Search this Site:



Drama is very popular at The Leys, both in the classroom and the wide variety of school productions each year. The department is housed within Great Hall, our purpose-built Theatre and Performing Arts Centre, opened in September 2013. Dedicated drama facilities include the Middleton Studio Theatre, a large rehearsal room, a props and costume store, dressing rooms, a green room and two dedicated classrooms.

Drama is compulsory in Years 7-8 and an option for year 9 and at GCSE. We aim to offer Drama and Theatre A-Level in the near future alongside our already busy timetable! Many pupils also take individual LAMDA speech and acting lessons, in which we achieve particularly strong results.

Academic Drama involves both practical and written work and we are as keen to develop theatre designers, directors and film makers alongside working with performers. Pupils are encouraged to have a lively and keen interest in some aspect of theatre and to be as passionate about performance as we are! This may include but is not limited to being enthusiastic about reading and studying literature/plays, delving into theatre history, visiting the theatre, watching and responding to film and television and being inspired by art, poetry and the world around them. Most importantly we encourage our performers and designers to be generous to others and to find the joy in collaborating and working as part of a creative team.

Drama is ideal for developing communication, public speaking and confidence skills as well as improving levels of empathy and emotional literacy in young people. As a subject, it is a brilliant way to recognise the power of working with and learning from others and to foster the imagination and creativity that is so important in the development of our pupils at The Leys.

To widen the horizons of our dramatists, we make regular trips to theatres in Cambridge, London and elsewhere, and all pupils are encouraged to participate in the extra-curricular productions at the school. Workshops with visiting theatre practitioners are also integral to pupils’ learning.

Drama Scholars

Our Scholars follow a programme of enrichment, aiming to assist them in developing their craft as performers or designers. This includes an annual scholar’s showcase, London based trips and performances in a West End Theatre and regular workshops. Scholars are also invited to audition for the National Youth Theatre with auditions taking place yearly at The Leys. Design scholars work closely with our Design Team and The Backstage Company, having a practical training and the opportunity to work on our productions as operators, stage managers of DSMs. Finally, all scholars are involved in LAMDA lessons and exams as part of their scholarship.


The Edexcel GCSE Drama course offers pupils who are interested in performance and design the opportunity to pursue the path that suits their passion. They will devise their own performance as an actor or designer, perform or design for a play text and study a set text which they will answer questions on in a written exam. For the written exam pupils will also see a live theatre performance and offer their own analysis and evaluation of different aspects of the performance.

Pupils can choose to be assessed as a performer or as a designer for the first two components (Set, Costume, Lighting, Sound, Stage Make-up/Mask).

This course is designed to help develop self- confidence as well as providing an opportunity for pupils to build on experience and skills they may have already gained in the performing arts. There is a written aspect to the course, however, the focus is on practical responses and performance /design skills.

Pupils will work independently as well as working alongside others, so group work and team building skills will be a large part of the course.

Course Content

Component 1: Devising (40%) Performer or Designer

Pupils will be assessed on their ability to respond to a stimulus as a performer or designer. They will work in small groups and will keep a portfolio of their research, analysing how the piece has been developed and evaluating the process and performance. The work will culminate in a live theatre performance before an audience.

Component 2: Performance of a Text (20%) Performer or Designer

The performance or design of 2 extracts from a play, this may be a monologue, duologue or group piece. This is a purely practical component and is examined by a visiting examiner.

Component 3: Study of a play text / Live Theatre Evaluation (40%)

GCSE Specification

A Level

Drama and Theatre is being offered as a new A Level option from September 2024 and is subject to a satisfactory quorum of pupils wishing to take the subject.

The A Level Drama and Theatre course is a brilliant opportunity for pupils to study a subject that is practical and creative, yet has an academic rigour that challenges candidates to create their own work, respond to the work of others and understand the input of inspirational theatre makers. We will work in ‘Great Hall’ with world class facilities that include a large theatre space, 2 studios, 2 drama classrooms and the input and guidance of fully trained theatre technicians.

Course Content

Devising: The creation, development and performance or design of a piece of theatre based on a reinterpretation of an extract from a text, using techniques and working methods of an influential theatre practitioner or company.

This is accompanied by a creative log. Internally assessed, externally moderated. (Practical/Written internally assessed work – 40%)

Text in Performance: The performance or design of a monologue or duologue from one play text and the performance or design of a group performance from another play text. (Practical Performance – 20%)

Theatre Makers in Practice: A written examination. Two ‘open book’ questions based on two different texts, plus one question based on a live theatre performance that the student has seen. (Exam 2hrs 30mins – 40%)


Students will possess a high level of performance ability; very good literacy skills; a keen interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of different theatrical styles and genres; good independent learning skills; the ability and desire to work as part of an ensemble within lesson time; and be prepared to undertake additional rehearsals in preparation for assessed performances.

Future Pathway

Candidates who have completed the course successfully have taken a broad variety of career paths. This is a desirable qualification for anyone considering a career in the theatre industry. Its focus on collaborative work, independent research, creative thinking and practical application of ideas are highly valued in careers such as marketing, events management, teaching, project management and business.

Key Skills

The following key skills are identified by the examination board as integral to the course: communication; working with others; using information technology; improving ‘own learning and performance’ and problem solving.

A Level Specification
  • Mr John Johnson – Director of Drama & Theatre
  • Mrs Cory Pulman-Jones – Director of Performance Drama (P/T)
  • Mr William McGinley – Drama Teacher (P/T)
  • Mr Paul Durose – Theatre Manager
  • Miss Adele Meads – Theatre Technician
  • Mr James Andrews – Theatre Technician (P/T)

Discover more at The Leys

Academic Overview

A Leys Education is one which is built firmly on three main foundations; Academic, Pastoral and Wider Curriculum.

More information

Curriculum Information

An overview of the curriculum taught at The Leys.

More information

Teaching and Learning

We are fortunate at The Leys to have a thriving and diverse Academic Enrichment programme which is growing and developing all the time.

More information