Years 3 – 5 have weekly timetabled drama lessons. Through these lessons, children are taught a variety of essential dramatic skills and learn both to value themselves as communicators with something tangible to say and as listeners. Investment in a child’s self-confidence can never be over-estimated and whilst some of our former DCPS pupils have gone on to achieve great things in the wider dramatic world, we are not necessarily in the business of turning out actors – helping a child to believe in themselves is of far greater and lasting value.
All the children in Years 3 – 5 appear in the annual Christmas play, typically with Years 3 & 4 taking the chorus roles and speaking roles being played by Year 5 pupils. All children are also prepared for group classes at the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts where we have been awarded Championship trophies several years in a row.
All children from Years 6 – 8 are invited to audition for the Senior Prep School play, a vast majority of these year groups audition or are involved in the production in some way; whether they are acting, lighting, helping with the costume department or designing the set.
PRIVATE SPEECH AND DRAMA
Currently half of all our pupils from Year 3- 8 have private speech and drama lessons. They can have these individually, in a pair, or in small groups. Pupils receive 30 lessons over the course of the academic year on a weekly basis and are entered for LAMDA Examinations.
Lessons focus on the individual, developing performance skills such as diction, expression, characterisation & performance and communication skills.
Drama is often seen as a predominantly female preserve – but at Dean Close Prep, there is nothing unusual in finding half the rugby team singing ‘Pick A Pocket’ in their spare time. Of the 150 Prep School pupils who opt for Speech & Drama, over a third are boys, and this ratio increases dramatically in the Senior School.