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 spoken language 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 support pupils to develop their mathematical fluency and confidence across the curriculum, mathematical skills are embedded into most Schemes of Work, where meaningful e.g. turn taking in Drama games, using mathematical skills when designing and creating props or costumes.

The teaching of spoken language, reading, writing and key vocabulary is embedded throughout the schemes of work. Drama provides the context to improve writing skills, to develop realistic dialogue and to extend vocabulary. Improvisation and storytelling develop student's understanding of narrative structure with a consequent impact on speaking and writing skills


Refer to Long Term Plans

Drama is taught on a weekly basis to all classes in Key Stage 3 by a specialist Drama Teacher.


Schemes of work are tailored to the needs and ability of each child. This includes pathways for our pupils with Complex Needs, pupils within our Specialist Provision, Nurture, Explore and Inspire pathways.


Performing Arts is delivered collaboratively at KS4 by the specialist Music and Drama teachers. We offer four exam pathways to cover the wide ability range of our pupils. These include:

  • NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Performance Skills (GCSE D – G equivalent)
  • Arts Award Silver (Level 1+)
  • Arts Award Bronze (Level 1)
  • Arts Award Discover (Entry Level)
  • Expressive Arts is delivered at KS5 on a carousel with Music, Art and Drama. All three genres contribute to the following qualification:
  • Arts Award Explore (Entry Level)


Students are encouraged to experience a range of live performances during the course of the year and cross curricular activities occur on a regular basis including the whole school where the use of all genres of the arts is required. Opportunities exist for pupils to experience Drama through visits to the theatre, concerts, in school master classes and workshops from theatre companies, authors and musicians. 


Students will be able to explore their creativity through a variety of styles, themes and topics. Students will become confident and independent thinkers, who are able to critically analyse the roles within theatre and live productions. Students will have an appreciation of their own work and others, always demonstrating respect and empathy. They will participate in an engaging, practical curriculum that supports the development of new acting skills, as well nurturing existing talent.


The Drama Curriculum at Elms Bank aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • will study a range of practitioners, plays and styles of theatre, in order to develop their practical and theoretical understanding of Drama.
  • will confidently articulate and analyse live productions and their own performances. Within this, they will identify drama techniques and skills and form a critical opinion.
  • will regularly make, perform and respond to Drama, in order to develop their own practice, through the delivery of a broad and exciting curriculum.
  • will develop core transferable skills, such as communication, co-operation and confidence that will assist them in other lessons and prepare them for future life.


Refer to: Pathway documents for qualifications; termly data analysis; end of year data analysis. See also pupil voice following events such as Arts Week and the School Performance.


The Drama curriculum of our school is designed to provide equal opportunities for all pupils regardless of differences in race, sex, religion, social or economic class. We strive to achieve cohesion and continuity in the curriculum in order to allow each child to progress easily from stage to stage. All students are offered the chance to extend their drama knowledge and skills through participating in performances and school drama sessions, both of which are offered during or after school hours.


 “Drama is not simply a subject, but also a method…a learning tool. Furthermore, it is one of the key ways in which children can gain an understanding of themselves and others” National Curriculum Document

Drama is a form of communication that combines unique visual elements alongside that of speaking and listening. It is important that children have access and experience of this, regardless of their ability because it can enable pupils to become expressive, confident, self-motivating and participating.

Drama involves imagination and feelings and helps us to make sense of the world. It does this through the creation of imagined characters and situations, and the relationships and events that they encounter. Through engagement in drama, pupils can apply their imaginations and draw upon their own personal experiences, enabling them to begin to effectively shape, express and share their ideas, feelings and responses. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together.

Our aim is to enable, stimulate and encourage the spontaneity, creativity, curiosity and delight of all students. We recognise that through Drama, each student is an individual and is educated as they develop creatively, spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially.

  • Spiritual - Spiritual development in drama occurs through the on-going analysis of what it means to be human. We create a diverse curriculum that where we hope to enable students to;
    Sustain their self-esteem in their learning experience
  • Develop their capacity for independent thought
  • Foster their emotional life and express their feelings
  • Experience moments of stillness and reflection
  • Discuss their beliefs, feelings and values
  • Create and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships
  • Reflect on, consider and celebrate the wonders and mysteries of life

Moral- Our Core Values permeate all our work within Drama. These values form the basis of development, progress and success for every pupil – Everyone Learning Motivates Success.
Moral and social development in drama also develops through the appreciation of others in group work, how to overcome obstacles and what it takes to be a successful team player and leader. Moral development also occurs in drama through the contemplating of issues and themes from a range of sources and texts, including stories, poetry and photographs.

Social- Social development occurs in drama as our pupils learn to overcome the challenges which we always face when working with others. Where appropriate, we teach students to learn from each other and to help each other in school and within the wider community. We believe that our needs are best met in an atmosphere which is supportive, purposeful and fun! All our staff are dedicated to enable students to learn and grow feeling valued and knowing how they can improve.

Cultural- Cultural development in Drama involves looking at other communities, social groups, civilizations and their lifestyles, both historically and present day. Creating an understanding and respect for the cultural diversity of modern Britain. Pupils have an opportunity to explore aspects of their own culture and begin to recognise, and appreciate differences in drama and music from different times and places and begin to make connections between different cultures.

Practical activities to develop SMSC include:

  • Working together in different groupings and situations
  • Taking responsibility e.g. Team leader, props organiser, story teller etc.
  • Encouraging teamwork in all group activities
  • Showing appreciation for the performances of others
  • Meeting people from different cultures and countries
  • Participation in a variety of different educational visits
  • Participation in live performances such as assembly, Christmas concert and our annual school production.
  • Opportunities for the children to hear and see live performances by professional actors, dancers and musicians.

By visiting theatres and working with a range of outside practitioners students see the range of careers that can be pursued with the Arts. Students also get hands on experience through taking part on stage and behind the scenes in our end of show, in addition performing in other local venues, e.g local schools, Met, Royal Exchange, etc