as incorporating practitioners’ ideas that they have learnt on the course. To complete this unit, students will also complete written milestones to expand on their performance work.

Back to the Top