We teach the CCEA Performance Skills Level 2 specification and the AQA Performing Arts Technical Award.  These pathways allow students to achieve their full potential through a range of  practical, portfolio and written examinations.

GCSE Performing Arts aims to encourage students to: 

develop a personal interest in both production and performance based disciplines and to develop skills and understanding within these disciplines.

Pathway One: CCEA Performance Skills Level Two

This course of study for the qualifications helps learners to:

  1. develop skills in performance with a view to progression towards further qualifications, and

  2. Acquire and develop fundamental practical skills, focusing on their performance ability by developing their critical awareness.

The Performance Skills qualification allows the learner the opportunity to:xtend their skills, knowledge and understanding of the entertainment industry as a whole Develop particular strengths and interests and to move it forward in giving a final performance.

The qualification recognises all genres of the entertainment industry, whether it be dance, music, voice, choral, DJ skills, poetry reading, debating, solo or group work.

Unit 1: Working in the Performing Arts Industry

Unit purpose and aim: This unit aims to provide learners with knowledge of employment opportunities within the performing arts industry and the jobs undertaken by those who work in it.


Unit 2: Develop Technique for Performance

Unit purpose and aim: This unit is an opportunity to develop the practical skills required for your chosen art form.


Unit 3: Rehearse and Perform

Unit purpose and aim: This unit develops the understanding and effectiveness of rehearsal processes and performance skills and discipline.


Pathway Two: AQA Performing Arts Technical Award

Unit 1: Unlocking creativity

Students will be asked to come up with a performance idea based on guidance from a range of practitioner DVDs. Students will understand, plan and deliver the activities required to put on a successful performance including business planning and pitching. Students will produce a portfolio of research, planning and ideas to enable them to put on a performance. They will then go on to pitch this idea as a group to camera. A short extract of the performance idea will also be presented.

Unit 2: The production/performance

Students will work towards producing a performance to an audience based on a list of five briefs. Learners will choose a minimum of two disciplines from either a list of performance roles including acting, dancing, singing, instrumental musician, musical theatre, variety performance, pantomime, physical theatre and circus skills or a list of production roles including costume, set design, properties, make-up, lighting, sound, stage, original writing, directing, choreography, PR and film production.

Unit 3: The performing arts experience (written examination)

Students will draw on knowledge and understanding from units 1 and 2 and also from:

• roles and responsibilities within the performing arts industry

• the role of performing arts in society

• approaches to rehearsal

• working as a deviser/performer/director

• marketing and public relations

• health and safety

• design and technical elements

• reviewing performances.



We currently teach CCEA 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. 

Subject/Departmental Pupil Achievements:

GCSE Performing Arts at St. Kevin’s College is consistently above the Northern Ireland average for non-grammar schools. In August 2019 100% of our candidates gained grades A*-C. 

Careers in Performing Arts

Students of Performing Arts develop valuable transferable skills, which are sought after by many colleges, universities and employers. The subject allows students to develop personally and build their confidence whilst working with others and developing an appreciation of group work.


The Performing Arts industry is a growing one. Northern Ireland has seen a growth in the career opportunities within the Performing Arts industry. Possible careers include;




Set Designer


Special effects makeup artist


Costume design

Public relations

Wardrobe mistress



Drama/ Music therapist

Marketing and Publicity officer

Front of House