Performing Arts

Drama and Theatre

We have two drama studio/rehearsal spaces and the use of the MEC hall with stage, lighting and sound. Every year we produce at least one large scale production; recent productions include ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘High School Musical’, ‘Into The  Woods’, ‘We Will Rock You!’, ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘Chicago’. Every year we present a two-night Shakespeare Festival, and there are theatre trips throughout year, including to the RST, Stratford and the National Theatre, London.


The department is fully equipped with an Apple Mac 'Mini' suite, keyboards, tuned percussion and a samba kit. There are practice rooms for independent rehearsal and learning, all of which contain a piano. Students will need permission to work in these rooms during lunch and break times.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8, 9)


Students in Years 7-9 take part in one drama lesson per week. They are taught in form groups. Students engage with a range of topics at KS3, exploring a range of theatrical styles, as well as learning about production roles including lighting and sound design, costume and properties and stage management. They will be expected to create performances to show their practical understanding and complete a range of homework tasks. At the end of each unit there is a showcase of each form’s best work, leading to the Marlborough ‘Olivier’ Awards.

  • Year 7: Melodrama, Theatrical Movement, Shakespeare Festival, Theatre in Education, Classical Drama
  • Year 8: Naturalism, Physical Theatre, Shakespeare Festival, Brecht, Theatre in Education
  • Year 9: Acting for the camera, Shakespeare Festival, Berkoff. Students begin their GCSE Drama courses in Term 6 of Year 9.


Students take part in one music lesson per week, in form groups. Students should expect to learn about a range of topics at KS3, as per the National Strategy for Music, which will enhance their understanding of different musical styles and traditions. They will be expected to create performances using technology, alongside performing using instruments and voices in groups.

  • Year 7: Samba, Experimental Music, Programme Music, The Voice, Reggae and The Blues.
  • Year 8: Ground Bass, Minimalism, African Drumming, Dance Music, Finding Your Voice and Introduction to Musical Futures.
  • Year 9: Musical Futures: Band Workshops, including Pop music, Classical ensembles and composition projects. Computer work to involve compositions in preparation for GCSE.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10, 11)

Specifications can change between Year 11 and Year 10, so please double-check with your teacher.

  • Drama (Single Award GCSE)
    Specification: AQA GCSE in Drama (4240 – Legacy Specification); AQA GCSE Drama in Drama (8261 – from September 2016)
  • Music (Single Award GCSE)
    Specification: Edexcel GCSE in Music (7010)

More information can be found in our Key Stage 4 curriculum brochure.


Drama is a popular and very high achieving GCSE course that aims to teach practical skills such as voice production, characterisation and physical expression, in order to achieve numerous polished and memorised performances to invited audiences. Success in this subject comes from the willingness to work with others, often to tight deadlines, and to enjoy performing in front of an audience, combined with the ability to understand and write about drama theory and important practitioners. Students are expected to learn lines and take part in out of lesson rehearsals. During the course you will be required to work as part of a team, and to analyse, evaluate and reflect on your practical work. You will also get the chance to experience professional theatre, through theatre trips and workshops led by professional actors and directors. Drama is a subject where you are expected to join in and develop essential ‘soft skills’ skills of decision making, critical thinking and teamwork. We also hope the course will be interesting, exciting and fun!


Students study GCSE Music from the EdExcel Exam board. There is an element of performance and composition as well as a listening exam at the end of Year 11:



% of Final Mark


Students create two performances
(a) a solo performance, and
(b) an ensemble performance



Students create two compositions - One from a brief set by the exam board e.g. Minimalism and one decided by their teacher e.g. Dance Music.


Listening exam

Students study specific Set Works from various styles and traditions across the two years of the course, as well as developing skills they will be able to apply to 'un-heard' music. They will be examined on these Set Works and new extracts at the end of Year 11.


Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form)

  • Drama and Theatre Studies
    Examination board: AQA
  • Music (GCE AS leading to A2)
    Examination board: AQA

More information can be found is our Sixth Form curriculum brochure.

Music Out of Hours

There is a full programme of extra-curricular activities, which students are encouraged to partake in and which are displayed in every form room. Recent performances have included a 'Marlborough Live' festival, our annual 'Battle of the Bands' competition and a stage at Woodstock Fair. Our renowned Chamber Choir also puts on a series of concerts at Christmas, including carols in the library at Blenheim Palace, and various Christmas services around West Oxfordshire.

Extra Curricular Timetable

All students at KS4/5 are expected to partake in our full programme of extra-curricular events, and will be encouraged to join the New Music Elective as student mentors. Students are also encouraged to take up instruments.

Occ music lessons

Departmental team

Drama and Theatre

Mr J Pelling (Faculty and Subject Leader)
Miss N Batten
Mrs C Cutter


Miss A Jackson (Subject Leader)
Ms L Phipps