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7–10Drama 7–10 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation from 2026
Expand for detailed implementation advice


Syllabus overview

Organisation of Drama 7–10

Figure 1 is an overview of Drama 7–10 showing that knowledge, understanding and skills are built through engagement with 3 interrelated practices: Making, Performing and Appreciating which are the focus areas.

Focus areas and content groups of Drama 7–10.
Figure 1: The organisation of Drama 7–10

Image long description: Organisational diagram of Drama 7–10. The focus areas Making, Performing and Appreciating are positioned vertically across the 3 content groups Dramatic contexts, Dramatic processes and Dramatic elements connected by one line, intersecting them.

Focus areas

Drama is created through the interrelated practices of:

Making: the roles, responsibilities and approaches of the maker when creating dramatic work. It involves exploration and dramatic play with dramatic conventions, processes and elements to shape intention, experience and meaning. Makers generate, interpret and shape original works and the works of others.

Performing: the roles, responsibilities and approaches of performers when staging and performing dramatic work. Performers craft narrative, sensory, emotional and aesthetic journeys and experiences for an audience by applying elements of drama, performance and production to different forms and styles.

Appreciating: the roles, responsibilities and approaches of the dramatic practitioner and audience. Appreciators describe, analyse and make informed judgements about works of drama and theatre, both in progress and as finished products. They develop understanding of their own and others’ perspectives to strengthen aesthetic knowledge and reflective practice.

Content groups

The content within the focus areas of Making, Performing and Appreciating is organised into 3 content groups: Dramatic Contexts, Dramatic Processes and Dramatic Elements.

Dramatic contexts

Dramatic Contexts are influences on the development of dramatic works and approaches. Contexts develop in connection with and in response to one another.

In Stages 4 and 5 students build their practice through the study of:

  • artistic, cultural, social and personal contexts
  • identities, values and perspectives
  • dramatic conventions, forms and styles
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Knowledges
  • language
  • devised and scripted works.

Dramatic processes

Dramatic Processes are ways in which dramatic practitioners shape meaning and experiences. The key processes are:

  • embodied
  • collaborative
  • safe
  • creative and critical
  • improvising
  • devising.

Dramatic elements

Dramatic Elements are the tools dramatic practitioners explore, apply and interpret to shape dramatic meaning and audience engagement. The key dramatic elements are:

  • Elements of drama: role, character, focus, tension, situation, space, time, structure, language, moment, atmosphere, belief and symbol
  • Elements of performance: dynamics, clarity, energy and expression in voice and movement
  • Elements of production: set, costume, lighting, props, sound and technologies.

Course requirements

Drama may be studied as a 100-hour or a 200-hour course in Stage 4 and/or Stage 5.

Students may commence the elective study of Drama at different points and may progress at different rates across Years 7–10.

Elective courses in Stage 5 contribute towards the RoSA.

Course numbers:

  • 200-hour elective: TBA
  • 100-hour elective: TBA
  • 200-hour Life Skills elective: TBA
  • 100-hour Life Skills elective: TBA

For each 100 hours of elective study, students are required to make, perform and appreciate:

  • at least one group-devised performance
  • at least one scripted work.

Teachers should research the dramatic works that they select to use as a part of students’ learning. This allows teachers to identify potential areas for targeted teaching. Research may include previewing a performance, educator’s notes from a theatre company, reviews of a live performance work, promotional materials, scripts and recorded dramatic works.

Exclusions: Students may not access Life Skills outcomes and other outcomes from the same subject.

Life Skills outcomes and content

Students with disability can access the syllabus outcomes and content in a range of ways. Decisions regarding curriculum options should be made in the context of collaborative curriculum planning.

Some students with intellectual disability may find the Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content the most appropriate option to follow in Stage 4 and/or Stage 5. Before determining whether a student is eligible to undertake a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content, consideration should be given to other ways of assisting the student to engage with the Stage 4 and/or Stage 5 outcomes, or prior stage outcomes if appropriate. This assistance may include a range of adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities.

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the same subject. Teachers select specific Life Skills outcomes to teach based on the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of each student. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Life Skills outcomes.

Protocols for collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and engaging with Cultural works

NESA is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal Communities and supporting teachers, schools and schooling sectors to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people.

In Drama, consideration of the dynamic and evolving Cultural Knowledges of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander works, practices and practitioners are informed by principles and protocols. Cultural Knowledge holders include Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander dramatic practitioners who have created dramatic works and experiences as well as Communities, families and people who own the Cultural Knowledges.

Community roles, such as Elders, men and women, may influence the ways that dramatic action can be embodied and shared with audiences. In Drama, students should be taught respectful protocols for making, performing and appreciating drama developed by or in collaboration with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander dramatic practitioners and local Communities. The sites and locations of customary and ceremonial Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performances hold Cultural significance.

Balance of content

The amount of content associated with a given outcome is not necessarily indicative of the amount of time spent engaging with the respective outcome. Teachers use formative and summative assessment to determine instructional priorities and the time needed for students to demonstrate expected outcomes.

The content groups are not intended to be hierarchical. They describe in more detail how the outcomes are to be interpreted and demonstrated, and the intended learning appropriate for the stage. In considering the intended learning, teachers make decisions about the sequence and emphasis to be given to particular groups of content based on the needs and abilities of their students.