The Intent of Drama at Anson
Anson Primary School embraces the Arts in education. We believe that the dramatic arts in particular are a perfect marriage for a vision of happy, confident and creative children.
We give them every opportunity to shine.
In studying drama the children develop their skills in storytelling, their oracy, their ability to collaborate and they become more confident. Drama also builds our six learning behaviours of collaboration, risk taking, independence, thinking, resilience and aspiration.
In order to give the children aspirational access to the industry we work with Finding the Will, The Unicorn Theatre, Wizard Theatre and Illyria Theatre to bring drama to Anson.
The intention of using drama is to ensure we maximise the value we place behind the storytelling experience, the opportunity to drive speaking and listening, the ability to grow the confidence of the children and the creativity that comes with performing on stage, in front of the camera or to your peers. With teachers using whoosh scripts to give an accessible entry point to complex stories, our work with industry partners and our celebration of the children's work, drama is values highly in our school.
The Implementation Examples
In 2021 we worked with the Unicorn Theatre on an ambitious project. While the country was in lockdown we joined together with the theatre to help develop a new play, Marvin's Binoculars.
A group of children met with the writer and director, Justin Audibert, three times a week to work through the play from the eyes of a 9-year old. Every session was recorded with the key moments and tasks shared across the whole school on Seesaw and Google Classroom. This meant that every child had the opportunity to submit their ideas and these were built into the final play. You can see some of their work below.
The final show was performed at a number of schools in the Summer Term of 2021, a digital version was also recorded and you can see it on stage in 2022 at the Unicorn Theatre in London.
The school is immensely proud of the way drama was used to connect children, explore their emotions, inspire their creativity and give them a voice. We were closer as a community despite being physically further apart than ever.
Every pupil is given the opportunity to perform on the stage every year they attend Anson. Even though parents are invited to attend their child's assembly, all assemblies are recorded. This means that working parents can watch their child's assembly and everyone can relive the magic.
We also use the assembly footage for our annual OSCAR-style celebration - The Annies.
Anson Primary School celebrate the work of the children on the Anson stage, behind the scenes and on camera. In an annual showcase event, the whole school votes for their standout performances of the year. The teachers adorn themselves in their finest clothes and, in a spectacular ceremony, the winners are announced. The celebration is always a highlight of the year.
Finding The Will
Every year, during Shakespeare Week we work with Richard and Jules from Finding the Will to bring one of the Bard's plays to life on the Anson Stage. The children in lower Key Stage Two take part in workshops during the first 4 days a of a week and then perform the play in the afternoon of the 5th day. The whole school is focused on Shakespeare during the week and it is a celebration of his work and the children of Anson.
Technology on the Anson Stage
Our large screen and projection allows us to be innovative with backdrops and sets. Some classes use it as a simple Powerpoint backdrop with images and video playing. However, we've also seen flying ghosts, the mummification of Pharaohs and Gummy Bear fights on the screen as part of the shows. This video demonstrates innovative use of technology on the Anson Stage.
Teachers as Actors
It’s not just the children who get involved, with members of staff taking to the stage. In the past they have performed Aladdin, Cinderella, Jack & the Beanstalk and A Christmas Carol to packed houses. This is an important element of our work as it drives the quality of all drama throughout the school as the training we receive feeds into our daily work.
The impact of drama results in: