Drama gives everyone a chance to be creative, adventurous, communicative and expressive - sometimes even a chance to be someone else!
At The Elms, every child from Y4 to Y8 has a weekly class drama lesson in which we offer them the opportunity to explore and develop confidence, expression, characterisation, teamwork, mime, vocal and physical stage work and general stagecraft. All these skills enable pupils to give assured, convincing performances, whether for their peers in a class setting, assembly, school event, exam or public performance. Lessons take place in the school theatre, which boasts a large stage and sophisticated lighting and sound equipment. Lessons include drama games, improvisation exercises, script interpretation, sketches and mime. There are opportunities to use costume, props and music to enhance work.
The Year 8 put on a major production for parents in the Spring term, a highlight of their year! Year 6 and 7 work on a 'devised drama' project for performance in the summer term. For this a variety of stimuli are used to create original drama, so far Shakespeare, the Narnia chronicles, music, art works and poetry. This is usually a cross curricular collaborative project and has involved Art, IT, Music and English departments. All other year groups have opportunities to perform their work, either for other pupils or for parents and sometimes younger children. Older children have also used and adapted short acted videos as technical additions in performances.
Over recent years, we have prepared many pupils for drama scholarships to their senior schools, with considerable success, offering them support and additional training.
Seeing live theatrical performance is a crucial part of our drama curriculum, so we plan regular trips, both to performances by other schools and to professional plays at our local theatres. We also have drama workshops and visiting performers such as students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Stephanie Underwood-Webb, Head of Drama