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Teaching Drama

Teaching Drama

Teaching Drama, written for teachers by teachers, practitioners and playwrights, is a unique twice-termly magazine resource for anyone involved in drama and performing arts education. 

About

Published just before the start of each term and half term for maximum benefit, Teaching Drama offers a dynamic mixture of news, features, schemes of work and in-depth reviews. It offers inspiring ideas and advice for all drama teachers, whether you're newly qualified or a head of department. The features section keeps you abreast of current debates, developments and initiatives within the drama teaching profession, as well as providing innovative ways to expand and enhance your teaching. 

Schemes of work 

Our schemes of work section (available online for subscribers) provides material you can use directly in your own teaching. Each issue contains six substantial schemes of work, covering KS2, KS3, GCSE, AS, A2, IB, BTEC and the Creative and Media Diploma. Some are specific to certain exam boards; others can be used more widely.

For downloadable SCHEMES OF WORK (including account set-up) and supporting material, please scroll to the bottom of this text, and click on the tab labelled 'schemes of work'.

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Welcome to the Teaching Drama online schemes of work. Teaching Dramas schemes of work are an essential resource for all school drama departments as well as drama practitioners, offering easy-to-follow plans full of inspiring ideas. They cover KS2, KS3, GCSE, AS, A2, IB, BTEC and the Creative and Media Diploma, with some being specific to certain exam boards and others suitable for wider use.

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  • You can access any additional materials mentioned in the resources by clicking on the 'Supporting material' tab
  • You can view a sample of the online resources by clicking on the 'Sample pages' tab
  • Finally, if you are looking for past schemes that are more than a year old, you can buy bundles of the best of our
    older resources here

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Schemes of Work

Issue 53 (Summer Term 1 - 13/14)

Key Stage 2

Skellig by David Almond: a look at the book through drama

Author: Helen Day

Skellig by David Almond: a look at the book through drama

Skellig is a deep and moving book that touches on some challenging issues, presenting interesting possibilities for drama work from KS2 and beyond. This scheme of work picks up on some of the main themes within the book, and is largely suitable for upper KS2 students. The scheme uses games, role-play, movement exercises, improvisation and group discussion, and has been written with reference to the 2014 English National Curriculum. Read less...

Key Stage 3

Oppression

Author: David Porter

Oppression

Oppression is the cruel, unjust exploitation and mistreatment of peoples, individuals, groups or animals, which can be systematic, institutionalised or secret. This KS3 and/or KS4 exam scheme suggests ideas to develop conflict drama, characterisation, cultural/social/historical study around different sorts of oppression. Read less...

Two worlds

Author: Geoff Smith and Neil Phillipson

Two worlds

This scheme is inspired by Ivan Gantschev’s story Two Islands. Set in the future it tells the story of two different worlds created as new homes for the people of an over-exploited Earth. The central theme of the story is sustainable development,
but participants also explore issues of materialism, cultural identity, power and status. They learn how an imagined world can be used to explore important ideas and concepts. A wide range of process drama techniques including tableau, mime
and improvised dialogue are introduced. The scheme would be a good focus for cross-curricular work as it covers aspects of citizenship, geography and science and provides a great stimulus for writing. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Approaches to the creative adaptation style of theatre

Author: Mat Walters

Approaches to the creative adaptation style of theatre

The aim of this scheme of work is to provide greater understanding of the style of creative adaptation, for use primarily in the devising unit DRA 4 for the AQA A2 Drama and Theatre Studies exam. In this unit, students are expected to create original work that reflects their understanding of a particular theatrical style, as opposed to the single practitioner focus of DRA 2. Read less...

Stags and Hens by Willy Russell

Author: Katherine Noble

Stags and Hens by Willy Russell

This scheme of work concentrates on Paper 2 of the Edexcel Drama GCSE. It follows the specifications in the exploration of a complete play: Stags and Hens by Willy Russell. It explores the play using all the strategies, elements and mediums set out
by Edexcel, as well as covering opportunities for workshop and written evidence. The scheme of work assumes that students have read the whole play in preparation, and that they have prior knowledge of the strategies, mediums and elements used in Edexcel GCSE Drama. Read less...

