National 4 Drama



Course Overview

In National 4 Drama pupils use the knowledge and understanding gained in the S3 course to create original work and begin to develop an understanding about professional theatre and production skills. There are many opportunities to enhance literacy and numeracy skills through the completion of folios and practical production skills.


The aims of the Course are to enable learners to:

    • generate and communicate thoughts and ideas when creating drama
    • develop a knowledge and understanding of a range of social and cultural influences on drama
    • develop a range of skills in presenting drama
    • develop knowledge, understanding and the use of a range of production skills when presenting drama
    • explore form, structure, genre and style


Course Content

The National 4 Drama course consists of two units – Drama Skills and Production Skills, then finally, the 'Added Value unit'.


Unit One: Drama skills (June - Oct) - Devising from stimulus to create an original piece of work. The stimulus enables positive discussion of many different topics. They are all open to interpretation but encourage discussion towards issues prevalent in today’s society or interesting themes or an historical event they can research further. Pupils are encouraged to explore this stimulus thoroughly, individually and in groups, in a safe and supportive environment, always supported by their class teacher. Pupils collaborate in mixed ability small groups and take responsibility for writing and directing a section of a play and performing in the performance at some point. This unit is completed with a variety of activities - whole class discussion, group discussion, individual exploration, working in groups to develop their piece, leading activities, being directed in a piece, a written folio to support and document the practical activities and it leads up to a public performance of the piece.

Unit Two: Production skills (Oct - Dec) - Pupils specialise in two production roles from the following, Acting, Lighting Design, Sound Design, Set Design, Props Design, Costume design and Make-up design. They will explore this in relation to an extract of a text, chosen in collaboration with the class teacher for a text that interests and inspires them. They then need to prepare that scene for performance. Each production skills is explored practically in the class and the pupils work independently and in a group preparing the two areas they specialise in for performance and submit a written folio to support and document the practical activities.

Final Unit - Added Value Unit - (Jan - Apr) - The pupils choose a specialism and work to present a piece (devised or scripted) supported with a folio.


The Drama Skills unit has two outcomes which are assessed July to October.  Assessed through teacher observation, recorded class workshops, folios, written and verbal evaluations and performances.

Drama skills: Outcome 1

The candidate will:

1        Explore drama skills by:

1.1     Responding to stimuli to develop ideas for drama

1.2     Developing drama skills to communicate ideas

1.3     Using drama skills to communicate ideas

1.4     Reflecting on their own work and that of others 


Drama Skills: Outcome 2

The candidate will:

2        Contribute to the drama process by:

2.1     Planning and devising drama

2.2     Using acting skills in order to portray character

2.3     Exploring form, structure, genre and style

2.4     Reflecting on their own work and that of others


The Drama: Production Skills Unit has two outcomes which are assessed October to December. This unit involves using an extract of a text to develop skills in a specialised design area and producing a performance to demonstrate these skills.

Production Skills: Outcome 1

The candidate will:

1        Use production skills in drama by:

1.1     Responding to stimuli and generating ideas for a production

1.2     Exploring production skills to communicate ideas

1.3     Reflecting on the use of production skills

Production Skills: Outcome 2

The candidate will:

2        Develop production skills in drama by:

2.1     Developing production skills within a production

2.2     Applying production skills within a production

2.3     Reflecting on their contribution to the drama

The course concludes with the 'Added Value' unit - Pupils choose their specialism for this unit and it is assessed through submitted folio, performance and written and verbal evaluation.


The drama department supports a positive homework policy.

Homework is set each week; this may be in the form of script writing or folio work. Pupils must maintain a folio for each unit which will need to be updated with notes and research regularly. During the summer holidays pupils must write their section of script and add research to their folios. In addition, pupils must be prepared to make regular visits to the theatre. The drama department arrange several theatre visits throughout the year.

Recording and Reporting

The units are internally assessed using the folio and performance as evidence which will form the basis for the comments in the pupil report issued to parents in March while the S4 parent’s night in late-November provides an opportunity to discuss successes and/or concerns.


Homework Diary

S4 Summer Homework

WRITER/ACTOR/DIRECTOR ROLE- Use the scene by scene breakdown and notes about characters that were agreed in class to write your section of the play. Make sure that you communicate with the rest of your group over the holidays and try to arrange a meeting so that you can read through the sections together.

PRODUCTION CREW ROLES- Create ground plans, sketches, notes and designs for your chosen production skills and justify in note form your ideas, cut out ideas from magazines and suggest colours for designs, make lists of things you will need and where you will get them from in your yellow jotters.Communicate with the rest of your group to make sure that your designs and plans work with the sections of the play and arrange to meet up with your group to read over the play and discuss your designs.