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Higher Drama

This exciting and challenging course focuses on the skills of acting, directing and design whilst investigating a variety of dramatic contexts and promoting students knowledge and understanding of theatre.  It will allow all to extend the Creative Drama Skills developed in the BGE and National Drama and to acquire new skills.

All Learners will:

  • generate and communicate thoughts and ideas when creating drama
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural influences on drama
  • develop complex skills in presenting and analysing drama
  • develop knowledge and understanding of complex production skills when presenting drama
As learners develop practical skills creating and presenting drama, they will also develop knowledge and understanding of cultural and social influences on drama. 
External Assessment:
Performance 60%
Written Exam 40%


In this Unit, learners will apply complex drama skills and develop ways of communicating thoughts and ideas to an audience. They will learn how to respond to stimuli, including text. They will also learn how to portray character in a range of ways and explore form, structure, genre and style when creating and presenting drama. 
Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural  influences on drama. They will also learn how to evaluate their own progress and that of other learner.


In this Unit, learners will explore and apply complex production skills. Learners will  learn how to respond to stimuli, including text, to communicate ideas for a production.  They will develop ideas and production skills within their chosen production roles.
In GHS the department prides itself on the pupil choice available to learners in this unit.  Learners can select from Acting, Directing and Design (Set plus 1 other production role).



The performance will have 60 marks (60% of the total mark).

The performance has two sections: a performance and a preparation for performance. 
Pupil choose from Acting, Directing or Design.
The weighting of marks across the two Sections is 50 marks for the performance in thechosen role of acting, directing or design, and 10 marks for the preparation for performance.
This is assessed by an external SQA Examiner.


WRITTEN PAPER (2018, there will be changes for 2019)

The question paper will have 40 marks (40% of the total mark).

Section 1 will have 20 marks.
This section will deal with the analysis of a selected text. Learners will be required to demonstrate knowledge of a text they have studied in terms of content and the social, historical and/or theatrical context, and to show an understanding of how the text could 
be communicated to an audience through performance.
The question paper will pose questions that allow learners to provide an extended response from the perspective of either an actor or director or designer in preparation for an intended production. Learners will be credited on their ability to make use of appropriate quotations. 
Section 2 will have 20 marks.
This section will take the form of a written analysis of a performance that the learner 
has seen.This may be a live or, if necessary, a recorded theatrical performance.
Performance analysis will consider areas such as:
  • the genre, theme and social, historical and/or theatrical context of the performance piece
  • the company performing the play
  • the performance space
  • the director’s intentions and effectiveness
  • the acting and development of characters
  • the design concepts and their effectiveness — set, props, costume, make-up lighting, sound/effects
  • audience reaction
  • overall impact