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Drama: Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5 Performing Arts

Here at St Peter’s School we offer The BTEC National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts.  This Level 3 qualification is equivalent to an A Level and provides an introduction to the study of performing arts. When studied alongside other level 3 qualifications it supports a student’s progression to Further and Higher Education.  Opportunities are built into the course for students to showcase their skills through practical and written assessments.

What is the course content?

The Extended Certificate comprises 3 mandatory units and one optional unit.  In Year 12 we complete 2 mandatory units:-

  • Unit 1 Investigating Practitioners’ work
  • Unit 2 Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance.

In Year 13 we complete 1 mandatory unit:

  •  Unit 3 Group Performance workshop,

and 1 optional unit;

  • Unit 19 Acting Styles.

Units and how they are assessed.

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners’ work ( 30% of the overall qualification)

  • Students investigate the work of different practitioners in the Performing Arts, including contemporary theatre companies, and analyse how practitioners communicate themes in their work.
  • This Unit is assessed externally by Edexcel.  Students are set an investigation task by Edexcel and have 4 weeks to complete preparatory work and research.  They then complete an assessment under supervised conditions in the summer.

Unit 2 :  Developing skills and techniques for Live Performance ( 20% of the overall qualification)

  • In this Unit students develop skills and techniques, through a series of workshops, classes and exercises, in at least 2 performance styles, currently Naturalism/Realism and Theatre of Cruelty.   This unit culminates in a live performance to an invited audience. Students also submit an  Actor’s log which forms evidence of their ability to review and reflect on their development as performers.
  • The Unit is assessed internally and moderated externally by Edexcel.

Unit 3 : Group Performance Workshop( 30% of the overall qualification)

  • Students work collaboratively to create a performance in response to a stimulus provided by Edexcel. They complete a Process Log which highlights the different stages of their group work, collaboration skills and evaluation of their own contribution.
  • Assessment of the practical work and of the process log is completed externally by Edexcel.

Optional Unit : Unit 19 Acting Styles ( 20% of the overall qualification)

The optional unit is selected by staff to build on the strengths of the students while also challenging them.  Currently we are delivering Unit 19: Acting Styles.  This Unit offers students the opportunity to explore a range of acting styles which they may not have covered in the course already.  We have organised for proponents of key styles to run workshops on site, for example Frantic Assembly.   We aim to foster more links with professionals as this complements the vocational nature of the BTEC Extended Certificate.

Assessment in internal and externally moderated by Edexcel, including presentations, recorded footage of practical workshops, and a Performance log.


Assessment at BTEC

Students are given a grade for each Unit: Pass, Merit , or Distinction.  These grades covert to a final grade and to UCAS points for further study.