West Yorkshire Playhouse comes to Shakespeare!
Throughout the month of March, all Year 6 pupils have had the opportunity to have weekly drama sessions with a Drama Specialist from the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
The purpose of these drama sessions is enable our Year 6 pupils to experience how drama can help them have a deeper, more profound understanding of a specific novel, its characters and storyline. As a year group, we have been reading ‘Cosmic’ by Frank Cottrell Bryce (a witty novel about an unusually tall 12 year old boy who finds himself accidently in space!) Our drama teacher has been focusing on specific scenes within the story of Cosmic, teaching our pupils how you can use drama to step into the world of the story’s characters and imagine that they are acting out different scenes from the narrative.
Different drama techniques and approaches have been used such as freeze-framing and slow-motion acting to explore how the main characters from Cosmic react to one another and situations and how they can act out emotions through body language and facial expressions in role. One particular highlight was watching our children re-enact a scene in Cosmic where Liam and Florida (the two main characters) react when they arrive at a state-of-the-art, futuristic house where – as 12 year olds – they get to live without any parents telling them what to do. The shock, disbelief, joy, excitement in the faces and body language of our Year 6 children as they acted in slow-motion was a delight to see.
Alongside the drama we have been focusing on writing in class a detailed character description of Liam (the protagonist from Cosmic). Following on from the first two drama sessions, we were amazed, as teachers, as to the quality of the written outcomes in class. It was clear how stepping into the shoes of these characters through drama enabled our children to be more purposeful and intentional with their description and choice of language in their writing.
We’ve realised just how transforming drama can be, not just for how it impacts on our children’s writing but more importantly towards the self-esteem, confidence and collaborative skills our Year 6 children have learnt and will continue to learn through these sessions. Here’s to a lot more Drama in our classes and school!