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Achieving 7-9 in AQA GCSE Drama

Course Code:


This revised course is aimed for all teachers looking to maximise the attainment of their students into the top level grades. This course focuses on meeting the demands of the higher level marking bands across all three of the specification components, examining the characteristics of work produced by students working at the highest levels. Delegates will take away a range of teaching approaches, ideas and activities designed to ensure students achieve 7-9 in AQA GCSE Drama.


  • Understand the assessment demands of the AQA GCSE Drama specification
  • Develop practical strategies for meeting the requirements of the higher bands across all components
  • Explore exemplar materials to identify characteristics of outstanding work
  • Increase confidence in preparing candidates to achieve Grades 7-9
  • Consider Examiner’s Reports from previous exam sessions


Achieving Grades 7 – 9 n AQA GCSE Drama: what does it involve?

10.00 – 10.45am
  • Review characteristics of Grades 7 – 9 students
  • Grades 7, 8, and 9;: what are the differences between these?
  • Going from a 5 grade to an 9 grade
  • Playing moneyball; what you will need to attain top grade
  • A 2 year course overview with the focus on top grades
  • Lessons learnt from the most recent examination series for able students, including on the written paper


Discussion: coffee break

10.45 – 11.00am

Strategies to achieve grades 7-9 in Component 1

11.00 – 12.15pm
  • Exploring practical activities for teaching the set text
  • Examining strong exemplar responses for Sections B – set text
  • Preparation for Section C – Live Theatre Evaluation
  • Typical questions for Question 2 & Question 3
  • Examplar response
  • How can you make the writing a bit more FUN?
  • Structuring your essay – What examiners are looking for

Component 2 – Devising dramatic pieces for a top grade

12.15 – 1.00pm
  • Review example NEA at Grades 7-9: what top level students do
  • Potential stimuli, successful approaches
  • Characteristics of the most successful candidates in the devised component
  • Building Devising skills – introducing students to the course, arming them with skills and the confidence to work on their own
  • Enabling students to develop and refine their own work
  • Examining effective ways to develop the Working Notebook
  • Understanding the structure and requirements of an effective devising process for students aiming for the highest grades


Lunch and informal discussion

1.00 – 2.00pm

Working with Scripts – how to create an outstanding performance

2.00 – 3.00pm
  • What is excellent – unpicking the descriptors for a top band performance
  • Teaching techniques that challenge and push the Most Able
  • What does a top band Component 3 performance look like?
  • It’s the little things that count – focusing on the detail
  • Tried and tested texts


Discussion: afternoon tea

3.00 – 3.15pm

Strategies to really stretch top end students

3.15 – 3.30pm
  • Discover ways to take a good actor and make them a great actor. (Use of multi-rolling, Actioning, Laban and basic Katie Mitchell techniques).
  • How to structure a devised performance which allows for student autonomy.
  • Creating opportunities to learn from peers, and using the resources available within your school.
  • Use whole class research to reduce revision of a set text. Use student led presentations to enhance learning.
  • Act out your written answers to ensure complete clarity in the exam hall.


London | Thursday 30 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Thursday 30 November 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Matthew Rolands-Roberts was a professional actor for the Peter Hall Company, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Blackeyed Theatre Company prior to becoming a qualified drama teacher in both mainstream and independent schools. He was until very recently Head of Drama at a leading independent school in central London. In the 2021 cohort Matthew attained 100% Level 9’s with his GCSE students and 100% A*-A grade with his A level students.


  • Teachers of AQA GCSE Drama
  • Heads of Drama Departments
  • Heads of Performing Arts
  • Key Stage 4 Coordinators of Drama


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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