We must all do theatre to find out who we are and to discover who we could become.

Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future rather than just waiting for it.

Augusto Boal


The Drama curriculum at Acland Burghley explores Drama as an exciting art form and a tool for understanding and examining the world arounds us. We give our students a wide range of opportunities to learn and utilise various practical strategies that reveal a greater appreciation for others’ beliefs, experiences and circumstances; enabling our students to grow in empathy and knowledge. We also develop their rehearsal and performance skills and broaden their appreciation of theatre history, play texts and dramatic styles and thus we encourage our students to engage with the rich theatrical culture that surrounds us.

Head of Creative Arts and Technology Faculty

Gwen Frye  |  gfrye@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk

Subject Lead

Lana Bel Robinson  |  lrobinson@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk


Charlie Robinson  |  crobinson@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk

Rosie Kosky  |  rkoskyhensman@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk

Keisha Johnson  |  kjohnson@aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk



At KS3, our curriculum is varied and broad with students developing techniques such as physical theatre, soundscape, monologue and slow motion; learning about deforestation of the rain forests, ancient Greek theatre and WW2 evacuees; exploring issues such as oppression, business ethics and social exclusion and bringing to life texts by a broad range of writers including Shakespeare, Joanna Halpert Kraus and Willy Russell. Students learn about the role of the actor, director and spectator as well as experiencing the value of drama as a process of exploration rather than simply an end product. There is a focus on inclusion and cooperation in our lessons, where every child is encouraged and expected to join in to fulfil their potential and gain confidence and teamwork skills, as well as build trust amongst their peers. All students are timetabled for two hours a fortnight, and at KS3 homework is set each half term. Homework comes in a range of forms, from research tasks to rehearsals or learning lines; all of which feeds back into their classwork in order to improve and deepen their own and others’ work.


Autumn term 1: Introducing Drama Skills: Toys
Autumn term 2: Exploring Deforestation

Spring term: Introduction to Shakespeare

Summer term 1: Clowning
Summer term 2: Allegories: ‘Starbeast by Nicholas Stuart Grey  


Autumn term 1: Harriet Tubman and Mean to be Free by by Joanna Halpert Kraus
Autumn term 2: Sparkleshark by Philip Ridley

Spring term: WW2 Evacuees

Summer term 1: Ancient Greek Theatre
Summer term 2: Melodrama


Autumn term 1: Exploring issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community
Autumn term 2: Buisness Ethics

Spring term: Exploring a full text: The Lord of the Flies (tbc)

Summer term: Culture for Change: Favela Rising



Things to see and do

Any exposure to live drama experiences or theatre productions will encourage a greater appreciation of our subject and will build confidence and develop invaluable, transferable skills. There are a number of local theatres that offer reasonably priced tickets to their productions including; Park Theatre, The Pleasance, Arcola, The Unicorn, Jacksons Lane, Hampstead Theatre and Kiln Theatre.

Extra-curricular activities and clubs

Students in every year group get at least one opportunity each academic year to be involved in a specific project, series of workshops or performances, on occasion working with outside specialists. We recommend making the most of these unique and fulfilling opportunities as they give students the chance to work with skilled individuals from different classes, year groups or institutions and they can develop their creativity and confidence in a more professional environment.

We run an Y7 and an Y8 and 9 drama club weekly and there is also an annual performing arts production open to all students, who can take part in a variety of performance or back stage/ technical and design roles. The performance takes place in the summer term.



Why it is a great choice
Students will have lots of diverse and creative opportunities to:

  • Explore issues, beliefs and texts using different drama techniques to encourage a deeper understanding of the world we live in and those we live among, making us more empathetic towards others in and outside of our communities.
  • Be involved in practical, creative work, especially when working as part of a team, which can be liberating and exciting and will often provide a healthy contrast to your other studies.
  • Show employers and universities that you are a candidate with a wider outlook on life and a willingness to ‘think outside of the box’ as GCSE Drama encourages this broader thinking. Employers are often interested in people who have studied GCSE Drama, as communication, presentation and teamwork skills are essential in all forms of employment.
  • See live theatre and take part in professional workshops!


Autumn term: Mock Component 01- Devising Drama

Spring term: Studying a set text and response to live theatre for Component 04: Performance and Response

Summer term: Preparing for mock exam in Component 04: Performance and Response


Autumn term: Component 01: Devising Drama
Internally examined performance and coursework

Spring term: Component 03: Presenting and Performing Texts
Externally examined coursework and performance to a visiting examiner

Summer term: Preparing for final Component 04 written exam

Show list Show Grid

Suggested reading (all available to borrow from the drama office)

Missing Dan Nolan by Mark Wheeller

Too Much Punch for Judy by Mark Wheeller

100 by Diene Petterle, Neil Monaghan and Christopher Heimann

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht

The Colour of Justice edited by Richard Norton-Taylor

One Night in Miami by Kemp Powers

Girls Like that by Evan Placey

Metomorphosis by Steven Berkoff

A Misdsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

The Complete Brecht toolkit by Stephen Unwin

The Complete Stanislavski toolkit by Bella Merlin




Things to see and do

Any exposure to live drama experiences or theatre productions will inspire and improve the quality of students work and understanding of the complexities of live theatre. There are a number of local theatres that offer reasonably priced tickets to their productions including; Park Theatre, The Pleasance, Arcola, The Unicorn, Jacksons Lane, Hampstead Theatre and Kiln Theatre.

Extra-curricular activities and clubs

KS4 students have the opportunity to take part in the whole school production as a performer or as a member of the backstage/ technical/ design teams. The performance takes place in the summer term.

We also encourage KS4 students to take leadership roles, by running one of our KS3 drama clubs, by leading improvisation and warm up activities with the opportunity to direct a KS3 project.