Drama is seen as an “imitation of an action. It is a branch of literature, which is both literary art and representational art”. Drama is seen as an integral part of child development, with many children engaging in pretend play before they even start school.
At Drumbeat, our pupils need additional support to make sense of the world around them and drama provides a means to do this; by exploring a wide range of scenarios that we are faced with in our daily lives. The pupils at Drumbeat learn to participate in “drama” whilst engaging with “drama”. This is carried out through a structured curriculum, which develops key concepts from ‘being imaginative’, from the EYFS Development Matters curriculum, to National Curriculum elements, which involves the carrying out of story-telling with props to performing in full productions to an audience. The progressive nature of the curriculum will focus on initially responding to real life sounds in terms of an exaggerated nose to an everyday action to immersing themselves into the character of a ‘Superhero’ and exploring through action, voice, visuals and song, how this person would feel and respond.
This will also involve following stories with props, engaging as a character in a story, developing drama props to support themes being explored as well as the use of music to enhance a performance.
Drama is a very sensory based area of the curriculum and the use of objects, sounds as well as teaching opportunities throughout the day will lend themselves to these principles. Our responses can provide a developmental platform for the extension of attention and engagement in play; demonstrating the functionality of objects to show how one thing can be used symbolically to be another e.g. a cardboard box to be a car or a house. In addition, drama provides our children with the opportunity to develop the skills of movement, communication, turn taking, requesting, extending vocabulary and the development of expressive and receptive understanding as well as the expression of emotions and development of enquiry. In addition, drama helps to deliver understanding across the curriculum and extends to life skills and independence, such as taking responsibility, learning appropriate behaviours for different situations and sharing.
Drama gives our pupils the opportunity to develop, create and express themselves and their creative talents. Drama as an art form is extremely inclusive through the use of role play, improvisation and story telling to encourage communication, language and social interaction. Drama also provides a way of presenting life experiences in small digestible chunks in which children with Autism can engage.