Key Stage 5

An introduction to the work of practitioner Rudolf Laban

Author: Sarah Henderson

An introduction to the work of practitioner Rudolf Laban

This scheme of work provides an introduction to the work of practitioner Rudolf Laban and how his analysis of human behaviour can be applied to the Edexcel AS Drama and Theatre Studies Course. The following workshops can be delivered as part of an introduction to the course over three or six workshop sessions depending on lesson length. You can substitute your own chosen texts if it works better for you. Read less...

General

One-off workshop - Isolation

Author: Vickie Hatcher

One-off workshop - Isolation

This one-off workshop is based on the theme of isolation, but
could easily be adapted to suit any theme while still using the
same content. Read less...

Issue 52 (Spring Term 2 - 13/14)

Key Stage 2

Bible Stories

Author: Alicia Pope

Bible Stories

This KS2 scheme of work explores the well-known Bible stories Noah’s Ark, The Good Samaritan, David and Goliath and Samson and Delilah using a range of activities including character work, devising and improvisation. Two of the sessions are targeted at years 3 and 4 and two at years 5 and 6 although each session could be easily modified for use across all of KS2 depending on the ability of your class. Read less...

Key Stage 3

Daydreaming: developing a range of performing techniques and skills

Author: Mat Walters

Daydreaming: developing a range of  performing techniques and skills

Students understand the experience of drifting off in class. The concept of the daydream is one with which they will all be familiar. The purpose of this scheme of work is to allow students to investigate the idea of the daydream and how to experiment with different methods of bringing the idea to life onstage. It allows them to develop a range of non-naturalistic skills, and also to improve the quality of their work using simple physical theatre skills that will look strikingly effective on stage. Read less...

Drama club: teaching ensemble work

Author: Blayne Cooper

Drama club: teaching ensemble work

This year, I have taken over the KS3 Drama Club at my school. One of the most interesting things that I have been working on with the students is ‘ensemble’, and I have put together a number of exercises that have got them working well together. These can be taught as separate sessions, fill-in or as starters for other topics within different schemes of learning. Some of the exercises do follow on from each other, and at your own discretion you can spend as much or as little time as required. The main aim is to have fun, but for all to be involved. The exercises are excellent ice-breakers for a new class or theatre group, and can lead to more sustained work. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Vision

Author: David Porter

Vision

This is a series of lesson ideas designed to encourage a sense of aspiration, of raising the eyes from the ground, not letting distractions and problems get in the way. Dreams and ambitions are good. It is a life lesson to strive to achieve balance and purpose; it’s a drama when it doesn’t work. The scheme offers a basic lesson grid with an eye on assessment, GCSE, differentiation and performance outcomes, followed by twenty-one different obstacles to a teenage sense of vision, dreams and motivation from which teachers can pick and mix. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Dance

Author: Gail Deal

Dance

There are many ways of delivering this course and your chosen method will largely depend on staffing, funding and resources. The scheme is based on two members of staff who teach two lessons a week each. Each lesson is 65 minutes long, giving 260 minutes or 4 hours 20 minutes a week. Read less...

Kite!

Author: Geoff Smith and Neil Phillipson

Kite!

This scheme of work is an exploration of conflict and its causes and effects. The drama, which draws inspiration from Romeo and Juliet, is set in modern-day Kabul and tells the story of two families of bakers. Participants explore a variety of drama conventions as they create the characters and settings and explore the proud histories and traditions of their families. They use original performance to explore the causes of the families’ feud and engage in Forum Theatre as they attempt to defuse the conflict.
The scheme has been adapted for each key stage, but is presented here in a form suitable for A level. We have applied it in particular to Unit 3 of Edexcel’s A2 syllabus for Drama and Theatre Studies. This series of workshops was used to help the students to prepare for a 20 minute assessed performance. Read less...

General

One-off workshop: The Wizard of Oz

Author: Vickie Hatcher

One-off workshop: The Wizard of Oz

Show an understanding of skills to create an interesting performance of The Wizard of Oz. Read less...

