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 to Teaching Drama + subscribers online for a 12-month period) 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 55 (Autumn Term 1 - 14/15)

Key Stage 2

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden: a look at the book through drama

Author: Helen Day

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden: a look at the book through drama

Nina Bawden’s Carrie’s War has delighted both adults and children alike for generations. Set against the backdrop of World War II, and sensitively exploring the topic of evacuation, it is an ideal book to use with KS2 students to launch an investigation into this historic period. The multi-layered story also has strands that touch on bullying, feelings, sibling relationships, friendship, trust, guilt, responsibility and fear. It therefore lends itself brilliantly to provoking work that can be used to deliver elements of PSHE.
This scheme of work uses drama to explore the story and its themes as a whole, so would be best delivered once a classroom reading of the book is complete. Read less...

Key Stage 3

Poetry

Author: Katherine Noble

Poetry

This scheme of work focuses on two pieces of poetry, ‘The Ballad of Charlotte Dymond’ by Charles Causley and Pastor Niemöller’s work ‘First they came …’. It is intended to be delivered to a Year 7 class. It explores teacher in role, improvisation, devising, character building strategies, the narrator and monologue. The overall objective is that students can explore historical events and share social and current issues inspired by the text, as well as learn and use Drama skills. This scheme is built around the KS3 Drama Objectives. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Atmospheres

Author: David Porter

Atmospheres

‘You could cut the air with a knife …’ Atmosphere makes or breaks drama and is achieved by using lights, music, effects or performance. This scheme develops students’ atmosphere-creating skills when presenting drama in order to help their characters develop, improve their story-telling and their presentation confidence, without relying on lights and sound. It also looks at using different performance settings to harness atmospheres. Read less...

Loss of life

Author: Vickie Smith

Loss of life

This scheme of work is designed to be used with the Edexcel GCSE and is a good scheme of work to prepare the students for the Unit 1 exam; alternatively it can be easily adapted to be used for the exam itself. The scheme covers explorative strategies, drama mediums and elements of drama, and encourages students to explore various ideas before developing a piece of theatre. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Beasts and Beauties

Author: Alicia Pope

Beasts and Beauties

This KS5 scheme of work is based on the retelling of some well-known traditional tales. The scheme is divided into sessions based on six different stories with a focus on key elements of Drama and Theatre Studies. The scheme can be used as a starting point for both the AQA and Edexcel AS level Unit 2. In addition to this, the scheme can be used to focus students in specific areas of Drama or as a foundation for devised work. Read less...

Taking the fear out of starting a new set text

Author: Mat Walters

Taking the fear out of starting a new set text

The purpose of this scheme of work is to reduce some of students’ fear of the set text unit, and to encourage them to see the key aspects of written essays as a summary of the best ideas they have come up with during practical work.
The ideas contained in this scheme of work are applicable to any of the plays set for AQA DRAM1 Unit 1, Section B. The aim here is for them to see Theatre Studies essays as an extension of their practical work. A good set text essay should be able to be ‘acted out’. Read less...

General

One-off workshop: Living architecture

Author: Mat Walters

One-off workshop: Living architecture

This lesson aims to get students thinking physically and to develop skills that communicate complex ideas. It focuses specifically on team work and quickly reacting to instructions. It allows students to assess their own work and compare it with others. Read less...

Issue 54 (Summer Term 2 - 13/14)

Key Stage 2

Where the Wild Things Are: using a rich text and the Forest School ethos to teach English and drama

Author: Deborah O'Donoghue

Where the Wild Things Are: using a rich text and the Forest School ethos to teach English and drama

This lower KS2 unit draws on Forest School and drama approaches to investigate the themes, issues and vocabulary in a well-loved rich text. Maurice Sendak''s Where the Wild Things Are was first published in 1963. Controversy surrounded it at first, due to its exploration of childhood anger, but it still regularly appears in lists of top picture books the world over. The main character, Max, has a flight of fancy in a wild forest landscape, which is a nice fit with the Forest School ethos of allowing children to make their own discoveries and links. Read less...

Key Stage 3

Making drama from technology

Author: David Porter

Making drama from technology

This scheme is about technology - not the technology that can be used in drama, but the ideas and experiences around technology that can be used to create and devise new drama. It focuses on some dangers that teenagers may encounter online, through social media and their devices, as well as some of the benefits of living in the digital age.

The final section is a round-up of related themes for technology-based idea drama not covered earlier. Each lesson suggests using forum theatre or docudrama as the vehicle to explore and present, but other styles are equally valid. Read less...

Soap operas

Author: Katherine Noble

Soap operas

This scheme of work concentrates on the genre of soaps and it is intended to be delivered to a Year 9 class. It explores the use of freeze frame, cliffhanger, movement, voice, space, levels, script and script scoring. The overall objective is for students to explore and share social and current issues through drama; to understand and apply the genre of soap, as well as learn and use drama skills. This scheme is built around the KS3 Drama objectives. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Sex and relationships

Author: Alicia Pope

Sex and relationships

This GCSE scheme of work was inspired by a recent campaign showing abuse in young people’s relationships. There was a focus on the idea that abusive relationships are not just those where overt violence is used, but relationships where people are intimidated, threatened, pressurised, belittled and isolated from their friends. Young people often know a great deal about the physical aspects of a relationship, but are less informed about acceptable behaviour within a relationship. This scheme uses one of the more high-profile television adverts as a stimulus to create devised and improvised work based on the key issues. The scheme offers students opportunities for group, paired and individual work and the activities can be used as stand-alone lessons or fit into units on devising or Theatre in Education. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Approaches to the Supporting Notes document for drama and theatre studies

Author: Mat Walters

Approaches to the Supporting Notes document for drama and theatre studies

The aim of this scheme of work is to provide teachers with a systematic approach to producing successful sets of Supporting Notes for the AQA A2 Drama and Theatre Studies practical exam. The Supporting Notes document is a vital part of the practical exam, and is the first indication a moderator will have of the work they are to assess. With careful planning and checking, all students can gain very high marks in this unit, and they can also use this document to help them plan and improve their own practical exam work. Read less...

Exploration of drama and theatre - The Trial by Steven Berkoff

Author: Blayne Cooper

Exploration of drama and theatre - The Trial by Steven Berkoff

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.

One thing to note is that any texts used in Unit 1 cannot be used in any other part of the specification, e.g. it cannot be used as a Unit 2 performance or stimulus from Unit 3. It also cannot be one of the Unit 4 set texts or plays used for Section C of the examination. Read less...

General

One-off workshop: Hansel and Gretel - Brecht

Author: Vickie Hatcher

One-off workshop: Hansel and Gretel - Brecht

This session can be used as a one-off workshop to introduce the basics of Brechtian theatre or to create a piece of theatre based on the story of Hansel and Gretel. Read less...

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...

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