Exam Board: RSL

Drama Curriculum Summary
Year 7 This section will be updated shortly.
Year 8
Year 9
General Information

Drama actively engages pupils in a wide range of creative, practical and stimulating activities. The subject also helps to develop pupils as effective and independent pupils and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.The course works to develop competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills whilst encouraging pupils to work imaginatively and creatively in a collaborative context, generating and developing and communicating ideas.

Career paths in this subject can range from all areas of theatre work to teaching and even a career in Law. The subject provides pupils with many transferable skills which are highly valued in the workplace.

RSL Level 2 Creative and Performing Arts provides a strong and appropriate foundation for further progression to Drama courses, including A-level Drama and Theatre Studies, and enhanced vocational and career options. As this is a performance based course, pupils must be prepared to perform on a regular basis for their class mates and a wider audience.

What will I need to succeed?

  • The ability to work well in a group.  
  • A willingness to perform in lessons and sometimes publicly.
  • Good organisational skills.
  • The willingness to read scripts, learn lines and research topics for background information.
  • The ability to work to deadlines.
  • The ability to creatively and explore ideas practically.
  • The ability to communicate in good written English – this is especially important for the written Portfolio Assessment work and External Assessment.
  • A genuine interest in the theatre and dramatic arts.

Subject Content 

RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts – Acting

 Expected Assessment Requirements (Unclassified – Distinction *)

This is the equivalent of a full GCSE course offering a range of grades from Pass, Merit, Distinction to Distinction *. A Pass grade at RSL is equivalent to a level 4 pass on the GCSE grading system. There is no tiered entry.

Assessment is broken down into the following areas:

Acting Pathway

The qualification comprises of 50% externally assessed (core unit) content and 50% internally assessed (optional unit) content. Externally assessed core units include timed assessment under controlled conditions based on assignments set and marked by RSL. The remaining unit can be selected from a set of optional units and is internally assessed (i.e. teachers in centres provide assessment opportunities for, and assess the work produced by pupils). Pupils must pass both the core unit and optional unit to be awarded the Certificate.

External Core Live performance
Optional Unit Acting for Camera
Optional Unit Performing Text
Optional Unit Vocal Techniques – Acting
Optional Unit Working with Masks or Puppetry

 Over the course of the two years, Pupils must be willing to see live theatre. The department will run trips to the theatre throughout the academic year. Failure to see any live theatre over the course of two years will impact significantly upon critical understanding and appreciation, which is part of both the external unit and all internal units.


Is a Level 2 Qualification the equivalent of a GCSE?
Yes. A GCSE is also level 2 qualification. A RSL Level 2 Certificate is recognised at the same level as the GCSE. It just goes by a different name.

Will colleges recognise the qualification?
Yes they will. Colleges also offer courses that don’t carry the traditional A-Level moniker, so will be familiar with a variety of Level 2 courses that do not carry the GCSE name.

Why change from the GCSE?
The RSL offers a more practical approach to the study of Drama and acting than the current GCSE specification. Whilst there is still a theory element to the RSL course it is not as heavily weighted in favour of the theory as the GCSE (which is 70% in total). Pupils can focus more on the practical study of a practical subject.