Holy Trinity NS, Westport
Drama forms an important part of life in Holy Trinity NS. Our first Drama policy
was drawn up in 2005. All teachers were involved in drawing up this review in
consultation with Mary Carr. Mrs Mary Carr has been teaching and assisting
with the implementation of the drama curriculum in all classes for many years.
At Holy Trinity NS, we believe that drama provides children with ways to
explore their own feelings, how they relate to the world around them and to
develop new concepts. Language plays an important role in drama. The
drama curriculum contributes to developing the child’s confidence in English
Opportunities for imaginative play will allow children to be creative and
problem-solve everyday events.
At our school we are committed to the all round development of each child.
We hope through drama to help the child develop confidence and enable
each child to explore their emotions and engage with their environment.
We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for drama
To enable the child to become drama literate
To enable the child to create a permanent bridge between make-
believe play and the art form of theatre
To develop the child’s ability to enter physically, emotionally and
intellectually into the drama world in order to promote questing,
empowering and empathetic skills
To enable the child to develop the social skills necessary to engage
openly, honestly and playfully with others
To enable the child to co-operate and communicate with others in
solving problems in the drama and through the drama
To enable the child to understand the structures and modes of drama
and how they create links between play, thought and life
To enable the child to acquire this knowledge of drama through the
active exploration of themes drawn from life (past and present),
whether they have their source in other curricular areas or in general
areas relevant to the child’s life
To enable the child to begin the process of translating knowledge of
drama into the active exploration of life themes from drama literature,
leading to the appreciation of world drama culture.
1. Strand and strand units
There is only one strand in Drama Curriculum.
‘Drama to explore feelings knowledge and ideas, leading to understanding’.
The strand is divided into three strand units
Exploring and Making Drama
Reflecting on Drama
Co-operating and communicating in making Drama.
Junior room Middle room Senior room
Sept/Oct Movement Movement work to Movement speeds 1 –
work to stimulate imagination; 10. 1 = very slow. 10
stimulate encourage co- = v. fast.
imagination; operation, awareness, Straight lines, curved
encourage co- freedom and lines, floating, robot,
operation, discipline. jerky etc.
awareness, Simple mime Group work/leaders
freedom and exercises e.g. fishing, used mime and
discipline. cutting down trees, improvisation.
Holding hands, moving in straight and Stimulus used;
moving in curved lines, fast and 1. A chair
circles, slow, jerky, walking in (scenes used;
jumping, tip space, walking as a electric chair,
toes, skipping robot. car scene,
up and down lawn mower
etc. Mime and etc)
Nursery improvisation. e.g. 2. Poem
Rhymes (good Family scenes. Group e.g.‘Fireworks’
for early drama work; (scenes
work. 1. Morning watching
Beginning, 2. Dinner time fireworks,
middle, ending 3. Picnic being
and language 4. Shopping fireworks,
skills and 5. Swimming setting off
Acted out the Group work/choice 3. Fishing/Water
following: e.g. Activity. Group
Old Woman 1. Fishing mime. (Scenes
who lived in the 2. Cutting down e.g. sharks,
Shoe. Little trees fishing from a
Miss Muffett. 3. Building a tree boat and falling
Old Mother house. into water)
Jack and Jill. Leaders picked, co- Discussion: Books I
Poems: e.g. operation and team like to read.
‘The Airman’ spirit and exploration Improvisation of
‘The Engine of ideas. scenes from books
Driver’ by Clive e.g.
Samsom. Act 1. The Boy in the
and discussion 2. The Twits
on aeroplanes 3. Danny the
and trains. Champion of
5. Diary of Anne
6. Under the
7. Goodnight Mr
Nov/ Dec Christmas Play Christmas Play Christmas Play
e.g. e.g. e.g.
‘The Snowman’ ‘The Sad Clown’ ‘Labhrai Lynch’
Humpty Golden Goose Snow White and
Dumpty Jack and the seven dwarfs
Creating a beanstalk Reading the script.
scene. 3 little pigs Casting characters
Learning lines. Reading the script. Learning lines.
Stage Casting characters. Learning moves.
movement. Learning lines. Creating the scene.
Co-operation. Learning moves. Co-operation.
Performance. Creating the scene. Team spirit.
Fun. Co-operation. Performance/
Costumes. Team spirit. audience.
Showing Mum Performance/ Correct mistakes.
and Dad. Audience Listening and getting
Correct mistakes involved in
How to improve a
Whole school is involved in the performance of a Nativity play
Jan/ Feb Speech Games: Zip Zap Group work.
rhymes to Zoom Choral speaking. E.g.
improve tongue (passing on a clap) ‘Fire’-Mary O’Neill
and lip Group Mime ‘The Flattered Flying
flexibility. 1. Relay race Fish’-E.V.Riew
Group work. 2. Putting out a ‘Matilda’-Hillaire
Choral fire Belloc
speaking e.g. 3. Basketball
‘The Little Learning beauty of
Piggies’- Group work language, rhyme, and
Thomas Hood Choral Speaking e.g. rhythm.
‘Welcome to 4th-‘Flower Chorus’ – Phrasing.
Spring’-Irene R Emerson Co-operation.
Thompson. 3 -‘Brother’ – M.A. Teamwork.
