The Drama and Dance programme at St Mark’s Church School is developed from the IB Primary Years Programme and the New Zealand Curriculum.  The programme is adapted to meet the needs of our students and the special character that makes St Mark’s unique.

Students progress in their learning from Preschool through to Year 8.  The school academic calendar is divided into four terms.   Inquiries, lessons and units of learning are focused around students Responding to and Creating Drama and Dance work as outlined in the PYP.

Terms 1 and 2 are devoted to introductory performing arts skills and then advance into performance-based work.  Term 3 is devoted to Dance while Term 4 is devoted to Drama.

A major component of the Performing Arts at St Mark’s Church School are the annual Trinity College London Group Drama Examinations which are the focus of a term and a half of learning each year.   Students perform examinations in: Musical Theatre, Group Drama, Young Performer’s Certificate and Performing Arts, determined by their year group.  This performance work explores the Unit of Inquiry: ‘How We Express Ourselves’, as we explore characterization, and different modes of expression through acting, singing, dancing, movement and performance.  Student groups regularly receive Distinction passing grades in these group examinations, and more importantly, enjoy working in a fun and collaborative learning environment.

Every second year, the senior school stage a major production involving all students in Years 7 and 8.  Our 2016 production of Shrek Jr. the Musical recently received a Distinction for the Grade 4 Musical Theatre in Production exam.  Other recent productions have included Grease: Young Performers Edition and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Classroom teachers also integrate the Arts into their classroom programmes.

Opportunities are integrated into the Drama and Dance programme to develop the IB Learner Profiles.  Our students become: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective.

Our performing arts programme is lead by Susan Hayworth, BTchg, Dip SD, RT.

Sample Overviews of our Specialist Arts Programmes:

Dance & Drama

Term 1

Term 2

Trinity Term

Term 3

Dance Term

Term 4

Year 1

Introducing Drama

Trinity Drama:

Young Performer’s Certificate (Bronze)

Creative Dance

Children’s Literature and Drama 1

Year 2

Introducing the Elements of Drama

Trinity Drama:

Young Performer’s Certificate (Silver)

Creative Dance

Children’s Literature and Drama 2

Year 3

Reinforcing the Elements of Drama .

Trinity Drama:

Young Performer’s Certificate (Gold)

Musical Theatre


Puppetry 1

Year 4

Devising work begins

Trinity Drama: Initial, Pre-Grade

Musical Theatre


Puppetry 2

Year 5

Musical Theatre Introduction 1

Trinity Drama: Musical Theatre Grade 1

Physical Theatre 1

Year 6

Musical Theatre 2

Trinity Drama: Musical Theatre Grade 2

Ballroom Dance:


Physical Theatre 2

Year 7

Connectivity in Musical Theatre Performance

Trinity Drama:

Musical Theatre Grade 3

Dance as a form of expression:


Directing Work

Year 8

Advanced Storytelling in Musical Theatre

Trinity Drama: Musical Theatre Grade 4

Ballroom Dance/Latin:

Cha Cha

Acting for Film

Dance is taught as a standalone
subject for one dedicated term each year. It is integrated into our Trinity Drama
programme in another term. The other two terms are devoted to Drama.

Mrs Susan Hayworth

Mrs Susan Hayworth

Director of Performing Arts