The course is focussed on meeting the demands of the secure ‘PASS’ level mark bands across all three of the specification components. It will focus on exploring the characteristics of work produced by students working towards or at this level and explore a range of practical and motivating strategies designed to maximise achievement and ensure that students with target grades around the key boundaries of Grades 4 and 5.


  • Understand the assessment demands of the Edexcel GCSE Drama and Theatre Studies specification at Grades 4 and 5
  • Develop practical strategies for meeting the requirements of levels 4 and 5 bands across all Components
  • Explore exemplar materials to identify characteristics of pass level work
  • Increase confidence in preparing candidates to achieve a secure pass
  • Consider lessons learnt from the first examination series in 2018 with regards to students targeting grades 4-5
COURSE DATES London Thursday 14 February 2019
London Thursday 21 March 2019
  • All teachers of Edexcel GCSE Drama
  • Heads of Drama Department
  • Directors of Faculties of Performing Arts
  • Senior leaders with responsibility for the Arts
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 11.00am
Focus on assessment demands and delivery models

  • Examine the assessment demands of all components including the use of assessment objectives as a framework for assessment
  • Consider the most effective models for delivery of the course to ensure that students are fully prepared to meet the specific requirements
  • Review characteristics of a successful Grade 4 / 5 GCSE student in the context of this specification
  • Consider lessons learnt from the 2018 examination series and how to integrate these into your future teaching

11.00 – 11.15am
Discussion: coffee break

11.15 – 12.30pm
Achieving a secure pass in the Non Examined Assessment: Component 1

  • Examine exemplar portfolios and develop understanding of the characteristics of secure pass level work
  • Develop a toolkit for supporting students at this level through the devising process
  • Consider the characteristics of effective student performance – ensuring students can meet target grades of 4 and 5
  • Develop strategies to improve mid-range students’ understanding of research and development

12.30 – 1.15pm
Preparing students for text based performance in Component 2

  • Explore an exemplar scheme of work for developing student confidence in performance of a text
  • Examine exemplar material for a secure pass in Component 2
  • Develop understanding of the key features of success in the work of design candidates

1.15 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 3.45pm
Focus on the demands of the Component 3 written paper

  • Explore practical strategies for developing a strong understanding of the page to stage process for students at grades 4 and 5
  • Examine exemplar responses to the focussed extract questions for Section A – prepare students to respond as a performer and designer
  • Examine writing frames that can be used to support students in their evaluation of live theatre in Section B
  • Develop understanding of a range of planned interventions designed to move students up to a secure pass
  • Understand how to develop the quality of students’ writing to meet the demands of the written exam

3.45 – 4.00pm
Plenary and depart

  • Final questions and answers
  • Develop an action plan for ensuring success with students on the grade 4/5 boundaries

Emma Hollis-Brown

Emma has wide ranging experience of teaching and learning, working in a range of secondary schools and post 16 institutions specialising in delivering curriculum solutions in English and the Performing Arts and leading high performing faculties to success. Since 2004, Emma has developed a career in initial teacher training, leadership and challenge, and inspection and advisory work supporting curriculum modeling and collaborative quality assurance. In Arts Education settings Emma worked as a Creative Agent, Researcher and Evaluator. Emma is a highly experienced trainer designing and delivering programmes on a range of areas of school improvement.

Emma is also a senior examiner for the market leading A Level Theatre Studies specification, a trained assessor both for Arts Mark and Arts Award schemes and an Ofqual Subject Expert. In 2011, Emma established her own training and consultancy company delivering a range of contracts across public and private sectors. Emma is a badged Ofsted Inspector working on both schools and initial teacher training remits as well as a secondary school Governor and Charitable Trustee.

View all courses led by Emma Hollis-Brown >