This NEW course, is intended for all teachers who wish to ensure the high achievement of students in the written elements of A Level Drama and Theatre courses, across the four examination boards. By providing tried and tested teaching resources and techniques, the course will help teachers raise attainment in students of all abilities and experience by improving confidence, knowledge and a stronger understanding of what examiners are looking for.


By the end of the course delegates will have:

  • Develop a range of approaches to tackling set texts in practical workshops and written lessons
  • Gain an increased knowledge of how to use feedback and marking strategies to raise attainment
  • Improve understanding of the key elements of the written exams, technical terminology, appropriate research, students’ own theatrical experience
COURSE DATE London | Friday 12 June 2020
* Please note, this course will be held online on the designated date if it’s not possible to run in venues.
  • Heads of Drama
  • Heads of Performing Arts
  • NQTs and those teaching the specification for the first time
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 – 10.30am
Starting with the End in Mind 

  • Building the foundations for A level at GCSE: dovetailing your course to get the best start to the course
  • Approaches to developing students’ application of technical terminology to support written work
  • Student strengths and weaknesses, such as essay writing, and building that into your teaching
  • Ideas for resources and making the most of digital technology

10.30 – 11.00pm
Writing about Live Theatre Productions and the Work of Theatre Makers  

  • Developing students’ confidence in analysing live work
  • Differentiating for students who have limited experience of theatre
  • Choosing productions and questions that best suit your candidates
  • Supporting lower ability students in written work, including the preparation of production
    notes: strategies that work best
  • Practical strategies to stretch and challenge all students

11.00 – 11.15am
Discussion: coffee break

11.15 – 1.00pm
Component 1: A creative workshop approach to teaching the set texts  

  • Making links between the live productions and students’ own set text
  • Practical strategies and approaches to teaching the set text: practical and workshop based
  • Teaching essay writing skills to meet the top mark bands
  • Aiming for excellence: how to achieve the top marks through use of technical terms, theatrical understanding and inventiveness
  • Supporting students who struggle with written work

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 2.45pm
Teaching Skills to Answer Extract Based Exam Questions 

  • How candidates can meet the Assessment Objectives for the extract based questions
  • Ways to teach essay writing skills which make the demands of the written paper less intimidating and allow inventiveness to flourish
  • Encouraging your students to focus on audience experience
  • Making feedback on written work meaningful to encourage students’ progression

2.45 – 3.30pm
Teaching texts practically to allow an overview of the set texts – practical workshop

  • This practical text-based workshop will focus on developing students’ directing skills. Delegates are invited to bring extracts from their chosen texts with them to explore
  • This session provides ideas of how to encourage students to take creative risks in imagining their own production, and encourage influences from their wider theatrical experience in  their approach to directing in order to access the higher mark bands of the criteria.

3.30 – 3.45pm
Questions and Evaluation

Susie Ferguson

Susie Ferguson 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.