Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College

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Vision and aims:  
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” –William Shakespeare- As You Like It

The Drama Department at Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College is committed to providing every student with a range of learning experiences. Drama provides essential life skills such as working as part of a team and developing self-confidence and concentration. It stretches your intellectual ability, challenges the way that you view the world and increases your capacity to communicate ideas. 

The aim of the Drama Department is to encourage and develop : 

• Student's enjoyment and participation in engaging drama
• Sensitivity, creativity and confidence
• An awareness of moral, social, spiritual and cultural change
• An understanding of Drama forms and techniques
• Student's awareness of the production  aspects of Drama including design, lighting and staging
• An understanding of the importance of team work
• Constructive evaluations of their own work and that of others
• To offer a range of extra curricular opportunities
• Prepare students for further study of Drama and Performing Arts. 


Head of Department: Miss A Gilliland
Key Stage 3/ GCSE/ AS/ A2: Miss C Smyth
Key Stage 3: Mr P Arran, Miss J Burns, Mr C Hicks and Miss S McKeown 

Learning objectives:

Key stage 3:

Drama is taught as a discrete subject throughout key stage 3.

Drama enables pupils to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which will help them make sense of reality. 

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 self-awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together. Drama often leads to performance for a wider audience. 

Key stage 4: GCSE

We teach the CCEA GCSE Drama specification. 

GCSE Drama  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 to 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. 

Key stage 5: AS/A2 Level

We currently teach CCEA AS Performing Arts (this will lead to A2 study beginning teaching in September 2016)  Performing arts is a growth industry in Northern Ireland. It encompasses drama, dance, music and any genre that involves performing to an audience. From the latest global blockbuster to local drama groups and street theatre, performing arts forms an important part of our leisure industry. 

Performing arts relies as much on production as performance. The show can’t go on without the work of technicians, managers, choreographers, designers, promoters, agents and administrators. Performing arts offers roles for those who prefer the technical aspects as well as those who aspire to entertain others with their talents. 

Participating in performing arts develops self-confidence, self-awareness, personal discipline and creativity. Studying the performing arts enhances our ability to: 

interpret and apply ideas; 

receive direction and criticism; and 

understand the demands placed on professionals in the industry. 

Performing arts is a collaborative discipline involving teamwork and self-management, which are important aspects of any role. It offers students the opportunity to develop production and performance skills and their own personal style. 

The performing arts industry offers diverse employment opportunities in, for example, dance, drama, music, theatre, film, television, puppetry, costume design, set design, direction, sound engineering, lighting, make-up or special effects. 

We also teach EDEXCEL Drama and Theatre Studies at A2 level (we will finish teaching this specification in the summer of 2016.) The full Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatres Studies aims to extend the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in the Advance Subsidiary units by enabling students to apply what they have learned in their own creative work. In devising theatre, students alternate roles between being playwright, performer, designer and director and apply their knowledge of different theatre forms and structures gained from Advanced Subsidiary to the creation of their own work. In performing theatre, students are required to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding within the structure of a director’s interpretation of a play and to operate at a highly intellectual level as well as at a highly skilled practical level. The aim of the full Advanced GCE is to enable students to operate more autonomously and with confidence within a drama and theatre context. 

Subject/Departmental Pupil Achievements:

GCSE Drama at Bangor Academy is consistently above the Northern Ireland average for non-grammar schools. In August 2015 85% of our candidates gained grades A*-C. 

In last year’s Bangor Speech and Drama festival Jessica Keough and Ashton Myatt were awarded first place for their performance of Steel Magnolias in the 16+ duologue class. 

The drama department presented over 30 public performances in the academic year 2014/15: we’re extremely proud of all our performers! 

Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities:

The Drama department play an active role in extra-curricular life. There is a Junior Drama club for Years 8-10: and the opportunity to audition to compete in the annual Bangor Speech and Drama festival. Rehearsals for the competition will run after school. GCSE, AS and A2 teaching are also supported with after school rehearsals and there is a bi-annual school production, we presented The Wizard of Oz in 2014 and look forward to our next production in Autumn 2016. 

A2 students also receive after-school/ additional support in preparing for auditions for Drama school and further and higher education

Educational visits and trips: 

Educating Rita- The Lyric Theatre, Belfast 

A day with Bruiser- The MAC Theatre, Belfast 

Those you pass on the street.- Kabosh, SPACE, Bangor 

The Winter’s Tale- Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, streamed from the Garrick Theatre,  London to Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey 

The Merchant of Venice- C21- the Baby Grand, Belfast 

Sunset Boulevard- St Patrick’s Choral Society, The Grand Opera House, Belfast (starring our own Miss C Smyth!)

Control/Alt/ Delete- Spanner in the Works, The Lyric Theatre, Belfast 

Subject revision resources:

The rehearsal and revision class timetable are posted on the notice board outside D003.

Previous Productions:

A2 Devised Performances:

2016 Forthcoming:
Three pieces on the theme of
The Seven Deadly Sins 

Theme: Extremism
The Price of Freedom

Theme: Human Trafficking
Open Secret

Myra Hindley:
The Murders, the Mothers and Myra

2011/ 2012
Theme: Wrongful Execution
Hurt in the Innocent World

Theme: Mental Health: Crowded Mind, Empty Heart
Theme: Alcoholism: I Scream in Silence


AS Scripted Performances:

The Crucible
Hard to Swallow 

The Long Road
Five Kiuds of Silence

My Mother Said I Never Should
Family Planning 


Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Steel Magnolias