The Drama Department aims to provide a nurturing, safe space for pupils to learn about the world through the medium of Drama, express themselves creatively and develop personal and social skills that will take them through life. The teachers work as a team and model the collaborative ethos, which is fundamental to any creative work. We want our pupils to enjoy coming to Drama and work collaboratively on themes which are meaningful to their lives.
We foster a trusting environment where pupils can give and receive constructive criticism, viewing it as a key part of the creative process and thrive on being challenged to take creative risks, beyond their comfort zones. We encourage our pupils to contribute to the creative and spiritual life of the school, which is vital to our Dominican Ethos.
Our aims are to offer all pupils unique and particular opportunities to:
Learn about the world through the medium of Drama.
Develop personal and social skills.
Build their knowledge of Theatre as an Art Form.
Learn to use Drama techniques as a tool for learning and performing.
Contribute to the learning and development of their peers through peer-assessment activities and enhance part of their own learning using self-evaluative techniques.
Central to work in Drama/Performing Arts is the development of skills and confidence in co-operative group work, which are transferable both to other curricular areas and to life outside school.
Drama/Performing Arts lessons at all levels include opportunities for:
Sharing of learning objectives.
Development of thinking skills.
Work in role by pupils and teachers.
Out of role discussion and evaluation.
Key Stage 3
Pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10 are timetabled for one period of Drama each week. During this time, they are given the opportunity to explore and use language and movement as a means of expression and communication. The staff place enormous focus on providing the pupils with opportunities to develop their self-confidence and encourage creativity in all aspects of school life. The curriculum aims to equip the pupils with the transferable and invaluable skills needed in order to empower them for life, and the course at Key Stage 3 provides an excellent foundation for GCSE Drama.
Drama Curriculum: Key Stage 3
Term 1: September – December
2 Tracker Assessments
Term 2: January – Easter
2 Tracker Assessments
Term 3: Easter – June
End of Year Summer Examination
Key Stage 4: GCSE
We offer the CCEA specifications for GCSE Drama.
Drama Curriculum Key Stage 4: CCEA - GCSE Drama
Unit 1 (25%)
Completed in Year 11
Internally Assessed and Externally Moderated:
(Recorded Controlled Assessment: 15%)
Written Log Book
(Controlled Assessment 10%)
Unit 2 (35%)
Completed in Year 12
Controlled Assessment: Externally Moderated.
(Groups of up to 6)
(Completed in Year 12)
“Blood Brothers” By Willy Russell
1hour 30 minutes
Requirements for Entry into A Level Performing Arts:
Grade B GCSE Drama
Grade B GCSE English (Preferable)
Key Stage 5
Pupils will study AS Performing Arts in year 13 which contributes 40% to the A Level which is completed in Year 14.
Drama Curriculum Key Stage 5: CCEA - A Level Performing Arts
AS Units (Worth 40% 0f Total A Level Mark)
Unit 1 - Skills Development
Pupils develop their skills through rehearing and performing a dramatic monologue and duologue.
They must produce a portfolio of evidence, including research, a skills audit, risk assessment and a written record and evaluation of their work.
Unit 2 - Realising a Performing Arts Event
Pupils plan and produce a supporting document to record their work as they plan, develop and realise their Performing Arts Event. A Supporting Document is produced under controlled conditions and the live performance is assessed by a visiting examiner.
Assessment: Internally Assessed and Externally Moderated
A2 Units (Worth 60% of Total A Level Mark)
Unit 1 - Planning for Employment in the Performing Arts Industry
Pupils produce a promotional portfolio and take part in a mock audition and interview.
Unit 2 - Production Company
Pupils form a production company to research, plan, promote and realise a performing arts event in response to a commission brief. They produce a record of work, which includes a research report, promotional materials and evidence of tasks completed.
This is Externally Assessed.
Assessment: Internally Assessed and Externally Moderated.
The department consists of two purpose-built Black Box Studios; one with a mirrored wall for dancers and both have a lighting rig for performances. Both studio rooms are equipped with touch-screen boards and Apple TV boxes which are used regularly to evaluate recorded performances.
Senior Performing Arts and Drama examinations take place in the Lecture Theatre which is complete with PA system, tiered seating for approximately 90 people, and a double lighting rig.
The school Assembly Hall is used as a performance space for School Productions and is equipped with a 32 channel sound desk and full lighting rig with follow spot.
Why Study Drama?
Drama and the Performing Arts equip pupils with essential life skills such as confidence, communication skills, creativity, team work, time management and discipline that are essential for personal and professional life.
The GCSE and A Level courses offer students the chance to explore a full range of performance and technical disciplines, including acting, directing, lighting design, sound design, costume design and stage-management. These subjects promote student choice, allow for different creative approaches and develop independent learning skills.
The pupils take an active part in planning and creating performances. By working as part of a team they will learn how performances are put together from the initial ideas, through planning and rehearsals to the final performance in front of an audience.
Performing Arts Pupils may go on to study Drama and Theatre at university or Drama School. The Northern Ireland Film industry is one of the biggest growing industries in Northern Ireland.
Performing Arts is an Applied A-Level Subject. Many of our pupils that study Performing Arts, go on to study university degrees in subjects such as, Law and Teaching.
Drama Department Activities and Events
The Drama Club is open to all pupils from years 8-10 who have an interest in performing. Pupils work on a selection of scripted material, create their own devised work and attend workshops to develop their performance skills. They perform at Assemblies, the Year 8 Halloween Fancy Dress and special performances for peers and parents.
A Whole School Production is put on every Three years. This is a lavish production and all pupils may audition for a performance role or volunteer to be part of the back stage, wardrobe and technical teams. There is usually a cast of over 100 pupils. Past Productions include:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat
The Sound of Music
The Greatest Show
Drama Workshops and Theatre Trips
Working with professional Theatre companies and experiencing live theatre are regarded as integral to the Drama curriculum and we have developed a strong relationship with The Lyric and Bruiser Theatre companies, who frequently facilitate workshops in the school for our Drama pupils.
The pupils also attend live theatre on a regular basis. Recent events have included:
Drama and English Trip to London
Workshop with Bruiser Theatre Director Lisa May
‘Blood Brothers’ Trip to the Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin
Online acting workshop with Lyric Theatre Actress Jo Donnelly.
Regular Drama Festivals, Competitions and Performances
Each year we run class and year group Drama Festivals which include:
GCSE and A Level Final Showcase Performances for Parents and Friends
Speech and Poetry Speaking Competition Year 8
Greek Theatre Project and Mask Making Competition Year 8
Macbeth Performance and Costume Design Competition Year 9
Halloween Fancy Dress Performance Year 9-10
Performances at special assemblies
DCF Talent Festival Years 8-10