Drama is widely used across St John’s in a variety of ways. Many classes have role play areas which are part of their continuous provision (Nursery, Reception and Year 1) and prop boxes in higher year group classes which are available for children to access. These are set up based on children’s interests, familiar experiences, or topic based. For example, in the autumn term Reception usually have a home corner set up to allow children to re-enact and represent experiences that feel secure in a familiar home environment. Year One have role play areas set up linked to their topics, such as a garden centre or vets which link to their topic of ‘What a wonderful world.’ There are cross curricular links within this as plants and animals are covered within their topic work.
Drama is used within a variety of cross curricular ways to help children to engage, understand and empathise with topics they may be covering; There are various workshops children have experienced such as a Florence Nightingale workshop which allowed children to travel back in time with the famous Lady with the Lamp and learn about her life; in particular the impact she had on nursing and the sanitisation of our hospitals. The children took part in role play scenarios, recreating the Victorian period within which Florence was working and act out the story of Florence.
Drama is also used as a tool for acting out different scenarios in Collective Worship, RE and PSHE and to support safer internet awareness; giving children the opportunities to re-enact different emotions and responses to situations which they may encounter, and allowing them to safely explore different ways they could respond.
While drama at St John’s is often planned into the curriculum, there are also opportunities for children to initiate their own interests and act and perform with their peers at lunch time and during their play. There are stage areas set up in EYFS and on the playground for the children to access independently.