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"The most valuable asset a nation has is the creativity of its children."
- Alan Planter (Playwright)



Drama has always been a vibrant part of College life, fulfilling its motto “Gloria Ab Intus” (Glory From Within) with a strong programme of extra curricular activities, theatre visits, workshops and school plays in addition to timetabled classes - all designed to develop the boys' confidence and communication.

Currently, all Key Stage Three students receive two discrete periods of Drama a fortnight giving all Junior Drama classes the opportunity to access the three main strands of Drama: making, performing and responding, and are introduced to key drama strategies and terminology. Key Stage Three students also explore a range of stimuli as a basis for improvisation, script work and introduction to Drama forms.

GCSE Drama is offered as an option and the boys study Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come! as well as the two Internally Assessed Practical units – one of which is externally moderated and performed for an invited audience of friends and family prior to the moderation session.


A Level Drama is also offered and students in Year 14 currently follow the WJEC specification studying Tim Price’s The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.


Ms P Hughes (Head of Department)    

Miss J Keelan

The GCSE Drama course aims to encourage students to:


  • develop a personal interest in drama and be motivated and inspired by studying a broad, coherent and rewarding course of study;

  • actively engage in the process of dramatic study so they develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds;

  • work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas;

  • reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others;

  • develop and demonstrate competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills;

  • develop as active citizens for their future, in employment and society, as well as for the possible further study of drama; and

  • consider and explore the impact of social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities.


Each student must perform an extract from an existing play for their Scripted Performance (35% of GCSE) and collaborate in a group on a completely original piece of work based on a choice of stimuli for their Devised Unit (25% of their GCSE)

There is also a written examination with three questions based on a set text. (40%) (CCEA Specification)



  • Theatre trips to The Mac, The Grand Opera House, The Lyric Theatre, The Island Arts Centre and The Abbey Theatre, Dublin

  • Workshops by leading practitioners (Tinderbox, The National Theatre, Bruiser, C21, RSC)

  • School Musical (bi-annial)

  • Shakespeare Schools Festival

  • Showcasing of GCSE, AS & A2 Drama Practicals

  • Year 8 performance in The Ulster Hall

Anchor 4

Year 13 students study Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and perform a scripted piece reimagined in their chosen theatrical style. Throughout the practical units, Drama students are encouraged to watch each others’ work and are extremely supportive of each other, helping out with backstage, technical crew and so on as needed, experience which has no doubt contributed to the current enrolment of some of our past pupils in third level education at The Lir Academy, Guilford, Queen’s University and Ulster University in Drama courses.

Although preparation for exams is important, and the Drama department strive for academic excellence, it is also to be acknowledged that Drama is of importance in and of itself as a way to teach students valuable life skills: self discipline, self confidence, social awareness and most importantly – imagination as for Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. In addition to the assessment based curriculum, the Drama department seek to give pupils an opportunity for an audience for their work in competitions, Open Nights, School plays and assemblies



In line with College Policy, the Drama Department recognises the importance of homework as an integral part of the curriculum at all Key Stages, to encourage the students as independent learners and to consolidate learning in class.



At Key Stage Three Homework tasks may be:

  • completion of a reflection sheet on that day’s lesson

  • a short written homework evaluating the success of a performance and referencing the performance skills (voice, facial expression, movement and gesture)

  • research on a genre, period, play or issue e.g.: Commedia Dell’Arte, The Elizabethan Theatre, Homelessness, The Tempest

  • ICT work to enhance live performance e.g.: use of iPad or PC for sound effects, images, music

  • Design and label a costume for chosen character

  • Reading and/or learning lines

  • Devising a short script

  • Bringing in a piece of costume or a small prop.



At Key Stage Four – all of the above in addition to:

  • Completion of past paper questions for Unit One

  • Completion of Candidate Notebooks to support practical units




At Key Stage Five:

  • Reading and annotation of set text

  • Research into genre, style and period of set text 

  • Costume or set design sketches

  • Presentations on topics related to the set text

  • Research into practitioner/style selected for Unit One

  • Creative Log

  • Learning lines, rehearsing

  • Preparation of technical elements for Play Extract

  • Attendance at after school rehearsals and Live Theatre (at weekends or evenings)

  • Past paper questions


AS Outline


Candidates will gain a knowledge and understanding of theatre practice through their own engagement with the medium as both participant and informed audience member. Candidates will develop performance and/or production skills appropriate to the creation and realisation of drama and theatre.


The AS specification has 2 units:


AS Unit 1: Theatre Workshop


Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated - 24% of qualification (90 marks)

Learners will be assessed on either acting or design.


Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of theatre based on a reinterpretation of an extract from a text chosen from a list supplied by WJEC. The piece must be developed using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company.


Learners must produce:


  • a realisation of the performance or design

  • a creative log

  • an evaluation.

AS Unit 2: Text in Theatre


Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

16% of qualification (60 marks)

Open book: Clean copies (no annotation) of the complete text chosen must be taken into the examination.

A series of questions based on one performance text from a prescribed list: (A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller)

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