Year 7 Drama

Unit Content

Unit 1

Introduction to Public Speaking

This unit introduces students to the drama studio environment. Students focus on working effectively in small groups and individually as they prepare to present a short talk to the rest of the class. The skills this activity requires are developed on a lesson-by-lesson basis, focusing sequentially on body language, use of voice, topic choice, engaging the audience and dealing with nerves. Students have free rein over their choice of topic and are encouraged to choose something they are enthusiastic about, in order that they can pass on their enthusiasm to the audience.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Knowing the ingredients of an engaging public speech
  • Knowing the requirements of successful small-group and individual rehearsal

Key skills developed:

  • How to use body language and vocal contours to convey meaning
  • How to maximise audience engagement
  • How to prepare effectively for a public performance

Assessment: Learning is assessed formatively throughout the unit by the teacher and through feedback from peers. Students receive summative, written feedback from the teacher following the final performance.

Unit 2 

Character Skills

Students build on the skills and knowledge developed in their first unit, further strengthening core character skills such as facial expression, use of body language, use of voice, movement, gesture and reaction to others. They learn to create a fully developed, believable character using the fundamental building blocks of all character-based work. We spend time exploring each aspect of character and then bring these elements together in a hot-seating exercise at the end of the unit.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Knowing the components that together create a believable character
  • Understanding that developing character skills requires experimentation

Key skills developed:

  • How to use body language and vocal contours with increasing sophistication
  • How to use movement, gesture and reaction to others to sustain character
  • How to portray a believable character in the context of hot-seating exercise

Assessment: Learning is assessed formatively throughout the unit by the teacher and through feedback from peers.

Units 3 & 4


Students build on the character skills they developed in the previous unit in the context of this first set of script-focused activities. Roald Dahl's Matilda is a fun and accessible work, which allows students to concentrate on important elements of drama. Students experiment with a range of skills including aspects of physical theatre. Matilda provides an opportunity for students to work in a group for an extended period of time and to engage fully with a challenging and fun project. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding the mechanics of scripted theatre
  • Understanding aspects of physical theatre

Key skills developed:

  • How to experiment confidently with character development
  • How to improvise freely
  • How to collaborate with peers effectively to create a well-structured performance
  • How to self-assess critically against established dramatic criteria

Assessment: Students benefit from immediate oral feedback from the teacher in lessons. They receive peer feedback and have the opportunity to assess themselves according to established criteria. Finally, students receive written feedback from the teacher following each group performance.