The policy for Drama has been developed through the teaching experience of the Head of Department in Drama and Theatre History, sharing expertise with teachers in the Prep school and the Pre-Prep school and incorporating any relevant information produced by the National Curriculum for English.
All children should have regular access to Drama lessons which are appropriate to their age and stage of development within this curriculum subject as well as exposure to Theatre and the play in performance. Whilst working closely with English in some areas (such as listening and speaking), Drama should be looked on not only as an independent and vital subject area, i.e. in which one can learn much about self and others, but also as an important link with cross curricular activity within the school. The Drama scheme of work at Mowden begins in the Reception and runs through until Year 8.
Drama is expected to make a significant contribution to life at Mowden (with each child in the school performing at least once a year on the stage as well as attending Drama lessons and taking part in assemblies), and to remain a high profile subject by presenting work – both scripted and improvised – to the rest of the school and parents as audience, thus allowing opportunities for others to take part in or to witness the creative responses the pupils make. This provides a stimulating and creative environment where ‘something is always happening’ around the school, allowing the children to see and understand the relevance that Drama can have for their personal development through pointing out lessons about life and art within school and the wider world.
Mowden has a strong reputation for its drama. A purpose-built theatre enables the children to learn about all aspects of staging plays, and each class – from Nursery to Year 8 – develops its own production during the year, in addition to Scholars’ and Boarders’ plays.
Scripts are often original works written by Mowden staff to complement study programmes in specific subjects, for example Classical Studies. Most plays are accompanied by a musical score written for the production.
From an early stage, children become accustomed to public speaking, as reading reports and prayers in Assemblies are a way of life.