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Drama Policy

Introductory Statement and Rationale

Introductory Statement

This policy was updated following a consultative process that took place over a period of months. The principal, class teachers and resource teacher were involved in drafting this policy

Rationale

This policy was devised:

  1. To provide clear guidelines for teachers
  2. To ensure consistency throughout the school
  3. To confirm legislation and to update our previous plan.

Vision and Aims

Vision

We seek to assist the children in Sonna N.S. in encouraging their desire to make believe while assisting in the fulfilment of the child’s current cognitive and affective needs.

Aims

We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for drama

  1. To enable the child to become drama literate
  2. To enable the child to create a permanent bridge between make-believe play and the art form of theatre
  3. To develop the child’s ability to enter physically, emotionally and intellectually in to the drama world in order to promote questing, empowering and empathetic skills
  4. To enable the child to develop the social skills necessary to engage openly, honestly and playfully with others
  5. To enable the child to co-operate and communicate with others in solving problems in the drama and through the drama
  6. To enable the child to understand the structures and modes of drama and how they create links between play, thought and life
  7. To enable the child to acquire this knowledge of drama through the active exploration of themes drawn from life (past and present), whether they have their source in other curricular areas or in general areas relevant to the child’s life.
  8. To enable the child to begin the process of translating a knowledge of drama into the active exploration of like themes from drama literature, leading to the appreciation of world drama culture
  9. To form the criteria with which to evaluate the dram texts, written or performed to which he/she in continually exposed.

Curriculum Planning

Strands for Infants Classes

Exploring and making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. Develop the instinct for make-believe play into drama
  2. develop the ability to play in role as an integral part of the action
  3. experience how the use of space and objects can help to create the reality of the make-believe world
  4. experience how the fictional past and the desired fictional future influence the present dramatic action
  5. develop awareness of how he/she, as part of a group, helps to maintain focus in the dramatic action

Reflecting on drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. develop the ability to reflect on the action as it progresses
  2. experience the relationship between story, theme and life experience
  3. share insights gained while experiencing the drama

Co-operating and communicating in making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. develop the ability, out of role, to co-operate and communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  2. develop, in role, the ability to co-operate and communicate with others in helping to shape the drama

Strands for First and Second Class

Exploring and making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. use the ability to play at make-believe to enter fully into participation in drama
  2. use his/her emerging awareness of the differences in people in order to
  3. begin to develop an understanding of the relationship between role and character
  4. experience how context is built and a drama reality created through the use of space and object
  5. experience how the fictional past and the desired fictional future influence the present dramatic action
  6. develop the ability to help maintain the focus in the dramatic action
  7. begin to see how tension adds to drama the suspense that ensures the interest of the participants

Reflecting on drama
The child should be enabled to

Co-operating and communicating in making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. develop, out of role, the ability to co-operate and communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  2. develop, in role, the ability to co-operate and communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  3. develop fictional relationships through interaction with the other characters in small-group or whole-class scenes as the drama text is being
    made
  4. re-enact for others in the group a scene that has been made in simultaneous small-group work

Strands for Third and Fourth Class

Strand: Drama to explore feelings, knowledge and Exploring and making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. enter into the fictional dramatic context with the same spontaneity and freedom that he/she has earlier applied to make-believe play
  2. understand the relationship between role and character and develop the ability to hold on to either role or character for as long as the dramatic
    activity requires
  3. discover how the use of space and objects can help in building the context and in signifying dramatic themes
  4. explore how the fictional past and the desired fictional future influence the present dramatic action
  5. become aware of the rules that help maintain focus in the dramatic action
  6. begin, as a member of a group, to include in drama activity the elements of tension and suspense
  7. begin the process of using script as a pre-text

Reflecting on drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. use reflection on and evaluation of a particular dramatic action to create possible alternative courses for the action
  2. learn, through drama, the relationship between story, theme and life experience
  3. use the sharing of insights arising out of dramatic action to develop the ability to draw conclusions and to hypothesize about life and people

Co-operating and communicating in making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. develop, out of role, the ability to co-operate and communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  2. develop, in role, the ability to co-operate and to communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  3. develop fictional relationships through interaction with the other characters in small-group or whole-class scenes as the drama text is being
    made
  4. enact spontaneously for others in the group a scene from the drama, or share with the rest of the class a scene that has already been made in
    simultaneous small-group work

