Ms H McCaughan BA PGCE (Head of Department)



Performing Arts are now woven into the fabric of our society as an important form of entertainment that encourages people to come together and enjoy, discuss or participate in the Arts. Getting involved yourself, or encouraging your children to take dance classes or drama lessons will open doors socially and will allow you or your children to make new friends more easily, after all a key to drama and music is communication. It will also help you to get out into your local community, meet a varied group of people from different backgrounds, and keep you busy in your spare time.

In Year 10, pupils have one class per cycle, where they follow the NI Curriculum for Drama, which focuses on skills such as hot seating, tableau, conscience alley, thought tracking and freeze frame. We focus also on mime, voice, facial expression, movement and gesture.
Click for more info on the NI Curriculum for Drama

Year 12 is following the AQA GCSE Performing Arts specification, which offers students the chance to explore a range of performance disciplines. It promotes student choice, allows for different creative approaches and develops independent learning skills.

GCSE Performing Arts helps students develop both new and existing skills in a range of performance disciplines.
This specification offers students the opportunity to specialise in one or more of the performing arts disciplines including; acting, singing, dance, music, lighting, sound, set design, costume design, properties, make-up, stage management, front of house, and marketing and publicity.

We offer a 2-unit Single Award GCSE through this specification. This course is an appropriate foundation for progression in performing arts, theatre studies and generic subjects such as dance and drama. It also provides a foundation for design work in set, costume and props and technical elements such as lighting and sound.

Year 11 is following the CCEA GCSE Drama Specification:
• Drama GCSE has a controlled assessment component consisting of two tasks for moderation.
• Each student must complete the compulsory element: Scripted Performance plus choose one other task from the range of five on offer.
• Devised Performance; Improvisation; Dance Drama; Mime; or Design Support.
• The Design Support task for the individual student is linked to a group and includes the follwoing options: Costume, Set, Lighting or Multimedia.
• There is a written examination with three questions based on a set text.

Extra-Curricular Activities
There is a weekly Drama Club open to anyone with an interest in developing Drama Skills.
Click to read more about Clubs and Societies available at Carrickfergus Grammar School

Careers options
A GCSE in Performing Arts can lead on to other courses in this area, whether it is performance, design or technical. The Carrickfergus Learning Community offers a BTEC in Performing Arts at Ulidia Integrated College. There are BTEC courses at NRC and Belfast MET. There are numerous degree courses in all aspects of performance, technical and design work.
Careers' opportunities in Northern Ireland's growing creative industry are many, with many film and television productions choosing to work with our skilled workforce.
Theatre and Entertainment is growing too, with new theatre spaces in the Lyric and the MAC, not to mention the Grand Opera House and Odyssey Arena as venues that regularly host productions.
We have two world renowned television companies BBC NI and UTV.
However, while a GCSE in Performing Arts offers pupils a creative outlet, in what may be an otherwise academic environment; the skills acquired in this subject are transferrable to any career. Team work, communication, presentation skills, self- confidence, organisational skills, professional conduct, reliability are just some of the important interpersonal skills developed, which all employers desire in their employees.

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