At Fontenebro International  School, we believe that Drama can play an important role in allowing our students to get better at a wide range of skills and abilities as well as their personal development both social and personal.  Drama also helps enhance creativity and provides students an opportunity to discover, explore and improve their creativity.  Through using Drama to make connections with the academic content of different subject areas Drama classes  are an invaluable  opportunity to help students reach their potential not only in specific drama skills but also in their learning in general. 

This year we have been working on many drama skills through different explorative strategies while at the same time making those important cross curricular links to help our students with their understanding of different knowledge and concepts in other subjects. 

Our first years have been exploring how they can change the shape of their body to represent different animals.  In this picture our 1st Year students are working with a partner in an activity called ‘Animal Mirrors’.  In addition to using their knowledge of different animals they are also working on cooperation, observation and control. 

Drama can also be used to develop and improve thinking skills such as divergent thinking – the ability to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. In the photo we see Leo, a 3rd year student using a coat-hanger as the wings on a bee.  Each member of the group would also think of different uses for the same object and perform a short mime for their classmates to guess.  It’s good fun and it’s always amazing how creative young students can be. 

The students always have different learning objectives and these are communicated to them at the beginning of the class (after the song, of course).  They are now familiar with what WAGMA means.  We Are Getting Better AT.  This gives them a clear focus on the skills and abilities that they are developing during the class. 

Creating a tableau is a strategy that all our Drama students have used with great effect to express emotion, control  and creativity.  In the example above the 5th students who are representing a scene from Visogth and Roman history  also had to use team-working skills as several decisions needed to be made.  They enjoyed the experience and we were able to review certain aspects of the Visigoths which they were learning about in Social Science.

Concepts such as gravity can be challenging for students to understand and therefore Drama can be used to explore their understanding and develop it further, which is what our 4th Year students did in Drama. Apart from trying to lift a pencil case on a planet so big that the force of gravity is way stronger than on Earth, they also worked in small groups to show the effects of gravity on their lives bringing knowledge, skills and understanding together.

Finally, Drama is a tool that can be used to raise awareness.  In March during the school’s efforts to raise awareness of Street Child United (SCU)  – the official charity of ISP – the Drama class was used to make our students think about young people less fortunate than themselves and also the work that SCU are doing to help.   In this photo we see a group of 2nd Year students working together to show how they would celebrate a goal having also explored how they would feel being a street-connected child.

Young people  have so much natural creativity that it is important that they have the opportunities in school to explore it, enhance it and think of ways of applying it.  Drama is an excellent way for them to do just that at Fontenebro International School and being their guide as their Drama teacher is a real privilege. 

Mike West
Primary Drama Teacher