Issue 51 (Spring Term 1 - 13/14)

Key Stage 2

An exploration of Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Author: Helen Day

An exploration of Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Michelle Magorian''s Goodnight Mister Tom is a book that readily captures the imagination of young and old alike. At once an absorbing piece of storytelling, it is also a wonderful fictional look at a fascinating period of history. KS2 students will embrace a study of the book. Using drama to explore the themes will add further impact to their emotional understanding of the piece. This scheme looks at the book from a number of different angles, and does touch on some of the more challenging issues tackled in the work. However it does not dwell on any specific aspect and therefore should be suitable for all levels of KS2. Read less...

Key Stage 3

Every drama needs a ... villain

Author: David Porter

Every drama needs a ... villain

may sound too prescriptive. Yet the fact is that the best drama, film and literature are created when there are clashes of personalities, agendas, beliefs, ambitions and circumstances. Drama without a villain would be bland stuff indeed. This is the first in an occasional series of schemes to develop performance skills and plot-building through characterisation. Read less...

One-off workshop - A Christmas Carol: the modern pantomime

Author: Mat Walters

One-off workshop - A Christmas Carol: the modern pantomime

To tell a modern version of A Christmas Carol using a variety of
dramatic story-telling skills. Read less...

Political Animals

Author: Mat Walters

Political Animals

Students have a variety of interactions with animals in their lives. The majority eat them. Some have them as pets. Some rarely see them at all apart from on television. The aim of this scheme of work is to raise ethical questions regarding the treatment of animals, but also to consider the role that some animals play in society. It examines a range of different styles of performance while looking at comic and serious scenes. As a scheme of work it can be used to raise other ethical issues as the focus on animals could be applied to other groups. There are also occasions for teacher in role and for practical work. This scheme is designed to run over four lessons, but it could easily be extended and linked into other subjects. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Child Crime

Author: Vickie Smith

Child Crime

This scheme of work explores the very serious and challenging theme of child crime. It is aimed at the Edexcel GCSE Drama Unit 1, although it would also make a good starting point for Unit 3 if the students opted for devised work. It allows students to explore a variety of stimuli, covering both fiction and non-fiction. Read less...

Key Stage 5

A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney

Author: Siobhan Foster

A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney

Unit 1 of the Edexcel A level specification requires students to explore practically, analyse and interpret two contrasting play texts alongside the study of a theatre practitioner. This scheme has been designed to fulfil the requirements for one of the texts and practitioners studied. Using Stanislavski''s theories, the activities within this scheme allow students to explore the narrative, themes, characters and relationships within Shelagh Delaney''s A Taste of Honey as well as investigating the SCHP context of the era and how the actions of the characters would have been viewed fifty years ago in contrast to a twenty-first century attitude. Read less...

Exploring character

Author: Alicia Pope

Exploring character

This scheme of work for A level students focuses on a range of characters from some contemporary plays. The concept is for students to explore a character at a particular stage in their story and to use devising and improvisation to explore that character further. The work can be used as stand-alone lessons to prepare students for monologue work; as stimuli for devising and to support explorations of whole texts. The scheme involves on- and off-text work that will encourage thoughtful exploration and create a range of interesting work. Read less...

Issue 50 (Autumn Term 2 - 13/14)

Key Stage 2

The Romans in Britain

Author: Helen Day

The Romans in Britain

Most periods of history lend themselves brilliantly to teaching through drama, and a study of the Romans in Britain is no exception. Invasion, revolt, a change of lifestyle and legacy are all the stuff of great drama, and lend themselves to exploration through imaginative work, role play, character creation and games.
This scheme of work gives an overview of the Roman era in Britain, examining the overall timeline, focusing on Boudicca''s revolt, and looking at the Roman way of life and the legacy it left behind. Using a wide range of drama techniques, it provides a practical and engaging accompaniment to teaching this topic. It is ready to be integrated into the curriculum from 2014, teaching the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain, and broadly covers all aspects of the KS2 National Curriculum drama objectives. There are also links to the writing, speaking, listening and group discussion and interaction objectives within KS2 English. Read less...

