Drama is a thriving department at St Mary’s Catholic School, led by Mr McHugh.

We have superb facilities, with two large teaching spaces; a black box studio and a traditional school hall as well as dressing rooms and a well-stocked costume store. The standard of performance is exceptionally high with students frequently winning local and national competitions.

This year we have performed 'Like there is No Tomorrow' as part of the National Theatre Connections festival.  We have an enviably high success rate of getting students into this prestigious youth theatre and lead roles in local productions. We regularly run theatre trips to Cambridge, London and local venues, to introduce students to a wide range of styles and genres.

Our school productions are always big family-friendly shows, with a dynamic mix of Shakespeare, Classic musicals and new writing and performers and backstage crew from all year groups.
Recent productions include “Oliver!”, “The Sound of Music”, “A Christmas Carol” and “As You Like It”. Recently our Year 7 afterschool group showcased a short production on the history of our school to mark our 125 year anniversary and will be working on an anti-bullying performance in the summer term.

Our students go on to study at prestigious universities such as Cambridge or Warwick or train at elite Drama schools such as East 15, Arts Ed and Italia Conti.

Drama is fundamental in nurturing teamwork, communication and presentation skills. Yes it is about performance but the transferable skills are endless and we strive to give all students the opportunity to develop their full potential through the structure of rehearsal and performance.

Curriculum Map

The link below allows you to see when topics may be covered; this is a guide for information only and has the potential to change as the year progresses.

Curriculum Map


Year 7 Units

Year 8 Units

Year 9 Units


GCSE Drama

We follow the Eduqas GCSE Drama specification, which is an exciting and varied course. Students opting for Drama do not usually want to be actors, but gain the confidence in public speaking and leadership that they made need in many professions and skills such as team work, time-management and budgeting that they can use in the future to run their own business. Students studying Drama have often been chosen to be the head pupils at St Mary’s and many have gone on to prestigious universities such as Cambridge, Warwick or Durham to study degrees in English literature or Psychology. Students learn to manage their time well to balance the practical requirements such learning lines, finding costumes and attending rehearsals with writing coursework, going to the theatre and studying a set text for the written exam.

During the course, students attend interesting theatre trips and workshops with industry professionals, to learn not only about acting, but all aspects of theatre making. Students who enjoy dancing, singing, gymnastics or playing an instrument often include these elements in their performances whilst others prefer comedy, realistic acting or working backstage. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to work co-operatively. The course is very much tailored to the individual interests of the students in the group each year. 

Component 1: Devised Piece. (40%)

Component 2: Scripted Piece (20%)

Component 3: Written Exam (40%)


A-level Theatre Studies

This is a challenging mixture of practical and academic study. Students opting for Theatre Studies are highly driven and conscientious with 70% achieving A/A* grades in 2016. Students work collaboratively to create highly polished devised and scripted work, taking responsibility for all aspects of their production from mending costumes, painting sets, to cleaning the props cupboard. Attendance at rehearsals after school is compulsory and expectations are high, with a track record of students achieving full marks in performance, four years running!

Students attend the theatre regularly in their own time, being influenced by seeing work in London, Cambridge and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Students in the past have created innovative and highly physical ensemble work, for example “Jane Eyre” in the style of Shared Experience, a slapstick comedy “Three Men in a Boat”, a verbatim play “London Road” or an immersive experience inspired by Punchdrunk. There is no ‘house style’ at St Mary’s and students are encouraged to pursue their own interests through extensive research and develop their talents through intensive practice.

In recent years students have taught themselves to tap dance, play the yukele or speak in a Yorkshire accent for their performances. The rigour and varied demands of the course mean students not only gain public speaking but also leadership skills. The maturity and resilience they develop mean that they are often achieve more than they previously thought possible in their future studies at University or careers. Theoretical study is demanding at A-level and the standard of their written essays is equally high, with the exam board requesting St Mary’s work to be used as exemplar material.
Students follow the Eduqas A-level course, studying set texts such as “As You Like It”, “Love and Information” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” for a final written exam, worth 40%. The remaining 60% is made up of practical performance work and written coursework.

How can I help my child to succeed?

Encourage and help them to:

Upcoming Events

27 Apr

Year 12 Enrichment

27 April, 2022 (4:45pm) – 14 July, 2022
27 Jun

Year 12 Work Experience

27 June, 2022 – 1 July, 2022
30 Jun

Year 12 DOE Expedition

30 June, 2022 – 1 July, 2022
01 Jul

PE Presentation Evening Sports Hall

7:00pm - 9:00pm