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Subject Overview

Drama promotes teamwork, empathy, compassion, communication and a vast array of personal skills.  It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems are solved and decisions are made together.


Drama is a life skill and a creative art form. It helps pupils develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, in acting, mime, dance drama and improvisation. They can express and manage their thoughts and feelings – shared and experienced – while working in a safe and controlled environment. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and awareness of the individual pupil.


Drama often leads to performance for a wider audience.

Key Stage 3

All pupils study Drama in Years 8 and 9, pupils are taught basic skills and Drama strategies which are required for further development at GCSE. In the first two years of Drama all pupils are encouraged to take part in Warrenpoint and Newry Speech and Drama Feis’.

There is a very popular Drama Club for KS3 for pupils every Tuesday 3.00-4.00.

Head of Department

Mrs C McCaughey

Drama Performance

Key Stage 4



Drama is a popular choice at Key Stage 4.  In St Mary’s we offer Level 2 Performing Skills as well as GCSE Drama (CCEA Specification)

Unit One 25% Practical | Students devise their own play – they can be marked as an actor or designer (lighting, set or costume)

Student Log

Unit Two 35% Practical | Students pick a script and prepare a performance of it – they can be marked as an actor or designer (lighting, set or costume)

Unit Three 40% Written | Students study one play and answer seven short questions in the exam about the acting, directing and design of this play. Take the exam at the end of Year 12. Written – 1hr 30mins

Post 16

GCE Performing Arts (CCEA Specification) has proved a popular choice in St. Mary’s, collaborating with St Mark’s High School, Warrenpoint.

AS1 Developing Skills and Repertoire | 60% of AS | 24% of A- Level

Performance of a monologue and a duologue.

Students develop their skills and apply them to practical contexts. They must produce a portfolio of evidence, including research, a skills audit, a risk assessment and a record and evaluation of their work.

AS 2 Planning and Realising a Performing Arts Event | 40% of AS | 16% of A Level

Pupils plan and realise a performing arts event. Students produce a supporting document to record their work as they plan, develop and realise their performing arts event.

A2 1 Planning for Employment | 60% of A2 | 36% of A Level

Students learn about planning for employment in the performing arts industry. They produce a promotional portfolio and take part in an interview. Performance students have an audition.

A2 2 Performing to a Commission Brief | 40% of A2 | 24% of A Level

Students 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. Students continue in their production or performance role and, as a group, perform their arts event.

Drama Visits


The Drama Department organise the following trips, workshops and events for pupils in years 8-14.

  • Bruiser Theatre Company Workshop in The Armagh Marketplace Theatre

  • St. Mary’s produced an ‘Old Time Music Hall’ which was performed in The Sean Hollywood Arts Centre.

  • Trip to see The Bosco Drama Group’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ in Newry Town Hall

  • The School also produced a Spring concert where the Drama pupils performed alongside the Music Department.

  • Our Drama pupils were very successful in both Newry and Warrenpoint Speech and Drama Feis’


Employability/job opportunities/further study


Studying GCSE or GCE Drama/Performing Arts can lead to a further study in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts.  It can be used as part of your course to broaden your studies and may lead on to a career in the Performing Arts industries, including acting, writing or on the visual and technical side of theatre.

Key Stage 4 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links


Journalist, teacher, youth worker, solicitor, social worker, manager, producer, public relations manager, fundraiser, special needs teacher, advertising and marketing, hospitality and tourism, retail, recruitment, agent, event organiser and press officer.


St Mary's High School, Newry

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