Hellesdon High School

& Sixth Form Centre

Year 7 Drama

Introduction to Drama

During this opening scheme of work you will learn some of the key words used when discussing or writing about drama and the performing arts. You will be given the chance to explore key methods and dramatic conventions through practical work in groups, pairs and as an individual. The whole basis of the course is taught from a practical approach focusing on speaking and listening skills.


By the end of the scheme pupils should be able to:


  • Communicate in front of the class with some level of confidence
  • Work collaboratively in pairs and groups Understand drama vocabulary
  • Use drama vocabulary with confidence when evaluating performance
  • Set relevant targets for development
  • Perform in front of the whole class
  • Use imaginative and creative ideas in performance


Key Words

  • Devising: Devising is a term used in drama to describe the process of creating original performance. This is where people work together in companies to make their own plays.
  • Tableaux: Another word for this is a ‘still image’ or a ‘freeze-frame, a tableaux is a useful tool in drama for starting to devise drama and performance.
  • Levels: This is how the actors use the stage as a performance space and their bodies in relation to each other (e.g. sitting, standing, lying down) in order to create a dynamic performance.
  • Gesture: Gestures are the physical movements or signs that people create with their hands to enhance communication. In drama we use these intentionally to communicate a deeper meaning about the characters and their relationships, thoughts and feeling to the audience.
  • Characterisation: This is the actor’s development of a role within a piece of drama. To do this successfully you must consider how a character would speak, what words they would use, how would they walk, how would they react to different situations.
  • Proxemics: This is the word used to explain where the actors are on stage in relation to each other. This could be the physical distance between the actors and the relationship that this distance suggests to the audience.
  • Status: Status can be represented in performance in many different ways some examples of this might be use of levels, gesture, proxemics, facial expression and blocking. If someone has high status they have more dominance on stage, a lower status character might have fewer choices, less confidence or freedom.
  • Blocking: Blocking is the term used to describe how/where an actor moves on stage. This is important as some cues are physical rather than spoken.