This NEW conference, is designed in the light of the 2018 examinations. The revamped conference will focus on challenging areas, how to boost grades and how to meet the demands of the questions for examination success in 2019.

This NEW conference is designed to support and inspire students to achieving outstanding grades at AS and A Level. Through a variety of practical tasks, quizzes, reflection and opportunities to explore brief written tasks, students will develop and consolidate the knowledge and skills required to meet the demands of the A level specifications offered by OCR, EdExcel, AQA and Eduqas.


  • A fully interactive day: watch and participate in practical rehearsals and performance
  • Gain insight and confidence in how to approach the written exam to meet the demands of the mark scheme with high quality exam responses
  • Understand how to improve answers about set texts and live productions
  • Take away a comprehensive set of notes which can be used as part of your revision
  • Learn devising techniques that can immediately be applied to practical work in school or college
CONFERENCE DATE In school only
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference


10.15 – 10.30am
What the examiners want

  • The examiner’s perspective: what examiners are looking for in each component – an overview
  • What we actually mean by social, historical and cultural context and how to use it – a whistlestop tour!

10.30 – 10.45am
Exploring Live Production Analysis

  • Actors will perform a short extract from a published play

10.45 – 11.15am
After the performance, we will explore

  • What to look for in a performance and how to focus on the demands of the question
  • How to use drama-specific vocabulary correctly and impress the examiner
  • How to analyse and evaluate, as well as describe, what you saw to get top marks
  • Increasing confidence in structuring a response to a question: ideas that work
  • The evaluation challenge: how to make really effective judgements

11.15 – 11.30am

11.30 – 12.30pm
Devising Skills – practical workshop

  • Develop new devising skills in response to a stimulus and theatre you’ve seen during the course
  • Top tips on how to record valuable information during the devising process to make written reports evaluative and analytical

12.30 – 1.00pm
Your set text

  • How to develop a confident and creative overview of a set text
  • Top tips for approaching an extract in rehearsal
  • From rehearsal to exam room: writing about your ideas to impress the examiner

1.00 – 1.40pm

1.40 – 2.00pm
Fixed Post-Lunch Session

  • A Level – Ask the Expert

2.00 – 2.45pm
Design skills – developing confidence for every student

  • Creating effects for the audience: how contemporary designers are engaging and challenging today’s audiences – examples from key theatre designers of the past 30 years
  • How to use social, historical and cultural context to inspire high quality designs
  • On your marks, get set, MAKE! Creating a design concept in 15 minutes

2.55 – 3.30pm
Performance skills

This final practical session allows students to experience exercises used by professional actors and directors in the rehearsal room to develop the practical skills required to achieve highly in AS and A Level performance

  • The Director’s perspective – using examples from contemporary practitioners to approach a scene and get the best from performers
  • Understanding the examination criteria to improve marks in performed devising and scripted work

3.30 – 3.45pm
Plenary and next steps

  • Next steps – effective revision strategies for AS and A Level exams

Susie Ferguson

Susie has taught Drama for 18 years, and was a Head of Drama at the Holt School for 8 years. In addition to her continued outstanding teaching in the classroom at The Piggott School, she also works regularly with the Learning departments of the National Theatre and Old Vic, as well as designing GCSE and
A Level production and practitioner notes for Disney Theatrical Group. This year Oxford University Press will publish 5 National Theatre play texts for which Susie has written the classroom notes and activities.

Tara Elie

Tara is senior lecturer in Secondary Drama Education at the University of East London, as well as an experienced teacher of Drama in secondary schools both in England and abroad. She has a proven record of achieving outstanding examination results at both key stages four and five. Tara is currently Artistic Director of Swedeart Productions, trainer for Pivotal Education and Managing Director of Star Performance based in Brighton. Additionally, she is a senior tutor on The Ufton Drama School and is an experienced practitioner in physical theatre and voice work.

Students £25+VAT

One free teacher place for every 10 student places
Additional teachers £35+VAT
Individual teachers £80+VAT