Tower Hill Primary School
Drama enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to make sense of the world around them. It is also a way that children can communicate effectively with others. At Tower Hill Primary School we believe that all children should be given the opportunity to use drama in all areas of the curriculum in order to develop their ability to listen to others, share ideas, think creatively and work confidently and cooperatively with their peers. We also strongly believe in the power of performance and the importance of all children participating in shows and assemblies for a formal audience.
Main Aims of this Policy:
- To enable children to use a range of drama techniques (eg; working in role; conscience alley) to explore ideas and texts.
- To encourage children to develop the capacity and confidence to express ideas and communicate them through drama.
- To develop children’s ability to evaluate their own and others’ ideas and understanding through drama
- To use drama and performance to build confidence and self-esteem.
- To develop an understanding of theatre and performance for a formal audience.
- To recognise drama and give sufficient time allocation, both as part of arts education and within the National Curriculum for English.
- To use drama as a learning tool throughout the curriculum.
Teaching and Learning
Drama is used across the curriculum by all teachers from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 6.
Drama in the Foundation stage
In the Early Years Foundation Stage there are many opportunities for children to explore ideas and take part in drama activities. The role play area and other areas inside and outside the classroom allow children to participate in imaginative play.
Within a framework created by the teacher and children in co-operation, play will be structured initially upon individual experience. Children can be given the opportunity to play alone or interact with others. The teacher may sometimes model or become part of the imaginative play by taking a role in the drama. This interaction may be to aid development of language, build the confidence of children or through the adopted role, present new and demanding problems for the children to solve. This helps children to become involved in questioning, finding information, simple problem solving, developing communication skills and learning about roles in the wider community.
It is important for young children to be offered on a regular, daily basis, the potential for learning through stimulating, imaginative play situations.
Teachers may also use nursery rhymes, stories, songs and poems to provide dramatic opportunities and develop and build on the child's own experience. It is important for a child to relate their own experience with that of the material presented to them. Drama activities may also be used to help second language learners or children experiencing difficulty with speech development. A relaxed, well-structured, imaginative play area will have much to offer in providing non-threatening opportunities for speaking and listening to others. With children who have more finely developed speech they can benefit from the extended vocabulary offered by the situations provided.
Drama in KSI and KSII
As the children progress through the school, structured play will give way to integrated drama sessions across the curriculum as well as structured lessons where children will be taught specific drama skills, which they will then be able to use in a range of learning opportunities across the curriculum.
In KSI and KSII, drama should be used to further develop children’s language and communication skills, independent work, positive group interaction, negotiation skills, talking and listening skills and facilitating creative expression.
Children in Key Stage I & II will role play in a much more sophisticated manner, thus enabling them to explore contexts in a more focused way. They should be able to respond to stimuli and be self-aware enough to form opinions, give reasons and assess their work constructively. It is essential to remember that drama is concerned primarily with process and it is not essential that children always end up with a finished product.
Children in Key Stage I & II will also use drama techniques as a stimulus for their writing. They use strategies such as hot seating, thought-tracking and freeze-framing to support their preparation and planning for their writing. Drama helps the children to establish links between the characters and the setting and also helps to interlink the description, action and discussion.
Assemblies and Shows
All teachers will plan and deliver class assemblies once a year which are performed to an audience which includes the whole school and parents. All children also participate in Key Stage performances at Christmas and Upper KSII also participate in the End of Year Show.
Music and Drama Room and Resources
At Tower Hill Primary School, we have a fully equipped and resourced Music and Drama Room which is available on a timetabled basis for all children in all classes. Within the Music and Drama Room, there is a well stocked costumes and props cupboard which is available for use in class assemblies, drama/role play lessons and productions. We also have a lighting rig in the school hall, as well as a music system which allows for the children to use microphones in their performances. Additionally, we have a stage which can be set up and used for class assemblies and whole school/Key Stage performances.