Outstanding teaching and learning

The plays, themes and cultural history explored, combined with the highest standards of communication, analytical and evaluative skills provide an academic rigour to the practical and written work.

Excellence in theatre performance

We are student-centered and believe that young people should be treated as artists, as their work builds on great effort, imagination, personal ideas and creative problem solving. We teach students the very highest standards of performance skills to allow their creative ideas to be unleashed at Kingsdale and beyond.

Explore our heritage and modernity

We explore our heritage and modernity through a diverse range of plays that encompass the cannon and look beyond Britain to international works. We seek to challenge the lack of presence of female writers and those from diverse backgrounds in British theatre.

Bridge the gap in cultural capital

Through opportunities to delve into the cultural and literary history of drama our students are able to build their knowledge and cultural capital. Drama is used to promote creativity, problem solving, creative leadership, self-discipline and confidence. Outside of the classroom our students are able to learn from professional actors, writers and directors to help them understand the opportunities in the arts, empowering them as cultural citizens.


  • Brand new theatre with state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment.
  • Two large classroom/performance spaces.
  • 30 iPads for student use. 



Whole school production in July 2020

Part 1


Love Letter to London

An audio story with songs about our city

Featuring songs by Eddie Grant, Amy Winehouse, the Kinks, Lily Alan, The Jam, Ralph McTell, Duffy and The Clash

This production was created in in June and July 2020 with the collaboration of over a hundred students. Rehearsed, recorded and produced entirely online with a cast in years 7-13 at Kingsdale Foundation School.

This production was rehearsed and recorded online with ten different groups collaborating online. Some were led by the fantastic teachers in music and drama whilst others were directed by the incredible talents of our GCSE and A level students.

Producer: Mr Golding

Musical director: Mr Williams

Directors: Mr Golding, Ms Coulbeck, Ms Dunbar & Mr Hurst

The incredible student directors: Tilly Cater-Thorp, Alice Hagan & Shani Dabo, Emma Watts, Elsa Kirkman, Jesamine Pickford, Amelia Mitchell and Rosie Pierce

Words by Craig Taylor with extracts from Londoners and One Million Plays about Britain.


Lower school production in December 2019

‘Henry V’ by William Shakespeare

This piece began in June 2019 as a full script (over 3hrs!) and has had the creative ideas, decisions and problem solving skills of over 130 students.

For many young audiences there are great challenges in staging a Shakespeare play. The first is of course clarity of language and this has been achieved through the intensive text rehearsals across lunchtimes and after school in the early months.

The next challenge is to fill in the gaps. How also does Henry end up as king? How do we stage a battle? We worked as an ensemble to devise these links, created sequences in collaboration.

Technically there is a lot going on behind the scenes in this production. Helming this are the stage managers, Luella and Max, who have been across rehearsals and will run the show tonight. The backstage club designed the videos, lighting and sound. Tonight they will be running the technical equipment independently.

Together this band of brothers have not only created a fine piece, but have learnt how to work as an ensemble. Well done to all involved across the process and performance.


Upper school production in December 2019:

New Writing Showcase

Across the last academic year, a group of our sixth form drama students participated in a new writing programme ran by the National Theatre called ‘New Views’. This culminated in the creation of original plays and our group was recognised as the best the visiting playwright had seen this year.

Of almost 400 plays, Tilly Cater Thorp and Alida Charles Damtoft were long-listed and Alida then went into be shortlisted as one of 9. Her work was staged professionally at the National Theatre in July 2019. Tilly was also recognised for her potential and offered a place on a National Theatre playwright workshop.


  • Old Vic Our Theatre project - watch and review live theatre.
  • Backstage theatre club - learn about Lighting, Sound, Puppetry, Set and video design.

All students in year 7 and 8 receive one lesson of drama each week. The schemes of learning allow all students to access a diverse and challenging contemporary curriculum involving scripted, devised and drama informed by theatrical styles and practitioners.

KS3 Curriculum

Year 7

  1. Play writing
  2. Scripted performance & live theatre review
  3. Mime & Silent Film
  4. Historical Drama
  5. Commedia dell’arte
  6. Greek myths & classical theatre

Year 8

  1. Contemporary text: ‘For All I Care’ & live theatre review
  2. Issue based devising
  3. Shakespeare in performance
  4. Le Coq & Complicite
  5. Devising

KS3 Assessment Objectives

AO1: Creating - Create, develop and refine ideas to communicate meaning. (30%)

AO2: Directing - Direct others in the creation and development of drama (10%)

AO3: Performing - Apply theatrical skills in live performance. (30%)

AO4: Evaluating - Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others. (20%) 

Assessment balances process, performance and reflection in a way that highlights the equal value placed on the different stages of the creative process. The objectives also lead seamlessly onto further study at KS4, for those who choose GCSE Drama.


