Home' Teacher : June-July 2011 Contents 44 teacher june/july 2011
School Drama works in with what the
teacher already has as a key focus. School
Drama is not an impost, it’s a practical
teacher development progra m delivered via
a co-mentoring relationship.
Working in partnership with the Faculty
of Education at the University of Sydney
has been one key to School Drama’s suc -
cess for two reasons. Firstly, the university
is responsible for evaluating School Dra ma
and reporting on the academic and affec-
tive outcomes of teachers and students.
Secondly, there has been a balanced blend-
ing of rigorous academic pedagogy with the
creative impulse and skill of an artist.
The measurements of School Drama
have had the dual focus of looking at how
effectively the teachers adopt the drama
strategies and at the academic and affective
outcomes of the students taught in this way.
The value of having an experienced theatre
professional bringing their unique skill set
into the classroom is clearly evident.
We’ve also learned that S chool Drama
really takes off in those schools that have
principals open to the possibility of what
the arts can offer their students and if the
teacher is open to really getting in and hav-
ing a go.
We currently are working in 18 very
diverse schools and , given the success of the
pilot phase of School Drama, we hope to
roll it out to more schools across NSW, and
ultimately Australia in the coming years.
Want to join in? Drop us a line! T
Helen Hristofski is the Education
Manager at Sydney Theatre Company.
Pictured, STC’s School Drama: Teaching
artist Russell Smith at Glebe Primary
School; STC’s School Drama at Plunkett
Street Primary School. Photographer
Tracey Schramm. Images courtesy of STC.
For more on the School Drama program,
visit www.sydneytheatre.com .au/stced
To join the program, email hhristofski@
What do the teachers say?
feedback from the teachers who participate in school drama has been overwhelm-
‘ Who’d have thought that drama could actually be so engaging to teach? I have
had a wonderful time being part of STC’s School Drama program – it has been an
inspirational journey for me. Although my learning curve was a steep one, I can see
a whole range of ways that drama can be incorporated into the curriculum. Thank
you for being a patient and confidence-building teacher.’
‘For me it was like mentoring in drama teaching...The actor broke it down in a way
that made me realise I could do it. It was empowering. It was fantastic. I have been
using some of those activities... I would love to have more.’
‘I think I made the link between doing drama activity and a writing task or another
aspect of literacy – before it was just drama for drama’s sake, so I feel more confident
linking drama and literacy learning now...I have not done a lot of drama [in the past] it
was very hit and miss, because I did not know how. I am very much a visual learner, if
I can’t see it then I don’t really get a sense of how to do it... so to get to see it in action
was great, and then following up with the in-class work afterwards worked really well.’
‘STC’s School Drama 2010 was a most positive and wonderful experience for
every student in my class and for me, their teacher. I am very interested in developing
the skills of the whole child – to develop relationships and deepen their understanding
of not only literacy and numeracy but also about people and the world. To see this
developing through drama was exciting and inspiring.’
‘ We have been involved in the program since it was first implemented and we would
love to continue participating. We have found great benefits to student confidence,
participation and performance in all aspect of English and other key learning areas.’
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