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At Town Close School, we try to make a distinction between the drama that takes place in preparation for performance (such as rehearsals for musicals or plays) and curricular Drama.
The drive behind the first kind of drama is the final performance, which means that a degree of selection is inevitable, as is a focus on the end result rather than the process. However, all children who want to become involved in a production can do so, and will be given every support, and a number of different opportunities to perform, work backstage or as a part of the technical crew.
Curricular Drama is skills-based, allowing children of all levels of ability to participate equally and develop during the process.
In teaching Drama we aim to:
- promote empathy with the ideas, feelings and attitudes of others
- develop social awareness of the individual and the group
- develop an ability to communicate using space, movement, gesture and language on stage
- equip pupils with an awareness of common dramatic techniques and strategies, and an ability to employ them
- reflect constructively on their own work, and that of others
- explore literature, and the characters from literature, using a variety of dramatic techniques
- provide children with opportunities to perform in a range of challenging dramatic productions.
Head of Department – Mrs G Chitty.
Drama is taught for one lesson a week by a specialist teacher as a separate curricular subject from Year 3. In addition to this, during Years 1 and 2, and the senior years at the School, encouragement is given to teachers to use a range of drama techniques, such as hot-seating, thought-tracking, conscience alley, improvisation, still and speaking pictures, within the teaching of English and PSHE to explore different texts and issues.
The Year 3 and 4 Drama course uses and extends the learning objectives from the Primary Framework for Literacy. In the later years the learning objectives are built into the English curriculum. Work includes exploration of how gestures, expression and position can tell a story without words; the creation of still pictures; aspects of physical theatre; different kinds of storytelling; stage positions; scriptwork; use of sound; improvisation; acting in role. We also aim to foster a positive attitude to Shakespeare and in Y6,7 and 8, Shakespeare’s plays are taught through the RSC’s manifesto for Shakespeare in schools, Stand up for Shakespeare, to: Do Shakespeare on their Feet; See it Live; and Start it Earlier. There is definitely not a fear of Shakespeare at Town Close.
Trips and Events
Regular trips are made to the theatre, locally and in London. Recent trips have included The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Woman in Black, War Horse, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Merchant of Venice.
Regular productions take place in the School’s purpose built performance hall. Recent productions include Dragon, Pandora’s Box, The Secret Garden, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew and Living with Lady Macbeth.