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Level 3 Drama and Theatre


Level 3 Drama and Theatre 


Level three Drama and Theatre at Mount Aspiring College is a course designed to extend on skills gained in level two Drama. It will develop students’ skills and abilities in the communication of ideas through drama, to develop their understanding of the broader context of Drama, and to stimulate collaboration with others through the use of dramatic techniques and conventions. Level 3 is all about a student’s ability to make their own decisions when bringing roles to the stage and students must have clarity with what they want to achieve and an ability to select appropriate dramatic styles, techniques and conventions to get there. 

Students of Drama leave school ready to offer the workforce competent and effective skills in all forms of communication. They are problem solvers and able to find solutions thinking on their feet. They are adaptable and not afraid to risk and fail as it is in the very failures they have experienced in the process of their learning, that new and exciting ideas have generated.  They are able to work effectively in group and collaborative contexts understanding how to maximise their own skills alongside the skills of others making all work stronger. They are able to read people and situations with insight and adapt their responses according to the needs of what is immediately at hand. They are also able to be accountable as individuals understanding through experience the effort and discipline required to achieve work that has an impact in the world. 

The Drama course at Mount Aspiring College consciously supports the school’s overall ethos of self-responsibility and moreover, we believe the course embodies the school’s motto “Enjoy Success”. We look forward to your participation in this year’s Level 3 Drama course.

The course covers all four Drama Strands of the New Zealand Arts Curriculum. You will study Dramatic techniques and be able to apply them in a highly integrated way to character roles. You will Study conventions of drama, and use dramatic processing skills to create a devised performance. You will play a role in a major class production performed to a wider community audience. You will have the option to be assessed on other individual standards as deemed appropriate for individuals. These may include examining, and then interpreting for performance, a complex historical theatre form in its context or studying the work of a practitioner. As part of your wider learning, you will view live theatrical performances and critically analyse them. You will reflect on your own work through verbal and written forms.


The course will be assessed using a range of NCEA Level 3 Achievement Standards. There are 18 compulsory credits to sit. 14 of these will be assessed internally through live performances and classroom workshops. These will come from three assessment opportunities. The fourth will be assessed in an external examination at the end of the year.


  • Students who make a passionate commitment to this course can expect to achieve, alongside excellent results to contribute to NCEA Level 3, confidence and fluency in the Performing Arts that they can apply to many practical situations. The Key Competencies are part of our daily classroom process. You will develop a sense of self through developing an understanding of the eight C’s of Drama – Creativity, confidence, communication, compassion, culture, collaboration, critical thinking and challenge.
  • At Level Three you choose to work either as an individual or as a group for assessment. In class, and during technique learning, you will work largely as part of a larger ensemble (though their contributions are assessed individually), and through this, you will quickly learn the vital importance of teamwork and open, clear communication.
  • For students who wish to learn Performing Arts Technologies, there will be opportunities to be assessed on set and prop making, lighting, costume, sound, set, make-up and stage management. 

  • If appropriate dance standards may be selected by some students. 

The Department continues to work towards structuring all senior levels of Drama into a Theatre Company. This is intended to allow a greater depth and wider context of learning, maximising all performance opportunities both within the school and the wider community. It will allow students to gain further knowledge and leadership in the many and varied roles of professional theatre both on and off the stage. Students ability to include the Performing Arts Technology standards into their personal learning programme will greatly increase in this structure. Further information on the Performing Arts Technology standards can be found on the NZQA website. 


It is advisable that you have demonstrated a commitment to learning Drama between Year 9 and Year 12. Anyone intending to study Level 3 Drama is strongly advised to have studied Level 2. However, students who have not previously studied Leve 2 Drama have found success in a Level 3 course, therefore, any student is encouraged to come and chat to the HOD of Drama Emily McRae. 


Title Credit Value Internal / External UE Literacy R/W
3.1 (AS91512) Interpret scripted text to integrate drama techniques in performance. 4 Internal R
3.2 (AS91513) Devise and perform a drama to realise a concept. 5 Internal N

3.5 (AS91516)

Demonstrating understanding of

the work of a drama theorist or practitioner.

4 Internal R
3.6 (91517) Perform a substantial acting role in a significant production. 5 Internal R
3.3 (91514)Interpret a prescribed text to demonstrate knowledge of a theatre form or period. 4 External R/W



PERFORMING ARTS TECHNOLOGIES (Make-up, Costume, Lighting, Set, Sound, and Props Construction, Stage Management: These can complement or replace some performance drama standards if students choose. These are now managed and moderated through Skills Active.

If appropriate dance standards may be selected by students. You will need to talk to the HOD of Drama. 


You can gain the following grades in the Achievement Standards:

Not Achieved N Did not meet the required Standard.

Achieved A The Standard was met.

Merit M The Standard was met demonstrating very good work.

Excellence E The Standard was met demonstrating excellent work.


PLEASE NOTE: Three other achievement standards may be offered for students who are deemed suitable ( 3.8, script a drama suitable for performance (3.9) Direct a drama performance. Students who wish to sit a different standard will need to indicate a commitment by the beginning of term 2. Both standards contribute to literacy credits.



The Achievement Standards offered in this course may not be resubmitted, however, a reassessment opportunity may be offered to students who do not achieve the standard on the first attempt. This opportunity will only be offered to students who have shown a reasonable initial effort and who can demonstrate that further learning has occurred since the initial assessment opportunity.

All reassessments are composed of an entirely different assessment task.


Work submitted late for the internal assessment Standards will not be marked. You may have the opportunity to gain the credits through reassessment, if available.

If you have a genuine reason why you are unable to submit work by the due date, then you are able to apply for an extension. However, this should occur prior to the due date, not after it.  Absence from school due to sickness is not normally regarded as an acceptable reason for the non-submission of assessed work. Alternative arrangements, electronic or otherwise should be made in this event.


There is a compulsory written statement of intention, annotated scripts and other relevant information that is required to be handed in with each achievement standard. Other recorded information is not officially graded. In order to record learning and progress students will need to set up a note google doc where they will record thoughts, learning and relevant theoretical information updating it at least once a week. Separate google docs or participation in google classroom will be required for compulsory written work that is assessed. IF preferred handwritten notes and documents can still be used for assessment. Access to templates and internal assessment documents will be given via a class google classroom page set up at the beginning of the year. You will need to join this to submit work electronically.





  • It gives weight to the largely brief evidence of development and process in drama.

  • It can clarify the individual student’s understanding of what happened in the group process.

  • reinforces for students the importance of process in drama.

  • gives greater credibility to teacher decisions for summative assessment.

  • the material can provide evidence of the authenticity of a student’s work.

  • Is particularly helpful for teachers as evidence of work over an extended period of time, as required by many of the internally assessed drama achievement standards.

  • provides students, parents and teachers with a record of the student’s development and process.


Contents may include:

  • a record of the individual's input into group decisions

  • reflections on individual responses (useful for establishing 'conviction')

  • diagrams and sketches

  • stories and ideas for scripts

  • cuttings

  • reviews

  • designs for flyers or posters

  • reviews of any shows, movies or television programmes that stand out in any way

  • research references

  • sources

  • photographs.


Level three Drama is essential for those wishing to study Drama, Acting, Theatre Studies and aspects of Theatre Technologies at tertiary level.

This Arts subject has at its heart, social health and empathy. Drama is valued in a diverse range of careers including medicine, counselling, teaching and social work, as well as any aspect of professional theatre. It also offers development of rich problem solving and communication skills valued in all workforces. 


$70: to cover live theatre visits and transport.