Our drama classes are designed around the principle that Drama, Theatre and Play are interwoven and each factor enhances the development of the other.
Through Drama, thoughts, imagination and feelings are created and shared as a participating group experience. We believe that the benefit of this technique not only occurs through participating actively but the children also learn from observing others, where through discussion their insights and opinions are shared and valued.
We aim to make our classes as inclusive as possible for all ages and abilities, creating an environment where confidence and encouragement can be nurtured.
As Drama facilitators, this concept allows us to demonstrate to our pupils that their ideas matter and by creating theatre as a group practice we believe this to be highly valued in terms of child development and the social and culture development necessary for the young people of today.
Each of LEAP's drama classes are divided to suit the intellectual needs of each year group, and to ensure we maximize our pupils individual potential and enjoyment we have limited capacity to 16 pupils per class.
The syllabus for these year groups focuses mainly on confidence building and the development of imagination. We discover character building, improvisation, story imagery and poetry whilst introducing them to a variety of acting skills and vocabulary. LEAP recognises the power of this art form particularly at this age, as we concentrate on the exploration of play and imagination which are central in child development and learning and are particularly suited to drama.
A further element which links to dramatic play is the use of storytelling, again explored mainly in these years. We recognise the value of storytelling at this age and appreciate children's natural ability to role play, thus by combining the two elements, a successful learning approach can be formed. Here at LEAP we believe that this not only applies in an academic environment but also supports communication in their daily lives where story telling can be a simplistic device in 'reminding children that their spoken words are powerful, that listening is important, and that clear communication between people is an art'. Through Drama pupils will create, unravel and explore a variety of stories ranging from fairy tales to Shakespeare's classics. They will become the characters and unveil the narratives whist exploring a huge range of drama skills.
The syllabus for these year groups enhances the skills attained in the junior class but subsequently we encourage the pupils to use these techniques to add further dynamics to their work and creative thinking. Additionally, script reading and devised work is introduced and opportunities are presented to rehearse scripted and stimulus devised performances. The children begin to consider the variety of performances and play scripts available to us today and gradually expose themselves to the history of drama and theatre. The devised sessions are stimulated around the group's individual areas of interest as they begin to take charge over the work created. Here, we believe that our roles as facilitators alter not as one who teaches but one who leads the groups and offers advice and insights into the work. It is important for the pupil to gain a sense of ownership and achievement over the work created, enhancing the importance of team work and decision making in this art form.
At this level, the young people have the opportunity to deepen the work covered in the previous years and are encouraged to analyse their work with a mature level of emotion and understanding. Further drama skills and techniques are explored as they are invited to bring to the lesson discussions and ideas formed at school as drama is becoming an increasingly popular and valued subject studied up to A level standard. We provide an opportunity for each pupil to experience the position of a director, working with their peers to create a rewarding piece of performance material. They also start to explore other technical areas and positions when putting a performance together i.e.; costume, lighting, sound and set design.