Drama National 5

In National 5 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. 

Course Aims

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 5 Drama course consists of two units – Drama Skills and Production Skills, then finally, the Performance unit and written exam. 


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 - Performance  (Jan - Apr)
The pupils choose a specialism and work to present a piece from a published script supported with a folio. They must perform their extract to an invited audience. 


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

Drama skills: Outcome 1
The candidate will use a range of drama skills by:
 • Responding to a range of stimuli, including text, to develop ideas for drama
 • Developing a range of drama skills to communicate ideas
 • Applying a range of drama skills to communicate ideas
 • Evaluating their own work and that of others

Drama Skills: Outcome 2
The candidate will cotribute to the drama process by:
 • Researching, planning and devising drama
 • Using a range of acting skills in order to portray character
 • Exploring form, genre, structure and style
 • Evaluating their own work and that of others

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

Production Skills: Outcome 1
The candidate will analyse a range of production skills in drama by:
• Responding to stimuli, including text, to generate ideas for a production
•  Applying a range of production skills to communicate ideas
• Evaluating the use of a range of production skills

Production Skills: Outcome 2
The candidate will apply a range of production skills in drama by:
• Selecting appropriate ideas to develop a performance concept
• Applying a range of production skills within a production
• Evaluating their contribution to the drama and that of others

The course concludes with a Performance exam and a written exam:
The performance is worth 60 marks out of the total of 100 marks. This is 60% of the overall marks for the Course assessment. The Course will be graded A–D.

This performance has two Sections:
Section 1, titled ‘performance’ will have 50 marks
Section 2, titled ‘preparation for performance’ will have 10 marks

The Question paper will be under exam conditions and the time allocated to complete it will be 1 hour and 30 minutes. This paper is worth 60 marks out of the total 100 marks. This is 40% of the overall marks for the course assessment as the marks are scaled.

The written exam has two sections:
Section 1 - 20 Marks - This will be based on the acting or production role in your final performance exam. 
Section 2 - 40 Marks - You will choose from the stimulus provided in the paper, it may be a picture, poem, line of text or statement and the questions will be about creating a drama from the stimulus.


The drama department supports a positive homework policy.

Homework is set each week; this may be in the form of script writing, folio work or past paper questions. 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 visits to the theatre. The drama department may arrange theatre visits throughout the year.

Recording and Reporting 

The units are internally and informally 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.