Drama creates an inspirational environment where pupils have the freedom to express their individualism and ever-increasing emotional, intellectual and physical maturity. Throughout the drama process pupils will develop confidence, self-esteem, teamwork and communication skills. Drama lessons not only provide subject specific knowledge and drama skills, but also enable pupils to develop personhood on a social, moral and spiritual level.
Drama teachers often collaborate with other subjects, such as French, to explore concepts, values, emotions and attitudes – to hold up the human experience for scrutiny and help pupils make sense of the world and their place in it.
Pupils are active learners where the teacher facilitates the improvisation of a piece within a specific context, rather than dictating what will happen next. This open, pupil-centred approach leads to authentic, divergent learning in the classroom, where children learn to negotiate, make collective decisions and create their own work.
As young children learn about themselves and their surroundings, they frequently use role-play to re-enact a situation familiar to them, or even a fantasy far removed from their own experience. In Years 3 and 4 pupils are encouraged to transfer these elements of play and storytelling used in the playground to a more structured drama framework using improvisation around myths, legends and folk stories. They also dramatise a Nativity, the Easter Story or another Bible story to perform for an audience.
By Years 5 and 6, pupils will move further away from dramatic ‘playing’ into being fully conscious that what they are creating is a fictional drama and has direction, purpose and meaning. Pupils will develop an increased awareness of dramatic intention and audience impact. They will explore at least two contrasting genres and become more familiar with drama conventions. A typical approach might be: a puppet presentation of ‘Jack and The Beanstalk,’ an improvised ghost story and a Charles Dickens’s script such as ‘Oliver Twist’, or devising a science fiction class play and contrast this with a Biblical story and a piece of children’s theatre such as Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.’ Over the two years, the different selection of genre and naturalistic and non-naturalistic styles allows a balanced and varied curriculum.
Drama Clubs stage short productions within religious celebrations such as Harvest Festival, and pupils of all ages and ability are welcome to take part in main school productions at professional venues across Staffordshire and community-based art and drama productions.