‘Beauty Hoberman Partook in recital in
Eternal’- by 2nd-‘The Storm’ – E. mid Feb. (Whole
Theresa Moreland. school assembled)
Hooley. Learning beauty of
Learning language, rhyme, and
beauty of rhythm. Phrasing.
rhyme, and Teamwork.
rhythm. Partook in recital in
Phrasing. mid Feb. (Whole
Co-operation. school assembled)
recital in mid
Mar/Apr Individual Individual poems. Feis poems
poems Feis preparation in Feis prose
according to singles 2s and 3s. 6th class prose
age. Ranging Large variety of Piece from ‘Under the
from animal, poems. Hawthorn Tree’ by
weather and Learning to speak out. Marita Conlon
sounds. Pause and phrasing. McKenna in 2’s (from
Each child Off by heart/ memory)
learns his/her memorise 5th class poems in 2’s
poem and Confidence. and 3’s
recites it out Achievement Feis-prose telling is a
loud for the different skill than
whole school. poetry reciting. They
Learning to learn to use pitch,
speak out. pace and pause.
Pause and Learning to speak
Off by heart/ Pause and phrasing.
memorise. Off by heart/
End of year drama End of year drama
April/May Drama. work-group work-each work based on
Preparing short class works on a play children’s literature or
plays with first devised from stories a play devised from a
class only, to in the school readers. story in the school
be performed readers or novels.
to the whole 4th class e.g. ‘The
school. Healing Waters’ a 5th class – e.g. ‘The
story of an Indian’s Soup Kitchen’
‘The Cat and search to find ‘healing (adapted from ‘Under
the Mice’ water’ to cure the Hawthorn Tree’)
Read the play. disease. M.C McKenna
characters. 3rd class – e.g. ‘The 6th class e.g.
Boy Who Cried Wolf’ ‘The Great Mouse
Junior and and Aesop’s fable. Plot’ from ‘Boy’ by
Senior Infants Roald Dahl.
learn poems 2nd Class – e.g.
e.g. ‘The Merry ‘Aliens’,’Custard, All plays performed in
Mice’. Custard’ front of the school
Act out the some prizes given.
poem and us All plays performed in
costumes. front of the school
some prizes given.
art classes in
June Due to the blocking teaching of drama during the year there are
no formal drama lessons planned.
Approaches and Methodologies
Approaches and methodologies used will be based on the active learning
strategies recommended in the curriculum.
- talk and discussion
- active learning
- collaborative learning
- problem solving
- skills through content
- use of the environment
In the middle and senior room our students will be provided with opportunities
to work in different groupings e.g. whole class, small group, pairs, individual.
These students will be encouraged to positively appraise the work of their
peers as they share their drama work.
Children with special needs
We feel that Drama offers children with special needs an opportunity to
participate as fully as possible in the work of the class. Teachers will ensure
that these children are not over-looked in group work and they are
encouraged to engage fully with the topic being covered.
Linkage and Integration
We are familiar with the natural linkage between the three strand units. Each
lesson can include aspects of making and exploring, reflection, co-operation
Other areas of learning will be enhanced by their integration with the drama
Connections may also be made with other subjects especially language,
History, Religion, Gaeilge, S.P.H.E. ,S.E.S.E. and music.
Assessment and Record Keeping
Assessment will help the teacher to monitor children’s learning and
development. Most assessment is done through observation, teacher
designed tasks and projects.
Equality of Participation and Access
Equal opportunities will be given to all children in the school, across all drama
strands and activities.
Each class is timetabled to have a half an hour formal drama lesson with Mrs
Carr each week. In addition to this, Drama is integrated into the Curriculum.
Each class performs a play at our annual Christmas concert. At our Christmas
concert the whole school performs a Nativity play. As block timetabling of
drama takes place in the build up to our Christmas concert in December and
the Feis in May; we do not have formal drama lessons in June.
We have a simple stage and hall, which we use for most drama lessons.
Many of our parents offer their talents and skills in supporting the Drama
Class readers, novels, scripts e.g variety of poetry, plays.
Dragon in the Woodshed
Digging for China
Please Mrs Butler
Health and safety
Please refer to school’s Health and Safety Policy.
Individual teachers’ planning and reporting
The whole school plan and curriculum strand and strand units for Drama will
provide the information for individual teachers for their class planning, both
long and short planning.
Teachers will report on work completed on a Monthly Report template, Cuntús
Míosúil , these are kept in individual teachers folders and in a central folder in
the staff room.
Teachers work closely together and share their talents and strengths.
Teachers may participate in courses at the Mayo Education Centre or do a
Summer Course in Drama. At Christmas time Mrs Hegarty is responsible for
the Nativity play.
The school always welcomes parental involvement.. Parent’s talents have
enriched drama in the school. Many have been involved in painting back
drops and scenery, making costumes, doing lighting, sound and music.
Parents also are a very appreciative audience of our Christmas plays.
During the annual Westport Arts festival and Louisburgh Sonas festival
opportunities to experience Drama often arise. Each year the whole school
attends a musical preformed by the transition year students from SHS and
We believe that drama helps to create confident children and success is
evident in the children themselves.
This policy will be reviewed in 2012.