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Drama achievement objectives

Just as drama is a collaborative art, in that students always work with others, the strands must be understood as being collaborative. They are woven into every process and piece of work in drama.

The strands are separated here merely as a way of helping students to understand each strand and where it fits in the work in drama.

For example, during the development phase, emphasis may fall on helping students to work with voice and projection (developing practical knowledge) but all work will have a context, will reflect a particular style of performance, will require some development of ideas, and will involve communication and interpretation.

Progressions in drama

Students’ progress in drama is demonstrated by their increasingly sophisticated ability to identify, apply, and reflect on drama concepts, processes, and performance. As they progress, students move from:

  • identifying the purposes of drama in different contexts, for example melodrama in Victorian England, to exploring how drama reflects culture and diversity, for example, Pasifika theatre in New Zealand, and then to analysing how drama challenges accepted ideas and practices in society, for example political theatre
  • choosing which techniques, conventions, and technologies to use when creating and performing their dramatic work, for example, using slow motion to show the car crash, to refining and integrating their use of techniques, conventions, and technologies for a specific form and purpose, for example, using Gestus in Brecht’s Epic Theatre or digital projection in eco-drama
  • using voice, body, movement, and space to create believable characters, relationships, and situations to manipulating these techniques to create focus, mood, counterpoint, alienation
  • using linear structure in creating and devising drama to using circular, non-linear, episodic, and thematic structures
  • reading, examining, and performing play texts with teenage themes and ideas, to reading, analysing, and performing play texts with more challenging universal themes and ideas
  • working with groups chosen by the teacher in a time and space determined by the teacher to making their own choices about how and where they work and their assessment
  • explaining what techniques, conventions and technologies they have used and why to analysing their choices in terms of subtext, society’s expectations, accepted notions, and the wider world.


Indicators are examples of the behaviours and capabilities that a teacher might expect to observe in a student who is achieving at the appropriate level. Teachers may wish to add further examples of their own.

Context elaborations

Context elaborations are possible contexts for learning, with a suggestion of how they might be used with the focus achievement objective.

The listed context elaborations are examples only. Teachers can select and use entirely different contexts in response to local situation, community relevance, and students’ interests and needs.

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Last updated June 25, 2012