Key Stage 3

Pantomime

Author: Katherine Nobel

Pantomime

This scheme of work explores drama skills and the Pantomime theatre. It explores the stock characters of Pantomime through voice, movement, the role of a director, lighting, space, scenery, costume, music, working from text, devising and performance. The overall objective is that students can fully understand and communicate Pantomime to an audience, as well as achieve KS3 Drama Objectives. I teach this scheme to Year 8. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Exploring play texts: Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter

Author: Naomi Morgan

Exploring play texts: Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter

Edexcel Unit 2 requires students to explore a full play text through a six-hour practical workshop. Choosing a text that is both challenging for higher level students and accessible to weaker students is difficult as you want the work to stretch all students to achieve their best. Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter has often been a popular choice by schools as it offers a range of techniques, an historical context, serious subject matter and humorous character exchanges. This is why I think this well-liked play is perfect for Unit 2 at GCSE. My students have always enjoyed studying it and it offers a wide range of performance challenges to all levels of ability. Read less...

One-off workshop: Comings and goings

Author: David Porter

One-off workshop: Comings and goings

This one-off workshop sets up a scene in a place where the entrances/exits of characters have a profound influence on people inside the room and on the audience. Read less...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Author: Alicia Pope

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This scheme is based on Suzanne Collins’ hugely successful trilogy The Hunger Games. The scheme can be used as a stand-alone scheme for Year 9 or as an introductory scheme at GCSE. For GCSE you can use the activities as a springboard for students to create ideas on a range of interesting themes, e.g. dystopian future, conflict, the difference between rich and poor, friendship, family or injustice. The scheme uses a range of different techniques largely based on devising, improvisation and detailed character work. Read less...

Theatre in Education

Author: Vickie Hatcher

Theatre in Education

This scheme of work can be used for several different units within the BTEC First Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting) including all criteria in Unit B6: Devising Plays, and part of the criteria in Unit B4: Acting skills and Techniques. The aim is that students create a piece of Theatre in Education considering a specific target audience. Each session is deemed to be a double lesson. Read less...

Key Stage 5

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov

Author: Mat Walters

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov

The aim of this scheme of work is to provide students with a general introduction to Chekhov’s The Seagull, and to focus on the naturalistic acting style of the play and the structure of exam essays. It will give advice on how to prepare students
for the DRAM3 Section A set text questions. Read less...

Issue 49 (Autumn Term 1 - 13/14)

Key Stage 2

Drama for literacy

Author: Deborah O'Donoghue

Drama for literacy

This unit illustrates how drama can be used across foundation subjects at KS2 to reinforce a range of literacy outcomes. The activity timings can be adapted to suit your planning. No prior subject knowledge in drama on the part of the teacher or the students is required, just an open mind and a willingness to have a go. Health and safety considerations for each strategy are pointed out, so that non-drama specialists can grow in confidence in planning these active and enjoyable tasks. The tasks are all suitable for use in a mainstream classroom space. Read less...

Key Stage 3

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Author: Alicia Pope

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is incredibly popular with children of all ages and most students will have read or be familiar with George''s Marvellous Medicine. This scheme is aimed at KS3, most suited to Years 7 and 8, and uses both on- and off-text work based on the novel as the stimulus for some exciting exploration into character, improvisation, devising and ensemble work. Read less...

Living with fear

Author: Ali Warren

Living with fear

This scheme of work was created a couple of years ago when the school where I work decided that KS4 should start with Year 9. This was generally a positive move, but we were starting GCSE level work with students before they had time to absorb the terminology and practical vocabulary required of them. The scheme of work explores the drama strategies that Edexcel specifically wants the students to know, and a couple of extras, but it would work equally well for other boards. There is also some ground work for use of drama elements too. The scheme also explores an issue in the style of a Unit 1 – Drama Exploration. Read less...

Key Stage 4

The Street

Author: Geoff Smith and Neil Phillipson

The Street

This scheme of work consists of an original piece of drama intended to immerse participants in an enquiry into the meaning and value of ''''community''''. Tableau, mime, thought-tracking, documentary drama, improvised dialogue and Forum Theatre are used to construct the imagined world and to explore the significance of key moments in the story. Some of the techniques characteristic of Philosophy for Children (P4C) are used to deepen thinking and encourage reflection. This scheme could be used to introduce a variety of Process Drama techniques at KS3. Read less...

