Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.

Augusto Boal (Brazilian Theatre Practitioner)

Drama at Dolphin is about being creative, stretching the imagination, expressing ourselves, gaining confidence and developing co-operative skills. It is also about laughing a lot!

 

We follow the Arts Council Guidance on drama, ensuring that our pupils have the opportunity to create drama, perform drama and respond to drama. Drama is taught formally once a week from Year 3 upwards, and over the course of their Dolphin School life, pupils will encounter a wide range of dramatic materials and texts; experience, understand and use creatively dramatic concepts, forms and techniques; experiment with and gain competence in modes of performance; and have access to a wide range of live theatre.

 

Professionals from the theatre world visit us regularly, running workshops on a variety of subjects ranging from visual mask theatre to creating and bringing to life puppets made from junk. There are numerous trips organised to see live theatre – this has included highly respected companies such as Kneehigh, the RSC and NIE touring company. And we watched one of the very first productions at the Unicorn Theatre after it had moved into its new home on Tooley Street. The very popular Artidote club runs after school each Summer term and gives students in Year 5 and above wondrous free rein in choosing what they would like to explore through the medium of Drama.

 

We stage two major productions annually and offer a variety of other extra curricular opportunities; these have included performing at the Edinburgh Festival, collaborating with young Catalan actors in Barcelona and performing with them at the prestigious Igualada Festival, and devising projects in the local community. We hope to create dynamic, thought provoking and popular theatre, which not only challenges us, but the audience as well. 

 

 

Many of the productions are written specially for the students; two of the most recent examples being ​Tales from the Tent, about displaced people, which picked up five stars from the British Theatre Guide at the Edinburgh Festival, and a tri-lingual production of Greater Expectations, a very loose adaptation of Dickens' original, which we toured in Spain.

 

It is vital that our young casts have as much input as possible into the creative process and have a real sense of ownership of both the material and performance. When ownership exists in a piece of work it becomes a very real, tangible element communicated to and felt by an audience. And the effect on the pupil can be, quite literally, life changing.

 

'It is forbidden to walk on the grass. It is not forbidden to fly over the grass'

Augusto Boal 

Judy Seall, Head of Drama

 

Edinburgh Fringe Festval

Barcelona Tour

What a pleasure. Dolphin school has such a nice vibe, it's a children's utopia! 

Julian Spooner, Rhum and Clay  Theatre  Company
Why teach Drama in School?

Good question..... especially now when Drama is fighting for its life in so many schools.

 

Although England is a world leader in theatre, and the creative industries are the fastest growing in the world, the British government baffles me. In June 2017 they introduced new national exams - the Ebacs, which included the following subjects: English Language and Literature, Maths, the three Sciences, Geography, History and a foreign language. Aren't we missing something?

 

What about the Arts? It is possible to continue studying Art, Music, Drama and in some schools, Dance, but my worry is that these new exams send out a message from the government - some subjects are more important than others. A recent BBC survey, in which over 40% of schools had responded, stated that 9/10 schools reported that they had cut back on lessons time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject.

 

Our schools need to offer a curriculum which is broad, balanced, creative and future proof. An Arts based education is key in this turbulent world in which we live - for developing empathy, resilience, and an ability to adapt. 

 

I am a teacher and proud to be a gatekeeper to the Arts. Guillaume Apollinaire's short poem sums up what many Drama teachers do every day.....

 

'Come to the edge,' he said.

'We can't, we're afraid!' they responded.

'Come to the edge,' he said.

'We can't, we will fall!' they responded.

'Come to the edge,' he said.

And so they came

And he pushed them

And they flew

 

Even more importantly, what do our students think about Drama?

'Drama makes me feel very, very giddy' (Matthew Year 4)

'I love Drama - you make more friends' (Ava Year 6)

'I love Drama because whenever I am feeling dull or something bad has happened Drama always brightens my day' (Ayra Year 6)

'I like Drama because I get to express my feelings in a way I won't be judged. (Diana Year 7)

 

 

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