Drama at CSPA is taught as a discrete subject by the same Drama Specialist throughout the school. This is unusual at primary level and means that each child is able to develop their verbal and physical expressive abilities at greater depth. Children are taught drama skills with reference to theatrical techniques but also with strong links to other areas of the curriculum most notably English and SMSC so all levels of interest and need are catered for.
Many children have an interest in Drama and performance and attend clubs after or outside school. At CSPA we recognise that each person has the capability to develop abilities to express themselves whatever their interests and increasingly will need skills in this area later on. Lessons are therefore varied involving a variety of methods of working as well as performing and character work. Both can take place in classrooms or drama spaces
Drama provides many opportunities to widen children's cultural capital. Lessons are planned to expand awareness of classic literature and poetry for example. They can promote deeper investigation of topics studied in other subjects such as History Geography and RE. Flexibility is inbuilt so SMSC can be supported by adjustments to style of teaching or change of topic if needs arise from events within the class, school, nationally or internationally.
As the same teacher works with each year group progression through the school is automatically followed and each child given the encouragement they need to develop appropriately. Children start working on whole class activities gradually learning more sophisticated negotiating, devising, and rehearsal and performance skills in smaller groups in following years. Qualities such as independence, initiating ideas, critical appraisal and evaluation are encouraged. Leadership participation
Age appropriate classic texts are introduced as stimulus eg Alice through the Looking Glass, Just so stories, Maurice Sendak’s work as well as current authors eg Robert MacFarlane, Alan Garner, and Michael Rosen. Schemes of work also relate to topics studied in other subjects eg Myths and legends in English and RE, Tudors in History, wildlife geography.
The current post holder has particular skills and interest in Shakespeare so teaches a different Shakespeare play to each year. By the end of their time at CSPA each child has some ownership of at least four plays. Children explore the cultural capital of the stories and the sources that inspired Shakespeare to write them. They are given an insight on how to approach 400 year old English speaking original lines giving them the confidence to tackle it later in their education .The plays are taught as dynamic living plays that were developed for performance. They are encouraged to interpret the plays for themselves coming up with their own characters, settings and even alternative events. Children learn about The Globe Theatre, how the original conditions affected the writing and the exciting and influential world of Elizabethan Theatre.
Each year different opportunities for performance arise elsewhere in the school. In previous years younger pupils have performed a Nativity play in church and older children have produced a musical show with their class teachers. Typically children develop and practice presentations for both whole school and year assemblies in class or for one of the many cross school groups. Often the aim is to inform, report on or introduce initiatives to a wider audience and in doing so all children are able to put their drama skills into practice.
A drama club run by an external teacher is offered afterschool and lunchtimes.