Pupils in a lesson at Elms Bank


Drama plays a significant role within Elms Bank. It is ideal for cross-curricular learning and is a valuable tool for use in many subject areas. In particular, drama develops literacy skills – supporting speaking and listening, extending vocabulary and encouraging pupils to understand and express different points of view. Drama gives young people opportunities to explore, discuss and deal with difficult issues and to express their emotions in a supportive environment. It enables them to explore their own cultural values and those of others, past and present. It encourages them to think and act creatively. Through drama, children are encouraged to take responsible roles and make choices – to participate in and guide their own learning. Drama develops a pupil’s self-esteem, confidence and supports wider learning in essential areas such as communication, team work, independence and social interaction and there are many opportunities for pupils to participate at a variety of levels within all that is on offer at Elms Bank.


  • To develop pupils’ self-confidence and self-worth by creating a supportive, constructive and positive learning environment.
  • To develop pupils’ respect and consideration for each other by encouraging turn-taking, acknowledgement of ideas, appropriate and safe behaviour and focused listening.
  • To develop imaginative and creative processes and responses by involving pupils in a range of drama methods and activities.
  • To allow pupils to explore the variety of human emotions through a range of drama activities.
  • Where possible, for pupils to become aware of and begin to use a variety of dramatic forms and techniques and to express ideas and feelings, such as mime, movement and costume.
  • To provide a variety of opportunities to see and hear different types of performance and drama, such as Theatre in Education and Teacher in Role.
  • Where applicable, to develop oral and physical skills, including language and movement appropriate to role, through drama activities and responding to drama.
  • To enable pupils the opportunity to experience aspects of theatre by rehearsing and presenting their work to an audience.
  • Where possible for pupils to develop the ability to work constructively as a member of the team, and understand what it means, through practice to be an effective team player.
The department has one full time subject specialist Drama teacher – Mrs L Warwick (Curriculum Coordinator).

What do we teach? 

Drama is taught to all teaching groups in Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 4 students have Performing Arts and will pursue either an Arts Award or an NCFE Performance Skills qualification. At Key Stage 5 all students who remain in our Extended Education department are taught Drama as part of an Expressive Arts Carousel.

The KS3 Drama curriculum at Elms Bank has been developed to build upon existing skills and develop a whole range of new ones. Students have the opportunity to work in pairs, teams and individually on a range of topics that cover many other curriculum areas.  From developing group and performance skills in Year 7, experiencing life as an Evacuee of WW2 in Year 8 through to Myths and Legends in Year 9, to name just a few!  Our lessons are practical-based and our schemes of work aim to interest and provide all students with engaging activities that also help to develop basic skills and theatrical skills. 

At Key Stage 4 we follow the Arts Award and NCFE qualifications in Performance Skills, which combine Drama and Music together.  These specifications include devised and scripted performances, leading activities and workshops, theatre reviews, evaluating own work and creating music from around the world. This culminates in a fantastic portfolio and evidence of the skills that the students can take on to further education with them.

Drama for Complex Needs Students

All of our complex needs groups have one hour of Drama every week and we cover a wide-range of topics and themes such as Pirates, Fairytales and Space.  Every lesson is sensory based and we have a variety of props, puppets, textures, lights, smells, music, singing and stories to explore and engage the students. 

Events in the Drama Department include: 

  • Theatre visits 
  • Workshops and performances by Theatre groups visiting the school 
  • After school Drama club 
  • Annual School productions
  • Links with local primary and secondary schools for collaborative work

Drama continues to thrive at Elms Bank with our most recent musical success “Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies”. Every pupil in the school was involved in some way through performance, props and scenery, marketing, box office, photography and filming. This was a real whole school team effort and our best show yet!

Every two years we take part in The Shakespeare School's Festival. So far we have performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and we are just about to showcase our version of Romeo and Juliet at the Met Theatre, Bury in November with Year 8.

“Your cast achieved something very special on that stage, pulling at the heartstrings of every single member of the audience. Your production was magical, whimsical and beautiful and also showcased the wonderful talent you have in your school…”
Alanna Beeken, Shakespeare Festival Coordinator.