Junior Associate Teaching Diploma

The Junior Associate syllabus allows candidates to develop the necessary skills that will ultimately form the basis for their teaching of practical speech, drama and communication syllabi to their students.

The completion of the Junior Associate Diploma will qualify successful candidates to provide the Ulster Academy of Speech and Drama syllabus and examinations to primary school-going children from elementary grade up to grade 6.

Entry Requirements

Each candidate must have completed grade 10 in speech and drama examinations with the Ulster Academy or its equivalent with a recognised examining body.


If the candidate has not had any experience in speech and drama, he/she may be given the opportunity to sit some grade examinations prior to entering the Junior Associate Teaching Diploma.

  • Each candidate must have completed GCSE English/ ordinary level Leaving Certificate English.
  • Each candidate that has had experience in speech and drama must submit with their application proof of having studied the subject, stating the length of time and grade level that was achieved.
  • Each candidate must be interviewed by a member of the Ulster Academy board.
  • All candidates must have full PSNI/Garda vetting on entry to the programme.

Documentary evidence of the above must be submitted with the candidate’s application.

The Ulster Academy reserves the right to refuse any applicant with the above entry requirements admission to the Junior Associate Diploma, if deemed to be unsuitable.

Part A

Section 1: Practical Assessment [70 marks]

Prepare a written lesson plan that documents the learning outcomes for the children.

Implement the lesson plan.

Teach a group of children for forty minutes on any practical aspect of speech and drama. The lesson should be a planned and structured learning experience for the children and should be interactive and participative.

Demonstrate a good rapport with the children and be able to deal with unexpected occurrences as and when they arise.

Demonstrate an ability to discipline and control the class whilst maintaining the children’s respect, trust and safety.

Incorporate child safety as a focus of classroom delivery, including the implementation of child protection measures and the development of a trusting relationship with the children so that they feel that they are in a safe environment for learning.

Section 2: Individual one-to-one pedagogy [20 marks]

Teach one student an aspect of the speech and drama syllabus for 10 minutes. The examiner will decide on the day of examination which aspect of the syllabus he/she wants the candidate to teach. This may include poetry speaking, drama direction, public speaking, mime or reading aloud.

The trainee must demonstrate an ability to assess the student’s oral communication, stage craft skills, movement to mime, use of stage and posture etc., where relevant. She/he must document in writing what the child needs to focus on for the following week.

Viva Voce with examiner [10 marks]

The trainee must demonstrate an ability to evaluate the above lesson, outlining what, if any, learning outcome objectives from the lesson-plan were achieved and what, if any, unexpected learning outcomes were realised.

The trainee will discuss with the examiner what he/she may have done differently if he/she were to implement this lesson plan again.

The examiner will discuss with the trainee any aspect of the course undertaken. The trainee will give the external examiner his/her reflective journal, which documents his/her teaching practice throughout the year.

Each trainee must have secured a minimum of 10 hours teaching experience in the classroom in order to secure a pass in this examination.

Part B

Written Paper [100 Marks]

Two hours are allowed for this paper. Candidates must answer three questions, one of which will be compulsory.

Topics covered:

Vocal Practice, with reference to techniques and strategies.

Lesson planning, to include the writing of objectives/learning outcomes and evaluation of same.

Key features of good verse speaking.

Improvisation, its benefits, strategies and techniques.

The selection of material for children in the classroom with reference to differing ages and abilities.

Process Drama, its benefits, strategies and techniques and how they can be used in the classroom.

All subjects within the Ulster Academy syllabus, up to and including grade six.

Child Protection Policy, safety and implementation.

Each trainee must attend all theoretical study days. Where a trainee misses a study day, a percentage of his/her overall mark will be deducted on a sliding scale depending on the amount of absences.

Learning Outcomes

Having completed the practical and written Junior Associate Teaching Diploma course, the trainee should have:

  • gained practical experience of process drama and a basic theoretical insight into its structures.
  • acquired awareness of the potential of drama to enrich lives.
  • explored how the process of making theatre can incorporate aspects of the speech and drama syllabus as well as themes based on the needs and interests of the participants/students.
  • acquired, through reading and experience, an understanding of the difference between the drama process for the development of the participants and the drama process as preparation for a performance to an outside audience.
  • acquired a basic knowledge of speech and drama that will equip him/her to teach the subject in an imaginative and innovative way to primary school children.
  • acquired a basic knowledge of how to write a lesson plan that includes objectives/learning outcomes in order to ensure that the lesson has structure.
  • acquired a basic knowledge of how to assess the needs of the participants.
  • acquired a basic knowledge of how to re-evaluate a lesson plan after the lesson is completed.
  • practical experience of a variety of educational techniques and an understanding of how to tailor these to suit different target groups.
  • become familiar with a range of workshop games and exercises.
  • developed inter-personal skills, an ability to read a group dynamic, listening skills, an ability to think on his/her feet and rapidly adapt the planned programme of work to changing circumstances.
  • gained a basic knowledge of the key elements of voice production, with particular reference to poetry speaking.
  • gained a basic knowledge of the necessary skills and techniques needed to teach the Ulster Academy syllabus up to and including grade 6.

For more information please use the form below.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top