The John Warner School

Drama and Music

Drama and Music


Course Description

Year 9 serves as a foundation year for developing and consolidating the skills needed for examined performances. During this year, students will be introduced to new drama techniques and terminology, creating and presenting scripted and improvised performances. They will also experience live theatre and develop their observation and analytical skills.

In Years 10 and 11, students will follow the AQA GCSE syllabus. This course offers the opportunity for pupils to develop their practical skills in drama and enhance their appreciation and understanding of performance through devised work and a range of play texts. The course encourages pupils to develop the following:

  • An understanding and response to a range of play texts and dramatic styles; lifting drama from the page to the stage and clearly communicating characters’ intentions to an audience.
  • Increased self and group awareness and the ability to appreciate and evaluate the work of others.
  • Skills of creativity, self-confidence, concentration, self-discipline and communication.
  • Excellent social and expressive skills, all of which are tied into the notion of professionalism at all times.

Assessment Format

Unit 1 – 42401 Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins - 80 marks – 40%

Students choose two questions from three sections:

A – Practical work completed during the course

B – Study and performance of a scripted play

C – Study of a live theatre production seen

Coursework/Controlled Assessment

Unit 2 – 42402 Practical Work - 120 marks – 60%

Candidates are required to present practical work for two controlled assessment options, each with a weighting of 30% (60 marks each).



Course Description

The GCSE music course incorporates the vital components of the study of music: performing, composing, listening and appraising. The GCSE music course is 60% coursework, which is worked on in lessons and in individual instrument lessons, and 40% examination which is based primarily on listenings of eight set pieces (including Star Wars and Queen!)

Music lessons at GCSE are very different from the lessons in Lower School. The groups are usually quite small, and the learning environment is much more informal. Students learn a lot by studying the music of others (including their own work) and discussing it within the group. This enables them to see what can be effective in musical composition. We endeavour to perform music regularly either as a group or as individuals in the lessons.

Taking the GCSE music course over two or three years allows for much more practical time to develop as a musician. If you are not currently taking instrument lessons, there is still enough time for you to start learning and become competent at playing an instrument or singing over the period. Students have already developed basic keyboard skills and ukulele skills which can be easily built upon.

Students in Year 8 who will study over three years may have an additional option and request to take a Music BTEC Level 2 practical qualification instead of the GCSE. This could be possible if we receive many students who are more interested in a practical music making option in performance. This option would benefit those who are less proficient on a specific instrument but enjoy playing and making music. If students are interested in this alternative option, they should mention it at the options evening, individual pathways meetings or speak to Miss Tucker for more information.

Assessment Format

The GCSE Music course is a practical course. 60% of the course is about music that YOU produce as coursework before the listening examination in Year 11 which is 40%.

Performing (30%)- Pupils submit one solo performance and one group performance (either on an instrument or singing). These pieces are chosen by the student and their teacher and can be from any style of music. Your recorded performances do not need to be performed in front of the class or other people. It can be just between you and your teacher if you are nervous about performing.

Composing (30%)- Pupils submit two compositions/arrangements – both of which need to be related to different topics studied during the course. We extend composition ideas learned in Years 7 and 8 and discuss how to compose in different styles, during the lessons. There is something very satisfying about writing your own songs!




Instrumental Music 1700-1820

Vocal Music

Music for Stage and Screen


J.S. Bach- 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto No 5

H Purcell- Music for a While

S Schwartz- ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked

Afro Celt Sound System- Release

L Van Beethoven- 1st Movement from Piano Sonata no 8 ‘Pathetique’

Queen- Killer Queen

J Williams- ‘Main Title/ rebel blockade runner’ from Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope

Esperanza Spalding- Samba Em Preludio


Listening (40%)- The examination component to this course is taken in Year 11 and is worth only 40% of the total grade as 60% is practical. For the listening examination we study eight pieces from four different areas of study which are listed below. Questions on the examination are mostly related to these eight pieces which we learn about in class.


Black Tie Affair, 'Feelin' Good'

Mrs Grace Yesufu