Endurance Contests (Unit 1)

‘Endurance Contests’ is the first unit of the GCSE course. It accounts for 30% of the final grade.  We will explore a range of stimulus material including ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ (a film and novel); ‘Big Brother’ – the Reality TV phenomenon; and ‘Enduring Love’ (a novel by Ian MacEwan).

The unit involves 6 hours of assessed practical tasks based around this stimulus material/theme. Students also submit a written portfolio to document the practical work created (2000 words maximum).


By the end of this unit it is expected that all students will: be able to select appropriate drama strategies to explore key issues, using still image, hotseating and thought tracking with confidence.

Most students will: use movement, gesture, voice and facial expression inventively in creating pieces of drama in response to a stimulus

Some learners will have progressed further and will:  be able to explore the stimulus, drawing out the significant contrasts in pieces of drama that have an impact on an audience.


This unit is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated (both practical and written work).

Extended homework tasks

Students complete a ‘Drama Diary’.

How to help your child

It would be helpful if parents could encourage students to keep a drama diary at the end of each practical session.  The diary is not assessed and is a way for students to document what happened in the practical session, through notes, diagrams, bullet points etc so that when they come to write up the work for their documentary response under controlled conditions they have some notes to refer to.