This NEW conference, designed for students studying any of the 4 exam boards (AQA, EdExcel, OCR or Eduqas), aims to inspire, extend and consolidate students’ learning in the three components studied for GCSE: Devising; Performing an extract, analysing and evaluating a live 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. Throughout the day, reference will be made to specific feedback from Examiners’ reports.


  • A fully interactive day: 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 teaching 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 AND LOCATION  London | Friday 24 January 2019
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference


10.15 – 10:30am
Welcome: 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 – 10.45 am
Exploring Live Production Analysis
Actors will perform a short extract from a published play

10.45 – 11.15 am
After the performance, we will explore

  • 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 question

11.15 -11.30 am  
BREAK and Quiz box submit your questions to our experts – the best wins a prize

11.30 –12.30pm
Devising Skills – practical workshop

  • 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

12.30-1 pm
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

1.00 – 1.40pm

1.40 – 1.50pm
Quiz box

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

1.50 – 2.35 pm
Improving 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
  • Typical exam questions and student strengths and weaknesses in their answers
  • The Dragon’s Den challenge: creating a design concept in 15 minutes

2.35 – 2.45 pm

2.45 – 3.20 pm
Extending 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
  • Question and Answer and practice session with an actor

3.20 – 3.40 pm
Final Top Tips

  • Next steps – effective revision strategies for GCSE Drama
  • What examiners are looking for in top answers, across the assessments
  • Consolidating skills and individual target setting – how to apply what you’ve learned today to your own work back in school

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.

Students £25+VAT

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

GCSE Drama