Drama allows us to explore issues, ideas and dilemmas relevant to children’s lives, and through it, our children can investigate the behaviour of individuals and the nature of relationships. The very nature of drama, means it is a social activity, where our children learn communication, cooperation and collaboration, developing skills and confidence.
In class, we explore and create stories, read scripts, investigate characters, discuss staging and use choreography and improvisation. In Years 3 to 6, activities often relate to the historical periods being learnt in class, such as Ancient Greece in Year 3 or Shakespeare in Year 5. In our younger year groups, classrooms have a range of costumes, props and creative spaces where children can perform and role play.
Performance is, of course, a key aspect of our Drama provision. We start laying the foundations for this in Reception as the children deliver a version of the nativity during our festive season, and Years 1 and 2 perform in the Infant Production during the Lent Term. Each class, in Years 3 to 6, delivers an assembly to their parents and the School, where they showcase their learning through singing, dance and acting; as children move up through the school, more responsibility for devising and producing these performances is handed over to them. In Year 6, our children take part in the Year 6 production; these plays are produced by the local Telling Tales Theatre Company, and the final performances are delivered in Oundle School’s Stahl Theatre.
A further opportunity for children to develop and display their speaking and listening skills is the annual Speech and Drama Competition. Children audition within their year groups and six from each year perform to children, parents and friends, as well as an invited judge, in the Grand Final.
Theatre trips are an important part of our approach to Drama. Our experiences include taking our youngest children to Oundle School’s Stahl theatre to watch performances; Years 3 and 4 visit the Royal Theatre every year; and Years 5 and 6 are taken to see a Shakespeare play at, for example, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford.