At Kings Hedges, drama has always been used to help children engage with a range of texts and deepen their understanding of those texts. In the previous National Curriculum there was little guidance and where and how the drama should be used. The new National Curriculum provides more of an overview of how drama can be used.
‘All pupils should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.’
At Kings Hedges we have used this short insert into the National Curriculum as an opportunity to provide opportunities across the curriculum for children to be creative. As themes are based on Science, Geography, History and Design Technology children are able to experience drama throughout a range of different themes. Within these themes links are made with Philosophy and PSHE, links that allow children to express themselves and discuss their thoughts.
Activities and techniques that children are taught are;
- Whoosh – a story is read out and the children become the objects and characters of the story within a circle
- Storyland – with their imagination children ‘jump’ into Storyland and create a setting and an adventure which can lead to writing a story
- Objects – within 10 seconds children must create a real life object in a group with their body, for example a bucket or washing machine
- Tableaux – children recreate a picture given to them and through direction they either bring the picture to life or share the thoughts of the characters created (thought tracking)
- Where do you stand? – Philosophy is important to Kings Hedges and this technique allows children to make a choice and then change it, at either end of the classroom agree and disagree are place statements are read out and children stand where their opinions lie they share their views and are they able to move if they have changed their mind
Many other activities and techniques are taught to the children depending on the theme that they are focusing on in class.