Dramatic Arts education is an important means of stimulating creativity in problem solving. It challenges students’ perceptions about their world and about themselves.
Dramatic exploration provides students with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express because, A student can, if only for a few moments, become another, explore a new role, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions to very real problems from their own life, or problems faced by characters in literature or historical figures. This can happen in a safe atmosphere, where actions and consequences can be examined, discussed, and in a very real sense experienced without the dangers and pitfalls that such experimentation would obviously lead to in the “real” world.
At the centre of all Drama is communication. It allows students to communicate with and understand others in new ways by providing training in the very practical aspects of communication. Students who participate in Dramatic activities are less likely to have difficulty speaking in public, will be more persuasive in both oral and written forms of communication, will be more empathetic, and will have a more positive, confident self-image. Drama activities also build self-control and discipline, tolerance and collaboration with others.
Drama also reinforces the rest of the school curriculum because communication and empathy are central to it. Thus a student who has explored these issues in the Drama classroom will be better able to understand ideas in History and Current Events. Hence the link between Dramatic Arts and subjects such as English, History, Social Studies, and related areas is obvious.
Drama in early years is structured around the activities that form part of young children’s development. Such activities include: action rhymes and songs; circle games; follow-the-leader games; structured play and role play; group mime and movement activities.
At the basic 1-3 stage, drama is utilised as a means for developing language skills, encouraging positive social interaction, increasing physical control, stimulating imaginations and teaching children how to listen and respond appropriately.
At this stage, drama is accentuated through speaking and listening and is also used within the context of other subjects as a method to enhance understanding.
We teach drama to:
- » develop pupils’ self-confidence and sense of self-worth by creating a supportive and constructive learning environment
- » develop pupils’ respect and consideration for each other by encouraging turn-taking, acknowledgement of ideas, appropriate and safe behaviour and focused listening
- » develop imaginative and creative processes and responses by involving pupils in a range of drama methods and activities
- » develop the capacity to express ideas and feelings through drama by encouraging constructive responses to drama work, sharing ideas and selecting appropriate drama methods
- » provide opportunities to see and hear different types of performance and drama
- » develop the ability to work constructively as a member of a group using skills of leadership, discussion, negotiation and the blending of different people’s ideas
- » develop oral and physical skills, including using language and movement appropriate to role, through drama activities and responding to drama
- » enable pupils to build on skills attained and to progress their emotional and practical achievements
- » offer pupils the opportunity to experience aspects of theatre by rehearsing and presenting their work to others
- » develop script reading and script writing skills through structured activities and lesson plans
- » encourage a positive school ethos