Key Stage 4/5

Live theatre: Analysing experiences and building a theatrical vocabulary

Author: Mat Walters

Live theatre: Analysing experiences and  building a theatrical vocabulary

Going to see a live theatre performance is a central part of any taught Drama course. However, most aspects of GCSE, BTEC or A level Drama experiences now expect students to do more
that just write a review of what they saw and liked. Also, in order to further legitimise Drama as a sound academic discipline, it is vital that students are encouraged to develop a vocabulary that is specific to Drama and all the aspects that make up the live theatre experience. Students need to refer to lanterns, not lights, and discuss the use of recorded sound or costume with reference to the same detailed terminology that they use when assessing the quality of the acting. This scheme of work will provide suggestions for developing analytical skills and appropriate vocabulary for
relevant areas of live performances seen. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Exploration of Drama and Theatre

Author: Blayne Cooper

Exploration of Drama and Theatre

This scheme of work is designed to help you approach the Unit 1 part of the Edexcel A level Drama and Theatre Studies course. The unit is worth 40 per cent of the A1 marks with coursework, which is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated. Essentially the unit requires students to explore the content of two plays written for performance, one of which needs to be explored in the light of a recognised theatre practitioner. Alongside this, students must also complete a written review of a live performance that they have seen. The text can be one they have studied for Unit 1 or something contrasting. Read less...

Issue 48 (Summer Term 2 - 12/13)

Key Stage 2

A storytelling project based on a Chinese tale

Author: Patrick Salvadori

A storytelling project based on a Chinese tale

Storytelling is one of the earliest art forms. Children love a good story. They respond very imaginatively and engage with the characters, the issues and the moral confrontations within the story. They especially enjoy becoming actively involved by participating physically and emotionally in activities so that they can make choices, explore themes and take the story in different and interesting directions. Read less...

Key Stage 3

One-off workshop: The news event

Author: Mat Walters

One-off workshop: The news event

This lesson traces the process of a newsworthy event, from eyewitness statements through interviews into dramatic reconstructions aimed at particular age groups. It can also form the basis of work specifically designed for children''''s theatre. Students will work as witnesses, interviewers, television news presenters, police officers, victims and will create a version of a news bulletin aimed at a specific target audience with an appropriate reconstruction of the event. Read less...

The Time Machine

Author: Katherine Noble

The Time Machine

This scheme of work concentrates on drama activities around the theme of a time machine. It explores the use of teacher in role, movement, expression, role-play, hot seating, thought tracking, historical research, and knowledge of current issues and technologies to generate a future. The overall objective is that students explore and share history through drama, explore and share ideas about the future through drama, using collaborative drama skills. This scheme is built around the KS3 Drama Objectives. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

Author: Alicia Pope

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

This scheme of work uses Nights at the Circus to give students ideas for their own practical work. The scheme uses both on and off text work, and focuses on a range of skills including monologue, devising, improvisation and ensemble work. The activities included will inspire students to create their own dynamic and innovative theatre. The work can be used as an introductory scheme into students'' devising or can be used as an initial exploration into scripted work. Read less...

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time adapated by Simon Stephens

Author: Gail Deal

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time adapated by Simon Stephens

The highly acclaimed National Theatre production of Simon Stephens'' adaptation of Mark Haddon''s award-winning novel entitled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is currently enjoying sold out performances at the Apollo Theatre, London following its original production at the National Theatre in the summer of 2012. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Political Performance

Author: David Porter

Political Performance

Teaching practitioner theory can challenge both students and teachers. This scheme suggests practical ways of teaching OCR’s Performance Studies A level Unit G403, Political Performance, 1914 - present day, a written paper. It is also suitable for any practical senior level work on politics and performance. Read less...

The Chairs by Eugéne Ionesco

Author: Naomi Morgan

The Chairs by Eugéne Ionesco

Studying post-1900 texts at A level can sometimes be a little tedious, as with limited exam board choices students often do not get a chance to study exciting plays that challenge and expand their theatrical knowledge. This is why, when given the choice of texts from the WJEC post-1900 set list at AS, I chose Eugéne Ionesco''s absurd, farcical and simply wonderful play The Chairs at AS level. The aim of this scheme of work is for students to explore and understand The Chairs through practical class work and exploration of acting challenges, directing opportunities and stage design in order to answer the written question on the DA2 paper. The intention is that students will learn not only the historical and social context of the play and its author, but that students will delve into practical work with a view to applying this to their written paper. Read less...

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