Mrs Katrina Payne
Mr Daire Cunningham
Drama & Theatre Studies is a very popular and well-established subject. It is a demanding subject in the fields of creative, practical and communication skills. Drama links well with all the arts subjects, but particularly with English and Moving Image Arts. Pupils can take Drama as a means of broadening their GCSE profile for courses such as medicine where the universities are seeking rounded individuals who are able to communicate with patients and medical teams. Other pupils have found it a useful A level subject for successful application to Law, Teaching, Broadcasting or Sports Science.
The Drama department has a fully equipped Black Box-style performance studio, with an adjoining Green Room which doubles as a senior classroom. In addition to this, pupils are taught in a second multipurpose classroom which acts as another rehearsal space.
The Drama department has an excellent reputation amongst theatre practitioners in Northern Ireland. We have been recommended as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ due to the outstanding results consistently achieved by our pupils at both GCSE and at A level. In the last number of years we have had one student placed third in Northern Ireland, two students placed 2nd and one student top in Northern Ireland at GCSE.
Key Stage 3
All pupils in the first three years at Bangor Grammar School have one hour-long Drama session. In Year 8, an important element of Drama is to bind the class together to create a secure, safe atmosphere. This is essential for the production of imaginative and creative work. The pupils devise stories and plays using mime, movement and improvisation, developing the confidence to discuss, solve problems and evaluate their solutions.
In Year 9 and 10 there is a further emphasis on pupils investigating ideas using drama strategies and methods; becoming involved in aspects of performance, improvisation, script reading and devising.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Drama is a popular option with a very high success rate. We currently have four groups in Year 11 and Year 12. Over the two years, pupils will engage in two workshop-based units of work:
Year 11: Exploration of Devised Theatre
Year 12: Scripted Performance
There is also a written paper in this subject.
Key Stage 5
In the Sixth Form, as well as developing performance skills through individual and group productions, students engage with the history and development of theatre. Through a mixture of practical and theory-based workshops, students explore 20th Century practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud, Punchdrunk, Kneehigh, Berkoff, and Brook.
The A-Level Theatre Studies course comprises of two units (AS) and four units for a complete Advanced GCE (A2).
Drama is valuable for entry to all types of career where good communication skills and critical, creative thinking are important. It is not, therefore, just for aspiring actors and actresses.