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Our Lady of Lourdes School, Ballymoney



Drama Department Page

Teachers in Department

Mrs M. Buckley (Department Head),

Mr N. McMaster


Department Aims

The aims of the Drama Department of Our Lady of Lourdes School are as follows:

  • To promote as far as possible, Drama as appealing and enjoyable subjects through the following mediums: Drama as discrete subjects; Drama as an active learning agent throughout the wider school curriculum; School Production; Local Competitions; Visiting Workshops; and Theatre Visits,
  • To provide the pupils with the opportunity to develop an ability to use drama to make sense of the world by engaging emotionally, imaginatively and intellectually in the exploration of cultivation and human issues,
  • To provide pupils with the opportunity to develop an ability to use dramatic skills appropriate to audience context, purpose and task,
  • To provide pupils with the opportunity to develop the ability to demonstrate a critical understanding of their own work and that of other people.

Performing Arts

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.


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.

Young people should have opportunities, through the contexts opposite, to use dramatic skills appropriate to audience, context, purpose and task. They should have opportunities to:

  • engage with a range of stimuli to develop critical and creative thinking skills;
  • adopt a role;
  • take part in improvisation;
  • devise scripts and use drama forms and strategies effectively to explore and present ideas;
  • employ sign, symbol, metaphor and image;
  • engage in movement and/or dance;
  • experience live and recorded drama and respond to a variety of texts;
  • begin to develop an appreciation of theatre styles, genres and vocabulary;
  • explore characterisation through use of masks, costume, props, puppets and electronic media;
  • evaluate their own and others’ work.
  • research and manage information effectively to investigate issues, using Mathematics and ICT where appropriate;
  • show deeper understanding by thinking critically and flexibly, solving problems and making informed decisions,
  • using Mathematics and ICT where appropriate;
  • demonstrate creativity and initiative when developing ideas and following them through;
  • work effectively with others;
  • demonstrate self-management by working systematically, persisting with tasks, evaluating and improving own performance;
  • communicate effectively in oral, visual, written and ICT formats, showing clear awareness of audience and purpose.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, we offer CCEA GCSE Drama

CCEA GSCE Drama is 60% practical, with a 40% final exam at the end of Year 12, based on the play studied and the student’s own scripted performance work.

Unit 1: Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins; 40%

The written paper comprises three questions:

Q1 (8%) and Q2 (20%) – Both set on the set text studied (usually Across the Barricades or Blood Brothers)

Q3 (12%) – Based on the students own practical work in the compulsory element: Scripted performance (see below)

Unit 2: Drama Performance; 60%

Candidates are required to present practical work for two controlled assessment options, each with a weighting of 30%.  The Scripted Performance task is compulsory as this is the performance process tested in Question 3 of the written paper.

Chosen element options:

  • Devised Performance Task
  • Improvisation Task
  • Dance Drama Task
  • Mime Task or,
  • Design Support task chosen from one of the following design elements: costume design; set design; lighting design; or multimedia design.


Key Stage 4 Performance Skills (Vocational):

Pupils following a vocational route at KS4 study CCEA Performance Skills Level 2.  This Certificate in is accredited to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF); a new way of recognising achievement: it is a unit-based framework in which each unit has a specific credit value. One credit represents approximately ten hours of learning time. This allows learners to accumulate credit for each block of learning, or unit, that they complete.



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