Drama at Woodfield is the medium through which the pupils are enabled to develop confidence, physical awareness, communication and articulation. The Drama curriculum includes introductory activities, speech, verbal dynamics, movement, language development, structured improvisation, dialogue development, scene starters, and mini-scripts. Above all, the lessons are fun!
We have developed strong links with the local Tricycle Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Mousetrap Theatre Company. All pupils get the opportunity to work with these groups throughout the year, participating in workshops, both in and out of school, performing and going on trips to theatres, locally, as well as in the West End.
All pupils in KS3 have one lesson of Drama per week. In KS4, pupils who opt to continue with Drama have two lessons a week to prepare them for the Entry Level Drama Certificate.
At Woodfield, opportunities to use drama should be used across the curriculum. It is an excellent strategy to support the understanding of concepts, encourage the communication of ideas and to reinforce memory and sequence.
Drama at KS3
All pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 have a 50 minute lesson once a week.
Drama at KS 4
Since September 2009, Drama has been offered as a third option choice for pupils in year 10. It now forms part of the Expressive Arts curriculum in addition to Music and Art. In years 10 and 11, pupils receive two 50 minute lessons a week and follow the Entry Level programme of study .The course extends over two years and is externally accredited by the WJEC Examination Board.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- For pupils to have fun together in a safe and socially acceptable way.
- For pupils to learn basic social skills such as sharing the whole group focus, turn taking, following simple rules of the game, taking the needs of others into consideration, coping with games where there are winners and losers.
- To develop basic communication skills including careful listening, following instructions, developing vocabulary, developing sentence structure and improvising dialogue.
- To develop pupils’ imagination through games requiring self generated words and ideas, and role play.
- To develop more advanced social co-operation and collaboration through paired and small group tasks and improvisations.
- To improve bodily awareness through mime and characterisation.
- To improve vocal awareness through vocal and verbal exercises and characterization in improvisation/play acting.
- To develop a sense of setting/location when improvising/creating a scene.
- To provide pupils with opportunities for a stimulating experience of dramatic activities, leading to an external qualification.
The Drama Department aims to provide all students with the same opportunities towards experiencing a rich and diverse curriculum. The department, wishes to promote this continuous and meaningful access to the curriculum regardless of any situation, and will not prevent full access. The development of the curriculum has taken into account the possibility of all disabilities and has placed guidelines for meeting the needs of all disabilities, including physical disabilities. We aim to promote equality of opportunities.
IMPLEMENTATION OF LITERACY, NUMERACY, ICT AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING.
Where appropriate, Drama activities may include activities which develop Literacy skills – eg: the game I Spy – or the writing of labels or notes as part of role play. However, such activities will be conducted in away that ensure that pupils with limited literacy skills are not disadvantaged or embarrassed.
Opportunities to practise and apply numeracy skills in games and role play should be used when appropriate.
ICT may be used as part of a stimulus prior to role play (eg: a DVD clip or photos), and pupils may occasionally use ICT to research a topic in relation to a drama theme. Digital photography is used frequently to record pupils’ work, and occasionally pupils’ role plays are video recorded.
Collaborative learning is central to the drama curriculum and opportunities for paired and group work should be used frequently. However for many pupils with limited social skills – collaboration is very difficult. For such pupils, collaborative learning is something which they work towards with the support of the teacher or teaching assistant.
The Structure of the lesson:
Each lesson starts with “warm up” social games, played in a circle.
Further games and activities follow to meet particular objectives listed above.
The main activity will involve role play carried out in a whole group, small group or paired setting.
Performance and evaluation of the main task.
Final social game of a fairly calm nature – to end the lesson positively.
Some groups may require a different structure – eg: a very calming activity or structured individual focus at the beginning of the lesson. Some lessons – eg: where the group is operating at a more advanced level may commence with the teacher “in role” or telling a story to set the scene for a more lengthy role play.
Differentiation, teaching and learning styles.
The nature and level of difficulty for each activity will be matched as far as possible to suit the needs of the whole group. Where individual pupils are likely to be disadvantaged because of the nature of their learning difficulty – activities will be adapted or dropped. Where possible, the teacher or teaching assistant will work supportively with pupils with more severe learning difficulties – but encourage as much independence as possible.
The nature of drama implies physical action, interaction, use of imagination, co-operation and collaboration. The teacher may model responses initially to give pupils an idea of what is expected. In role play, the teacher may initially work with an assistant or more able pupil to create an example for pupils to follow. Where possible the teacher will use “teacher in role” and “mantle of the expert” approaches. Pupils will learn: from each other, through their own endeavour and involvement, through practice and repetition and through a progressive programme of drama activities appropriate to their ability level.
Pupils with autism and/or significant developmental delay may have difficulties with role play – especially with ideas of pretend and two/way dialogue. The teaching assistant or teacher may work individually, if possible, with such pupils.
Many groups will have difficulties with positive social interaction and collaborative working. Simple whole group games provide structure and a single focus which enables pupils to work together – and in some instances it may be necessary to devote more time to these activities. However, the aim should be to work towards pupils being able to work in pairs and small groups to create drama.
Where it is extremely difficult for pupils to “role play” in unsupervised groups, the teacher may lead them in whole group role play activities – modelling actions, assigning simple roles – to act out a well known story or to create a story through well known situations. Such role plays can also be carried out in two groups when an able support assistant is present.
Artefacts and costumes (especially hats) can be used or created to stimulate imagination.
Planning, assessment and record keeping.
Planning and record keeping is kept within the same file onscreen under each year group, in the drama folder.
Assessment against targets set, is recorded twice yearly in pupils’ reports.