Curriculum Leader

Mrs Laura Pollock (Lead at QEHS and HMS)


“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”  Oscar Wilde             

The study and practice of drama at HMS can empower young people to learn more about themselves and the world around them in a safe and supportive environment. We aim to inspire confidence and curiosity in our pupils, enabling them to delve deeper into the social and cultural issues explored in lessons and to ask questions about why people behave as they do. Through practical group tasks, pupils will develop vital skills for the future such as independence, resilience and critical thinking, whilst practicing collaboration and cooperation. Leadership skills and low stakes risk taking are encouraged and the need to respect others and be open to learning from them is embedded in all the work we do. At the heart of the curriculum is the development of high-quality performance skills, with challenging and engaging topics and scripts selected to give pupils the opportunity to develop their own creative ideas whilst communicating effectively with their audience. Different acting techniques and drama strategies will be taught, equipping pupils so that they can rehearse and refine their own performance work to best achieve the aims they set themselves. Technical theatre design will be investigated and put into practice, with pupils learning about different job roles in the creative industries, developing an understanding of how a team of creative people all work together to achieve shared goals, and how all are important and valued. We aim to inspire a lifetime love of theatre in pupils as creators, performers and audience members.


The work pupils will complete is almost entirely practical, following the process of responding, creating, rehearsing, performing and reflecting.   They will take on the roles of actor, director, designer and audience member throughout the year, and explore the ways that creative intentions are communicated from these different perspectives.

Autumn term: Making drama

Pupils will work in groups to create their own original pieces of devised theatre, inspired by a range of stimuli which are designed to stretch and challenge their imaginations. Through each task, pupils will learn new acting skills and drama techniques to enable them to tailor their work to their intentions. Pupils will learn about a range of different genres, styles and explorative strategies, broadening their understanding of what theatre can be.  Each lesson pupils will practice their analytical and evaluative skills by taking part in peer assessment of performances, identifying the ways in which they and others have achieved their intentions.   

This work will prepare pupils for future study at key stages 4 & 5, where GCSE and A Level Drama courses contain devising components worth 40% of total assessment.

Spring term: Exploring texts

In the spring term pupils will study and perform extracts from a range of professional play scripts, developing ways to interpret playwright’s intentions and apply their own interpretations to character and setting. Honing acting skills will be the focus of this work, and pupils will try out new skills and characterisation techniques, prompting creative experimentation. Pupils will work in groups each lesson to act in new roles and stretch themselves to question how it feels to be in someone else’s shoes, practicing empathy and enquiry. Pupils will regularly perform their work to each other and become confident in evaluating their peers’ performances.

This script work will equip pupils with knowledge and experience that they will draw on if they continue to GCSE and A Level Drama study, where assessments include both practical and theoretical examinations of how professional play scripts are brought to life on stage.

Summer term: Technical theatre and evaluation

In the summer pupils will learn more about the technical design roles in theatre, specifically lighting, set, and sound designers. Working in small groups pupils will explore the ways these design elements work together to create symbolic meaning, setting and atmosphere on stage. There will be a focus on analysis of these individual elements and evaluation of how successfully they combine with acting to achieve creative intentions. The year will end with a practical assessment using model theatres where pupils combine and apply all the knowledge they have gained throughout the term. Technical theatre terminology will be taught and applied throughout this creative project.

The theoretical knowledge of design elements and the ability to evaluation their use is crucial for pupils hoping to go on to study drama at key stages 4 and 5. Both GCSE and A Level Drama include practical and written assessments of the creative use of technical theatre design, and pupil’s accurate use of subject specific technical terminology.


We will track pupils’ progress in drama through teacher observation of their responses, rehearsals and regular performances.  Verbal formative feedback will be given every lesson, providing immediate and bespoke direction to help pupils to refine their skills and techniques.  Theatre terminology and knowledge will be assessed through low stakes quizzes and tests, and through regular application in all practical work and when evaluating performances. Termly assessed performances will feed into data collections, allowing pupils to show how they have developed over time in terms of their ability to:

  • respond creatively
  • work collaboratively
  • shape and develop creative ideas
  • perform with focus and attention
  • evaluate and analyse their own and others’ work.

Data collections will allow teachers to plan next steps for any potential intervention and to further develop areas of strength.

Useful Links/Resources


All learners with additional needs access a broad and rich classroom experience with a well-planned curriculum both within and beyond the classroom. Pupils with additional needs are enabled to achieve well by:

      • High quality planning, teaching and learning across the curriculum.
      • Adaptations made in teaching and learning to ensure all pupils succeed and learn well. 
      • Staff responding to learners’ needs and adapting teaching as a result. 
      • Teaching staff planning and delivering a wide range of high-quality interventions and support sessions. 
      • High-quality ‘Pupil Profiles’ which ensure staff know each child as an individual, including how to support their learning. 
      • Where appropriate, an ‘Individual Education Plan’ with bespoke and individualised targets is implemented, and regularly reviewed. 
      • For learners with an ‘Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)’, a wide range of individualised targets and support strategies are implemented in a multi-agency approach. 
      • Coordinating our ambitious support in school alongside a multi-agency approach to ensure that all pupils achieve their full potential. 

As part of our implementation model – the ’10 Elements of Great Teaching’ – our teaching and support staff will enable pupils with additional needs to thrive by: 

      • Planning well-sequenced lessons which build progressively in small steps. 
      • Implementing the school’s lesson design principles so that teachers gradually handover the learning through guided and independent practice. 
      • Maintaining a calm, focused, inclusive and positive environment for learning in all classrooms. 
      • Implementing a wide range of strategies to empower pupils to remember more over time and to check that this is the case. 
      • Using metacognitive strategies to encourage self-regulation and to plan, monitor and evaluate learning. 
      • Delivering expectations and instructions clearly in small steps. 
      • Teaching subject-specific vocabulary (tier 3), alongside tier 2 vocabulary, and ensuring that it is used and retained. 
      • Using a wide range of teaching resources and materials to support all learners including visual and audio resources. 
      • Using high-quality modelling in lessons through the ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach. 
      • Using a wide range of scaffolds to support learning including writing frames, planning structures, word processing. 
      • Providing high-quality worked examples which narrate the learning, steps and processes so that pupils develop their independence of learning. 
      • Using organisers such as ‘Knowledge Organisers’, diagrams, planning structures and writing frames to support pupils’ learning. 
      • Allowing pupils to record their ideas in a range of ways including, where necessary, by using online resources and visual/audio support. 
      • Providing word lists/vocabulary banks to support pupils’ access to learning. 
      • Using sentence stems to promote positive talk and discussion. 
      • Using flexible groupings in the classroom so that pupils can learn alongside and from each other. 
      • Implementing dyslexia-friendly approach to reading and writing tasks. 
      • Modelling thinking out loud strategies across the curriculum. 
      • Using a wide range of technologies including online resources, voice recording and visualisers to model worked examples.