Working in a creative department presents very different challenges when compared to other departments across an educational setting. More often the drama department is relatively small in comparison to other curriculum teams within the school and this can often lead to a sense of isolation and an increase in workload. Networking is therefore essential and this course aims to bring together current leaders of outstanding drama departments to share best practice in leadership and curriculum delivery. Offering real solutions for drama leaders and teachers, the conference focuses on the latest  changes in the drama landscape, current leadership issues and challenges,  the crucial importance of shaping an effective drama curriculum to maximise the student experience and outcomes and how to prepare for a deep dive as part of the new Ofsted Framework for Inspection. It will also look at how your vision can be shared to promote a culture of high attainment for all students in both the practical and written components of examination specifications.



  • Exploring the characteristics and traits of an outstanding leader including strategies to develop mentoring and coaching skills to support ITT students and NQTs
  • Develop a strong understand of the expectations of a subject leader in an Ofsted ‘deep dive’.
  • Explore how to model outstanding teaching and learning across the department
  • Takeaway a raft of strategies to develop resilience in the performing arts during a pandemic
  • Develop an understanding of the practical approaches to obtaining outstanding outcomes from written components of Drama specifications
  • Understand how to develop a high performing culture of engagement in process, reflections and outcomes, supporting students of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve their best.
COURSE DATE London | Monday 13 June 2022
  • Heads of Performing Arts
  • Heads of Drama
  • Teachers with responsibility for Drama
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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


10.00 – 10:30am: The Power & Importance of Drama in a Knowledge Rich Curriculum

  • The importance of drama in a balanced curriculum
  • Giving pupils opportunity to practically learn and develop skills that are transferable and develop the student as a culturally rich individual.


10.30 – 11.30am: Exploring the behaviours of an outstanding and inspiring leader of Drama 

  • Key identifiers of outstanding leadership – how to be an outstanding leader of an outstanding department
  • Managing, Inspiring and Leading – you can be all three
  • How to self-evaluate effectively and then use this as a tool for improvement
  • The inclusive department – how to include all students in an aspirational curriculum


11.30 – 12.30pm: Curriculum Design – It’s the ‘how’, not just the ‘what’ 

  • Designing an effective curriculum – it’s not just the what, but the when
  • Cognitive Science and Drama – how to get the best out of curriculum planning to ensure students exam knowledge is secure
  • Success comes from understanding – how to teach for understanding


12.30 – 13.30pm: Lunch


13.30 – 14.30pm: Preparing for Ofsted – Deep Diving Your department

  • Understanding the ‘Deep Dive’ process and its implications for your department
  • How is your department currently performing? Is it already outstanding? Why? Why not?
  • The knowledge underpinning the process of learning – are all of the team working from the same level of understanding?
  • Ensuring you have the tools necessary to be judged ‘outstanding’


14.30 – 15.30pm: What makes a worthwhile Key Stage 3 Drama Curriculum?

  • Where can you go with a KS3 Drama curriculum? What are the limits?
  • Defining the range and balance of knowledge and skills needed at this level and their relationship with GCSE needs
  • Intent, implementation, and impact- innovative approaches in the Drama classroom 


15.00 – 15.45pm: Dealing with Challenge in Drama  

  • Strategies to support all students in written work
  • Building a positive learning environment in which all students can achieve
  • Restorative practice – how to reengage students in practical lessons


15.45 – 16.30pm: Going Forward and Making Change

  • Review of conference content and potential for impact in our schools
  • How in practice, can change best happen?
  • Action plan for the intervention and changes that could be made
  • Q&A


16.30pm: Depart

Emma Hollis

Emma is a well-respected arts education expert with over two decades of experience in teaching, school leadership, inspection, and advisory work. Emma is a senior examiner and has been an assessor for both the Arts Mark and Arts Award qualifications. She is also an Ofqual Subject Expert and was recently commissioned to scrutinise and credit the full range of reformed A Level specifications. Emma has worked with school-based colleagues on a range of arts, media and design projects as an auditor, consultant and evaluator. Emma is a highly experienced trainer designing and leading programmes on a range of themes and across specifications. She has led training for teachers and leaders in a range of settings all over the world. She is an experienced researcher and has authored several market-leading textbooks for Drama teachers, and published book reviews and articles in peer reviewed journals. Her research specialisms include practitioner identity and the impact of social class on the social and educational experiences of teenagers. She is the chair of governors in an outstanding secondary academy and Charitable Trustee of the Leicester YMCA.