Drama presents pupils with a variety of chances to experience the enjoyment of the art form, as well as to be inspired. The subject allows pupils to develop vital skills for life, learning and work including: Confidence, Creativity, Communication, Team Work and Organisation. Pupils will experience many opportunities to showcase their acting, devising and theatre arts skills to a variety of audiences which will lead to a deeper understanding of the course theory. There is an emphasis on allowing the pupils to explore the world and issues surrounding them creatively through collaborative devised work. In addition to this, pupils will also use ICT and technology to enhance theatre productions, allowing them to gain vital experience of undertaking the full range of roles available in the industry.

S1 - S3 Curriculum

S1 and S2


In S1 & S2, pupils receive one period per week of Drama. The course is designed to introduce them to the various areas of specialism within the subject, as well as to develop vital transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, confidence and citizenship.

In S1,pupils focus on the role of the Actor, learning a range of voice, stylised & naturalistic movement skills. They learn how to portray characters effectively on the stage as well as how to work collaboratively with others to create drama. They are also introduced to aspects of theatrical design – learning how to design Lighting and Sound effects for their dramas.

In S2, pupils develop a deeper understanding of how we work with scripts in the theatre. They learn how to direct actors on the stage, as well as how to interpret texts. They also further their exploration of theatrical design by learning about Costume, Props, Set Design and Make-Up. Throughout the course, pupils also have the chance to explore the basic of devising.


The Drama Elective course consists of two units:

• Devising Skills
• Theatre Arts Skills

Devising Skills – Pupils work together in groups to create an original piece of theatre, based on a range of stimuli. They devise, direct, rehearse and perform the finished piece of theatre to an audience before evaluating their contribution to the process. Pupils will learn how to use voice, movement and characterisation skills to play complex characters on the stage, as well as how to experiment with form, genre, structure and style to present their play. The pupils are assessed through a folio of evidence including:

Rehearsal Logs, Photographs, Production Meeting Notes, Directors notes, Annotated Script, Character Research, Character Card, Writing in Role, Notes on Characterisation Techniques, Evaluation of rehearsal and final performance

Theatre Arts Skills – In this unit, pupils will develop theatre arts skills to perform an extract from a play. Pupils work together to form small-scale theatre companies. Each pupil specialises in two production areas: Acting, plus one from Lighting, Sound, Costume, Props and Hair & Make-Up. These pupils will be assessed through a folio of evidence, and teacher observation checklists from the final performance.

Homework is an essential part of the Elective course and is given regularly in class. The homework will include completing folio work, attending out-of-school rehearsals and research.

S4 - S6 Curriculum

National 3, 4 & 5 Drama

What will I be learning?
There are two units in National 3, 4 & 5 Drama:
• Drama Skills
• Drama Production Skills

Drama Skills
Drama skills teaches you how to create your own original plays and performance. You will learn lots of different acting and directing techniques to help you make a piece of drama that is interesting and entertaining. Some of the areas you will cover will include:
• Voice
• Movement
• Characterisation (The process of becoming your character)
• Form, Structure & Style including: Comedy, Tragedy, Mime, Docu-Drama, Pantomime, Forum Theatre and many more.

Once you have created and rehearsed your new piece of theatre, you will premiere it to the world at a public performance in one of the school’s performance spaces.

 Drama Production Skills

In the Drama Production Skills, you will learn about all of the different jobs that are available in the Theatre – it’s not just about the acting! In this unit, you will learn how to do the job of two production roles – you will have the choice of:
• Acting
• Lighting Designer
• Sound Technician
• Set Designer
• Props Master/Mistress
• Costume Designer
• Make-up Artist
Once you have learned how to do these jobs, you will choose one to specialise in. You will then study and perform a play, learning how to apply your new knowledge.


What is the difference between National 3, 4 and 5?

There are two differences between the courses; the level of difficulty and the assessment:
• Difficulty – National 3 is the equivalent of the old Access 3. National 4 is the equivalent of the old Standard Grade Foundation or Intermediate 1. The National 5 is the equivalent of the old Standard Grade Credit or Intermediate 2.
• Assessment – National 3 and 4 are internally assessed – this means that your teacher is your examiner and you do not sit an exam at the end of the course. National 5 is externally assessed – meaning that you will have an exam at the end of the course which is marked by an SQA marker.
It is likely that no matter what level you sit, you will be in the same class, as you will be working together throughout the course.

How will I be assessed?
As explained above, this depends on the level that you are sitting.

National 3 & 4
You will be assessed throughout the year by your teacher, who will observe your practical work during lessons, as well as giving you written tasks to complete.

In addition to the teacher observations, you will have to make a folio which contains evidence of your learning throughout both of the course units. The folio can contain many different forms of evidence including: Video Footage, Rehearsal Logs, Worksheets, Photographs, Idea Boards, Production Meeting Notes, Design Sheets etc.
The final part of your assessment is to perform your Drama Production Skills play. Your teacher will observe you doing the job you chose to specialise in and may also interview you to find out more about the process you went through.


National 5
As well as completing a folio of evidence similar to National 4 above, you will have an external exam. Your exam will come in two parts:

1. Question Paper (40% of your grade) – You will be asked questions which will demonstrate your knowledge learned in the subject, as well as an evaluation essay of a live performance that you have seen.

2. Practical Performance (60% of your grade) – You will perform your play to an external examiner, who will observe you doing your chosen specialist job. You will also submit written evidence of the process that you went through to prepare for the performance.

Depending on how well you do in the assessment, you will receive a grade for the course on an A-D basis (A being the Highest, D being the lowest)

What can I do with a Drama Qualification?

There are many different ways that you can use Drama in your career, some of which might surprise you!
Firstly, if you wish to pursue a career in the industry, the course will prepare you for further professional training. The theatre is a very competitive industry, and it is very important that you have an understanding of the basics. Depending on your specialism, you could undertake a variety of jobs in the performing arts including:

• Actor
• Director
• Producer
• Playwright
• Lighting Designer
• Sound Technician
• Set Designer
• Props Master/Mistress
• Costume Designer
• Make-up Artist
• Community Drama Work
• Arts Journalist
• Performance Artist

But it’s not just about the theatre! Drama will give you skills that are recognised and used in a wide range of careers. Because you are building your confidence, developing team working and social skills, as well as exploring the world around you, the subject can make you very employable.

Some careers that have viewed Drama as an important skill in the past for interviews at both university and in the working world are:
• Law
• Medicine
• Social Work
• Community Work
• Teaching (Primary & Secondary)
• Social Sciences
• Childcare
• Journalism
• Arts Therapy
• Psychology
Regardless of whether you want to forge a career in the theatre or are interested in another career, you will have a fun-filled, exciting and challenging year ahead of you.
As one of our past pupils said when they left to study at university:
“I enjoyed my year so much in Drama. I learned so much more than I thought I would, both as an actor and a person.”