Drama is taught as a discrete subject which also lends itself to cross-curricular links, particularly in relation to English.
What can pupils learn from doing drama? The skills are numerous. Drama helps to develop:
- pupils’ self-confidence and sense of self-worth
- pupils’ respect and consideration for each other
- the imaginative and creative processes
- the capacity to express ideas and feelings
- listening and responding skills
- the ability to follow instructions
- oral and physical skills, including using language and movement
- the ability to work constructively as a member of a group/team and build upon skills attained through enquiry, communication, cooperation, leadership and negotiation
- pupils’ emotional learning and empathy.
Drama also provides the opportunity to learn new skills and to discover new talents but most importantly, drama activities are fun – making them enjoyable and memorable.
Children in the EYFS, including the Pre-School, are encouraged to speak confidently in small groups as they talk about their discoveries and interests. They also learn to explore the world through role play, initially based on their own first-hand experiences and then, with support from teaching staff, they begin to explore familiar stories and roles beyond their home environment. Activities using a range of scenarios and resources (including puppets and toys) are used in Pre-school and Reception to extend and challenge the children's thinking so that they can begin to experiment with imaginary roles and develop early story telling through drama.
Rhymes and songs are also used to support all areas of learning in both classes and opportunities to perform these begin in the classroom. Pre-school and Reception children take part in the annual Nativity Play and the Reception class has further opportunities to perform in assemblies and the school production.
The curriculum in Years One-Six allows the children the opportunity to participate in a variety of drama-based lessons including discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates throughout the year. These include activities such as:
- writing and performing a speech
- poetry recitals and competitions
- Shakespearean studies and role play, including an opportunity to watch the Young Shakespeare Company perform
- ‘Perform’ workshops
- theatre trips
- pantomime visits to school.
Every two years, the children put on a whole-school production. This includes auditions, call-backs, double casting, understanding stage directions, learning scripts, developing characterisation, use of radio mics, performing songs and following choreographic routines.
Previous school productions have included: Bugsy Malone, Jungle Book, Aesop’s Fables, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.