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Level 7 drama achievement objectives

The four arts strands work in combination. Together they provide the basis for a well-rounded programme. They weave through all aspects of learning in drama such as role, performance, audience, and so on.

Generally, the strands are not taught alone. When focusing on teaching achievement objectives from one strand, teachers will usually find they can incorporate objectives from another strand.

The strands are separated here as a way of helping teachers to unpack the language of the strands and the objectives at this level.

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.

For any terminology used in the achievement objectives, or the indicators, check (and download) the Arts Online drama glossary.

Understanding drama in context (UC)

Achievement objectives

Students will:

  • research the purposes of production, performance, and technologies of drama in a range of contexts, including New Zealand drama
  • explore how drama reflects our cultural diversity.


  • Examines a variety of theatre forms and explores the development of each theatre form and the purpose of drama and theatre in the society of the time.
  • Views theatre and examines how elements, techniques, conventions, and technologies have been used to reflect theatre form, context, culture, and social and political issues.
  • Views, reads, and performs a variety of New Zealand plays that reflect different cultural world views, for example:
    - Makarita Urale’s Frangipani Perfume
    - Jacob Rajan’s The Guru of Chai
    - Hone Kouka’s The Prophet
    - Ken Duncum’s Horseplay
    - Lynda Chanwai-Earle’s Fire Mountain (Foh Sam).

Developing practical knowledge in drama (PK)

Achievement objective

Students will:

  • select and refine the use of techniques, conventions, and technologies in specific dramatic forms.


  • In scripted and devised contexts, makes choices about the use of drama techniques (voice, body, movement, space) to communicate characters, relationships, and situations for particular theatre forms and contexts.
  • In performance, selects and uses set, costume, lighting, make-up, props, and sound to reflect and enhance specific drama or theatre forms.
  • Chooses drama conventions and technologies to communicate a specific theatre form, for example, uses placards and film clips in epic theatre.
  • Uses drama conventions and technologies to translate research into performance in a specific drama/theatre form, for example, uses poetry to create chorus of voice and movement in eco-drama.

Developing ideas in drama (DI)

Achievement objective

Students will:

  • research, critically evaluate, and refine ideas to develop drama in specific dramatic forms.


  • Based on ideas from research, creates own short dramas, scenes, and performances using a particular drama or theatre form.
  • Uses elements and conventions to structure their own work in a variety of drama or theatre forms and contexts.
  • Creates a drama and identifies and critiques the conventions used in relation to the intended purpose of the work, the context (social, cultural, technological), and the drama or theatre form.
  • Identifies an issue and explores ways of communicating that issue through a specific drama or theatre form. For example, uses realism conventions (unity of time and place, fully developed characters) to explore and communicate a social issue.
  • Selects and uses images, ideas, and voices to ignite and develop ideas for the use of drama technologies to enhance and communicate important themes and concepts in the drama. For example, researches images, patterns, and colours of 1930s New Zealand to spark ideas for costume design for Bruce Mason’s The End of the Golden Weather.

Communicating and interpreting in drama (CI)

Achievement objectives

Students will:

  • rehearse and perform works in a range of dramatic forms
  • respond to and make critical judgements about rehearsal processes and performances.


  • Reads and performs scenes from plays from a variety of forms and contexts.
  • Creates dramas for a variety of purposes and in a variety of forms, cultural contexts, and spaces.
  • Discusses and evaluates the use of drama techniques, conventions, and technologies to communicate a social or political issue through a particular drama or theatre form in their own work and in the work of their peers.
  • Performs a production or technical role in the performance of a scene or play for an audience, interpreting the script or devised work in the role of director or designer.
  • Considers and evaluates rehearsal processes and performances to make informed adjustment that improve the outcomes.

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards are in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 in 2012. Level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resource pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external. Drama teachers can choose from two domains.

Learn more:

Not all learning in drama needs to be assessed. There is value in drama creation and the exploration of genre and style that may not be assessed but could be a valuable step towards more complex work in the following year of study.

Last updated August 28, 2020