Online study guide for KS3 Drama

GCSE Drama (AQA) 


Drama is a very popular GCSE choice for students at Kingsdale, highlighting the outstanding teaching & learning as well as the excellent opportunities we offer for students to watch live theatre and be involved in projects in partnerships with professional theatres. The course offers a practical focus and is underpinned by rigorous written coursework and examination.

GCSE Course Structure

Component 1: Understanding Drama

What’s assessed:

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study one set play
  • Analysis and evaluation of live theatre

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 1hr 45m (40% of GCSE)

Component 2: Devising Drama

What’s assessed:

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it’s assessed:

  • Devising log (30% of GCSE)
  • Devised performance (10% of GCSE)

Component 3: Texts in practice

What’s assessed:

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (as performer or designer)
  • Free choice of scripted play

How it’s assessed:

  • Performance of extract 1 (10% of GCSE)
  • Performance of extract 2 (10% of GCSE)

GCSE Assessment Objectives

  • AO1: Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance. (20%)
  • AO2: Apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance. (30%)
  • AO3: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed. (30%)
  • AO4: Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others. (20%)

Online Study Guides:

Year 10

A Taste of Honey


Year 11

The 39 Steps


A Level Drama & Theatre (AQA)


This academic course blends practical drama with the social, cultural and historical context of the texts and ideas being explored.


Students are expected to meet university standards in terms of the level of organisation, independence and application in class and during independent study. This includes:

  • Completing 2 hours of independent rehearsal per week
  • Completing 2 hours of written homework
  • Completing 1 hour of independent reading accompanied by detailed Cornell notes.

Course structure

Component 1: Drama and theatre (40%)

This component involves a practical and academic examination and exploration of performance text. The challenging written exam covers how texts convey meaning and how they are informed by their social, cultural and historical contexts. Section C sees students analysing and evaluating the work of live theatre makers based on a visit to a professional production.

 Assessment: Written exam

  • Section A: one question on ‘Metamorphosis’ by Berkoff after Kafka (25 marks)
  • Section B: one three-part question on a given extract from ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles (30 marks)
  • Section C: one question on the work of theatre makers in a live theatre production (25 marks)

Component 2: Creating original drama (30%)

Students begin by developing knowledge and skills in a variety of forms and styles of theatre including verbatim, Artaud, Complicite, Gecko and Punchdrunk. Groups will then create their own original performance influenced by a style of theatre. The creative process is analysed and evaluated in coursework.

Assessment: Working notebook (40 marks) / Devised performance (20 marks)

Component 3: Making Theatre (30%)

This involves practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts from different plays. Then apply performance style to the performance of one of the extracts to an examiner. A reflective report on their approach to the text and style is submitted.

Assessment:Reflective report (20 marks) / Devised performance of extract 3 (40 marks)

Course Benefits

This course prepares students to be culturally rich citizens. They learn to evaluate objectively and develop a sound appreciation of the influences that cultural and social contexts can have on decision making. It also provides students with transferable skills including communication, problem solving, and leadership.

Visiting theatre companies and workshops continue to be a wonderful source of inspiration and incredible insight into the productions our students are learning about. Our 2019-20 workshop programme includes: 

  • Actors of Dionysus presenting a workshop on Greek tragedy, chorus and Antigone.
  • Young Vic held a fascinating workshop into the language, context and physical theatre of Lorca’s Blood Wedding, ran by the assistant director.
  • Donmar Warehouse provided a captivating workshop into the context of ‘Appropriate’ with an examination of slavery, racism and the lasting influence of the US Civil War.
  • The Old Vic presenting a workshop on modern Russia, espionage and satire in connection to ‘A Very Expensive Poison’.
  • Theatre Peckham hosted a Q&A and workshop on bullying and ‘Prevent’. 
  • Mountview drama school are running their ‘bridge project’ with students across year 10-12. This involves professional practitioners running a series of workshops to introduce students into what is involved with drama school. Following this they will create an original piece that will be performed in a showcase event at Mountview.


The drama department always aims to offer the best opportunities for live theatre. Our 2019-20 programme of trips includes:

  • A Very Expensive Poison (Old Vic)
  • The Son (West End)
  • Noises Off (West End)
  • Appropriate (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Romeo & Juliet (Mountview Drama School)
  • Blood Wedding (Young Vic)
  • Extremism (Theatre Peckham)
  • Fairview (Young Vic)
  • A Christmas Carol (Old Vic)
  • Nora (Young Vic)
  • The Three Sisters (National Theatre)
  • Orpheus (Young Vic)

Mr Quin Golding – Head of Drama

Mrs Victoria Kelly – Second in charge of Drama / Head of Year

Ms Bethan Coulbeck – Teacher of Drama / Head of Year

Ms Kirsty Dunbar – Teacher of Drama / Teacher of English

Mr Russell Milton – Teacher of Drama

Ms Storme Toolis– Teacher of Drama


A warm welcome to all visitors on site today as part of our Year 6 Open Events for September 2022 entry. More info… https://t.co/kZ4bb7RRWl