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Drama at Thornhill CollegeThe Drama Department offers popular courses of study with more and more pupils keen to take their love and enthusiasm for the dramatic arts to new heights.

The strong tradition of drama and performance in the Northwest gives our pupils an excellent tradition in performing arts and now they are offered the opportunity to study this subject at KS3, GCSE and A Level.



We provide many whole-school opportunities to experience drama and to participate in performances:

  • The Year 10 Shakespeare Festival;
  • The Year 8 Choral Verse competition; Poetry Aloud;
  • Participation in Feis Doire – inc. Dance Drama, Mime, Choral Verse, Irish Drama;
  • The Year 8 Drama Club;
  • Live theatre visits;
  • Year 8 visit to Christmas Panto;

KS3 DRAMA – Drama in the Northern Ireland Curriculum

Drama at KS3 is now a statutory requirement within The Northern Ireland Curriculum. At Thornhill College, we offer Drama at KS3 through a range of subjects and activities. This year, Drama will be offered to Yr 8s as a separate subject and, through cross-curricular activities within a range of subjects in Yr 9 and Yr 10.

The fundamental aim of the Drama curriculum is to develop pupils who are able to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression in a positive and confident manner. Through the methods of improvisation, acting, mime and dance drama, supported by using a range of drama strategies, pupils will develop personal and social skills and grow in insight and understanding.

 A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies

A Level Drama is a very exciting and innovative course offering pupils the chance to study in great detail a range of texts and practitioners as well as incorporating practical performance, design and technical assignments. We offer AS and A2 Drama and Theatre Studies (Edexcel Syllabus).

AS  Drama

Since the emphasis in most GCE Drama or GCSE Drama and Theatre Arts courses is on improvisation, devised work and/or performing, the AS course focuses on working with plays. In this way the AS aims to bridge the gap between GCSE and full Advanced GCE by providing an opportunity to study plays from the point of view of a director, designer, performer and critic. The qualification is designed to enable students to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the language of drama and theatre as well as to develop their performing and analytical skills autonomously and with confidence within a drama and theatre context.

A2  Drama

A2 aims to extend the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in AS 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 AS 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 A2 course is to enable students to operate more autonomously and with confidence within a drama and theatre context.

GCSE Drama

At Thornhill College, we offer GCSE Drama (CEA syllabus)

GCSE Drama offers pupils the chance to explore the world in which they live through various dramatic forms including improvisation, mime, dance drama and acting. Pupils learn to develop ideas through performance in groups and individually.  As well as developing and enhancing dramatic skills, this subject helps promote self-esteem, ability to work with others, negotiation skills, movement and physical responsiveness, public speaking and aspects of design.

We aim to make drama an enjoyable and liberating experience. Where possible, we begin all classes with physical warm up exercises and games to promote interaction, control, concentration etc.

As well as studying the dramatic forms of dance, mime, improvisation and acting which accounts for 60% of coursework pupils also study a text from a practical point of view looking at movement, voice, gesture, facial expression etc.

Where possible, pupils are taken to see a live production of the play being studied.
We also encourage our pupils to participate in workshops given by experienced performers whenever possible.



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