Taking part in the Schools Affiliation Scheme – Blog

I am really grateful to be involved with the Lyric as an affiliated teacher and would highly recommend it to every Drama and English teacher.  Let me first name-drop that I taught Bronagh McFeely (Producer at the Lyric) GCSE and A Level Drama at Thornhill and have very happy memories of her performing in Dancing at Lughnasa, Grimm Tales, Penny the Swan in Honk and I’m sure there were more too.  It’s a real inspiration to our current pupils that Bronagh has made such a successful career for herself.


Regarding teacher training opportunities as an affiliated school, both me and my colleague Maeve Connelly attended Philip’s FANTASTIC Directors workshop focusing on how best we can direct our pupils.  As an ex-teacher, he was bang on the money regarding how to communicate directorial intentions to the pupils and the resources he provided were brilliant – you can lift them right into your classroom.  We also receive free tickets for some shows which is a lovely bonus.


Our pupils have had an enriching, enjoyable and inspiring input from the Lyric this year with their live performance of Blackout last term.  The pupils were absolutely spell-bound by the performance, the production and the Q&A session afterwards.  It gave them great ideas about how they can express their ideas and make theatre – very punk rock I believe as it stripped away tech and design elements and brought it right back to the story; the actors telling the story clearly and simply.  And this felt very ‘I could do this’ to the Yr11 pupils who were only a few weeks into their GCSE Drama class.


And on top of all this, we got 2 free workshops on Voice just before the schools shut  – delivered by the fabulous Philip and again, I was so inspired by the professional and technical expertise that was so brilliantly conveyed to the Year 11s.

Overall, I think the Lyric Theatre have had a massive input and influence on our GCSE pupils experience of Drama so far and I am so grateful.  Thanks guys and, needless to say I’m working from home with time on my hands as we bat our way through Covid-19 but am very, very grateful to give the Lyric a massive thumbs up and well done.

Fiona Pender

Drama teacher – Thornhill College Derry