It means a lot to a child to be part of a school production.
It may be as a rowdy villager, or the play’s villain, or a backstage crew member who helps to design the set.
Whatever their part may be, each one is of equal importance and will leave each child with lasting memories. At Heath Mount, the department puts on a broad range of productions, which are experimental in nature, and always ambitious.
All the pupils in Years 3 and 4 are on stage for their own individual year group productions, directed by their class teachers. In Year 5, pupils are given the choice to be part of a showcase, when they can perform poetry, short dramatic scenes or songs. Years 6 & 7 put on a large scale production together, for which there is the choice to perform or be part of a backstage crew. The recent ‘Beauty & The Beast’ was a resounding success!
The production for 2015-16 will be ‘The Lion King’, for which excitement is already mounting.
Year 7 ‘Trestle’ Mask Workshop
For our Curriculum Day in March, we brought in ‘Trestle’, the acclaimed mask and physical theatre company, to run a one day workshop. This introduced the pupils to the exciting versatility of masks. They explored how mask training can unlock the door to a more focused physicality in all performance.
Morning Workshop: Basic Masks
This workshop provided an introduction to Trestle’s mask technique.
Pupils were taught the principles of effective mask performance through physicality and core techniques.
Afternoon Workshop: Half Masks
Trestle’s half mask set brought the additional element of speech to Trestle’s mask training and we chose eight varied half masks to become a playful set of characters. The department now owns a set of the beautiful, handmade Basic Masks and a set of the Half Masks, which will be used in Drama lessons to explore further this type of drama.
Year 4 – The Globe Theatre Workshop
For our Curriculum Day in March, Year 4 visited The Globe Theatre. As well as a tour of the exhibition and theatre itself, the children were treated to an excellent workshop. It was wholly interactive and all-inclusive from the first to the last minute. The children were taken through many skills and disciplines, each one with an element of fun.
The activities were perfectly pitched and also continually linked to actual theatre productions as would happen at The Globe; children were gaining a real perception of context for what they were doing. The people who took the workshops showed extensive knowledge and enthusiasm; the Heath Mount teachers came away with plenty of ideas to implement in their own classrooms. It was great to see the confidence displayed by our own children.
All were made to feel very much a part of the activities and more than a few probably felt a little braver at the end than they did at the start.
Coaching for LAMDA examinations in both communication and performance subjects is offered as a weekly extra-curricular activity in half-hourly lessons. The exams are rooted in encouraging participants to develop a love of literature, poetry and drama, and hence improve standards of communication through the spoken word. Subjects include Verse and Prose Speaking, Acting, Speaking in Public, Reading for Performance, Miming and Devising Drama.
LAMDA provides the opportunity to nurture natural abilities and develop a learner’s skills in reading fluently with understanding, improving confidence in speaking and listening, expanding vocabulary to improve powers of self-expression, promoting creative thinking and an understanding of how feelings and emotions dictate behaviour, as well as engaging in constructive informal conversation. The exams will enhance a learner’s self-confidence, encouraging self-awareness and enabling an individual to fulfill their potential, whilst developing a broad range of essential life skills that will support them in the future.
Our children love their LAMDA lessons and do extremely well in the exams that they take at the end of each period of study. In the summer 2015 examinations, for example, our talented pupils received an outstanding 35 distinctions and 10 merits.