This NEW conference, designed for students studying GCSE Drama aims to inspire, extend and consolidate students’ learning in the three components studied for GCSE: Devising; performing an extract, analyzing, evaluating a production and understanding a set text for a written exam. With practical activities, interactive sessions and supported writing opportunities, we will develop students’ confidence in navigating the wide demands of the GCSE specification, and achieving well in examination. Throughout the day, reference will be made to specific feedback from Examiners’ reports.


  • A memorable, valuable and interactive day, with LIVE performances from professional actors, leading Drama experts
  • Watch and participate in practical rehearsals and performance, and gain insight and confidence in how to approach the written exam
  • Gain first hand guidance and crucial insight from experts
  • Find out more about high quality exam responses
  • Understand how to improve your 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 your own practical work in school or college
  • Explore a range of techniques to apply to scripted performances in Year 11
DATE & LOCATION London | Monday 21 February 2022
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference

*Venue subject to change dependent on student numbers 

10.15 – 10.30am: What the examiners want to see

  • The examiner’s perspective: what examiners are looking for in each component – an overview
  • Roles and responsibilities in theatre: interactive student quiz!

10.30 – 10.45am: Exploring Production Analysis

10.45 – 11.15am: Acing the Written Exam  

  • What to look for in a performance and how to focus on the demands of the question
  • Using drama-specific vocabulary properly
  • Analysing and evaluation: how to get high marks by doing these well
  • Expert advice on how to increase confidence and marks through structuring a response to a section A: multiple choice.
  • Expert advice on how to increase confidence and marks through structuring a response to a section B: four questions on a given extract
  • Expert advice on how to increase confidence and marks through structuring a response to a section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production

11.15 – 11.30am: BREAK – submit your questions to our experts – the best wins a prize

11.30 – 12.30pm: Practical Workshop with the grades in mind

  • Enhancing devising skills in response to a stimulus
  • Top tips on how to record valuable information during the devising process to make written reports easier and more manageable

12.30 – 13.00pm: Your set text

  • How to develop a confident overview of a set text
  • Top tips for approaching an extract in rehearsal
  • From rehearsal to exam room: how students can get high marks when writing about their ideas
  • Structuring answers on set texts for top marks – ensuring that your response is relevant and detailed

13.00 – 13.40pm: Lunch

13.40 – 13.50pm: Question Box

  • Question and answer session with the experts
  • Answers to the student quiz

13.50 – 14.35pm: Improving Theatrical / Design Skills for all candidates

  • Creating effects for the audience: how to use design to communicate dramatic intention and support the action of a scene or play
  • How to use social, historical and cultural context to inspire designs
  • The Dragon’s Den challenge: creating a design concept in 15 minutes

14.35 – 14.45pm: Break

14.40 – 15.15pm: GCSE Drama Performance Skills           

This final practical session allows students to experience exercises used by professional actors to become aware of, and remedy, common issues found in GCSE performance

  • Encouraging a vocal range – using the voice effectively
  • Character starting points: creating and sustaining character effectively for maximum marks
  • Understanding the examination criteria to improve marks in devising and scripted work
  • Q&A and practice session

15.15 – 15.20pm: Final Top Tips

  • Summary, final top tips, technique and revision tips

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.

Sasha Silver

Sasha currently teaches Key Stage 3, GCSE and A level Drama at St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls, a school that is recognised as being in the top 5% of mainstream schools nationally. She also has experience as Most Able Coordinator at Key Stage 3 & 4, developing whole school strategies to stretch and challenge Most Able students across all subjects. Alongside her teaching she is an examiner for AQA A level Drama & Theatre Component 3 and has also been an examiner for AQA GCSE Drama. Additionally, Sasha has experience as a professional theatre director and choreographer.

Students £25+VAT

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