A recent article in the Guardian newspaper supported the brilliant actor, Mark Rylance, in his assertion that there needs to be better drama and theatre provision in state schools. Timetables don’t always allow for discrete drama lessons but simple process drama sessions, activities, games and methods can be effective in even the smallest amount of allocated time.
As the article says: ‘Drama enables children to explore issues of global concern, to develop new perspectives and acquire essential communication skills. Drama is a social art form that is informed by the interests of the participants. It is a collaborative learning experience that is sadly missing from the curriculum of many schools. It has been evident for many years that youngsters thrive in schools where drama is accessible to all.’
Drama As Development
As educators we seek to develop children who are inquisitive learners, with creative minds that are ready to bring forth the ideas of the future. We want to enable children to reach their full potential, to help them to understand how to respect themselves and others; we want to encourage children to go out into the world with confidence and self-awareness, with empathy, with the ability to listen, to communicate effectively, to work in a team, to be curious, to evaluate situations and constantly reassess, to shine. Drama develops all of these.
Drama In The Classroom
Drama – and its co-conspirator, theatre – is the perfect subject for helping children to make sense of their world, especially in these troubling times. But not all drama lessons need to be taught by a specialist teacher. Simple drama strategies and methods can be employed as a learning tool for any lesson:
• hotseating characters from a story, poem or period in history;
• pair improvisations to explore different points of view;
• forum theatre to look at actions and consequences;
• role on the wall for in-depth character work;
• conscience alley for investigating choices and behaviour
…the list of possibilities is endless.
The Impact of Drama
Every drama experience will have an impact. Not all children enjoy drama, it’s true – and why should they, not all adults enjoy it either – but it will still have that impact. The confidence gained from learning to work collaboratively, speaking up for the first time, making eye contact, learning about your world, understanding issues, being able to assess your own and others’ work, feeling able to control your behaviour or responses, being heard and acknowledged, is invaluable. Drama is also the best form of shared experience in a safe environment – and that’s something that no other subject can offer.
What Arts On The Move Offers You
Arts On The Move provides a wide range of drama teaching materials, from stand-alone lesson plans to full projects, starter packs and assessment reports, plus a variety of stage scripts to develop performance and presentation skills. The website also offers a huge amount of free information, resources and advice, and the company is always ready to answer any questions you may have – and to provide invaluable support. You don’t need experience or even specialist knowledge to start offering drama in your school. Just visit www.artsonthemove.co.uk to see how drama in education works at KS1, KS2 and KS3, grab yourself a pack or two, and have a go!
Visit www.artsonthemove.co.uk for all your drama needs.
Call 0161 881 0868