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 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.


  • 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.
CONFERENCE DATE In school only
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 – 10.45am
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
  • 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
  • The evaluation challenge: how to make judgements about your own work and that of others

11.15 – 11.30am

11.30 – 12.30pm
Devising Skills – practical workshop

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

12.30 – 1.00pm
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

1.00 – 1.40pm

1.40 – 2.00pm
Questions and Answers with the expert

  • Question and Answer session
  • Answers to the student quiz

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

  • 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!

2.55 – 3.30pm
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

3.30 – 3.45pm
Plenary and next steps

  • Next steps – effective revision strategies for GCSE Drama
  • Answers to this morning’s quiz!

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