Strands for Fifth and Sixth Classes

Exploring and making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. enter appropriately and with facility, whether watched or unwatched, into the fictional dramatic context extend playing in role and in character to include the ability to accept and maintain a brief that has been decided on by either the teacher, the group or himself/herself
  2. discover how the use of space and objects helps in building the context and in signifying the drama theme
  3. explore how the fictional past and the desired fictional future influence the present dramatic action
  4. become adept at implementing the playing rules that maintain focus in dramatic action
  5. help to plan dramatic activity to include the particular tension and suspense appropriate to the theme being explored
  6. become comfortable with script and understand the basic processes by which script becomes action
  7. distinguish between various genres, such as comedy, tragedy, fantasy

Reflecting on drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. reflect on a particular dramatic action in order to create possiblen alternative courses for the action that will reflect more closely the life patterns and issues being examined
  2. learn, through drama, the relationship between story, theme and life experience
  3. use the sharing of insights arising out of dramatic action to develop the
  4. ability to draw conclusions and to hypothesize about life and people

Co-operating and communicating in making drama
The child should be enabled to

  1. develop, out of role, the ability to co-operate and to communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  2. develop, in role, the ability to co-operate and communicate with others in helping to shape the drama
  3. develop fictional relationships through interaction with the other characters in small-group or whole-class scenes as the drama text is being
    made
  4. enact spontaneously for others in the group a scene from the drama, or share with the rest of the class a scene that has already been made in simultaneous small-group work

Approaches and Methodologies

  1. Explore and develop the instinct for make-believe play into drama so as to achieve spontaneity and freedom
  2. Understand at a practical level, role and character and develop the ability to hold onto either for as long as the dramatic activity requires.
  3. Talk and discussion
  4. Active Learning
  5. Guided and discovery learning
  6. Collaborative learning
  7. Problem solving
  8. Skills through content
  9. Using the environment
  10. Make belief play to process drama
Children with Different NeedsChildren with special needs will be encouraged where possible to participate in all drama activities. Children who are shy/self conscious will be encouraged to work in a small group with children who they know well and are comfortable with. Children with physical difficulties will be encouraged to participate at a level that they are physically comfortable with. Children with emotional and behavioral difficulties will be encouraged and praised and made to feel important and necessary. Teachers will ensure that all children will be given equal opportunities.

Linkage and Integration

It is important to us that we will plan carefully to integrate drama with other curriculum area wherever possible. There may be times when the learning benefit may not be predictable so it may depend on the direction the children take in the drama and this cannot be planned for in advance. Drama can also be integrated with other parts of the curriculum by using drama itself as the starting point.

Assessment and Record Keeping

Assessment will help the teacher to monitor children’s learning and development through drama. By observing the child’s involvement / participation in drama the teacher can build a picture of the child’s development through the strands. This can be used as a basis for reporting to the parents and teachers via the end of year school report and at annual parent teacher meetings. We feel that the most suitable methods of assessing drama are teacher observation / discussion.
We will display and keep photos of various ‘drama exploits’ in our classrooms and on computer. We will also record our Christmas performances on D.V.D and will retain a copy of it in the school.

Timetable

The junior/senior infants and first and second class will participate in one ½ hour lesson per week. The other classes will do ½ hour discrete drama time per week and will endeavour to incorporate drama as a methodology in other areas of the curriculum. Every 2nd year each class will present a play at Christmas time. For the weeks leading up to this, the teacher will spend increase time at drama i.e. block teaching in preparation for the presentations.

Resources

Selection of plays

Dress up box
Puppets and various props
S.E.S.E. Drama Pack

Health & Safety

When planning for drama, consideration will be given to the following
  1. Hidden dangers if children are moving about the classroom
  2. Furniture will be moved where possible to clear a space for the children to act out
  3. On days when weather is suitable the children can participate in lessons outside in the shed and/or green areas.

Individual Teachers Planning

Teachers are responsible for their individual teacher planning which will be based on the drama plan. Plans will include yearly scheme and short-term planning. Teachers will consider the elements of drama and use a thematic approach where possible.

Cuntas Miosúil will be used to renew and develop individual preparation for future lessons.

Staff Development
Staff is encouraged to avail of in-service courses and professional development.

Parental Involvement
Parents will be involved in the preparation of costumes and the hall. Parents will be encouraged to help children to practice their lines for plays.

Success Criteria

The success of this plan will be evident by teachers basing their preparations on this school plan and consistently following its procedure. We will feel that the plan has succeeded if the children derive enjoyment from it and if they engage positively with the drama curriculum. Parental feedback will also indicate the level of success of the plan.

Implementation
Roles and responsibilities
The class teacher is responsible for the implementation of the drama policy in his/her own classroom.
Sep 2009-2012

Review
This Principal and staff will review this plan in September 2012.