Festival News: Drama and the School Curriculum

Published: 12 October 2021
Drama has the potential to develop skills in teamwork, cooperation, listening, empathy, social etiquette, thinking, questioning… the list is endless

Amy Willoughby, Create Sheffield’s Creative Education Producer and Assistant Headteacher at Beck School hosted the event ‘what place is there for drama and expressive arts in the curriculum?’ during the ‘Why Creativity Matters NOW’ strand of the Learn Sheffield Autumn Online Festival

There was a wide variety of examples given during the session, exploring how drama has been used in school settings by some of Create Sheffield’s arts and cultural Partners. Here are few of the main points;

•Helen Griffin from Development Education Centre South Yorkshire (DECSY) and Thom Winterbotham from Malin Bridge Primary School shared their experience of using drama methodologies in the classroom from both artist and teacher perspectives. Thom discussed his experience of how drama, through his work with DECSY, helped to draw out emotional, meaningful experiences for his students, offering opportunities for pupils to give their opinions in creative ways.  

DECSY shared some of the fantastic lesson plans they have on their website, aimed at learners aged 8-14. These resources explore the concept of non-violent action through historical case studies. You can access those resources here

•Natasha Holmes from Tell Tale Hearts shared information about Blue Bird, an Arts Council funded project delivered at Millhouse Primary School. Central to Blue Bird and to Natasha’s work is the development process with the children and teachers. 

Blue Bird faced particular challenges as the delivery took place under Covid restrictions. These challenges were overcome through the close relationship with teachers, who also took part in CPD to support this work.  Blue Bird was a great success, both in its ability to engage the children and with its links to the curriculum through literacy with creative writing and spoken word, art and design and computing.   

•Gertie Whitfield from Whitworks Adventures in Theatre shared a case study of a primary school she worked with where she was asked to help address some of the relationship issues they were having in the school. Gertie quoted the Head of the school who said ‘drama has the potential to develop skills in teamwork, cooperation, listening, empathy, social etiquette, thinking, questioning… the list is endless.’ He went on to say that the children at the beginning were terrified with drama as it took them beyond their comfort zones, but flourished and showed great maturity through the work with Gertie. 

These case studies are well worth watching in full. If you missed this session and would like to find out more about what was presented, you can watch the recording here


About Create Sheffield 

Create Sheffield  is Sheffield’s Cultural Education Partnership, it exists to take the young people of Sheffield on ‘a journey into the arts, culture and heritage sectors, benefiting the lives of all those in Sheffield aged 0-24. Create Sheffield is supported by IVE, the Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber and also has received support from other organisations in Sheffield.  


Create Sheffield ask everyone who has attended one of the sessions or watched the replay to fill in a ‘Getting to Know You’ form to help us gather your thoughts and needs, in order to inform Create Sheffield’s Cultural and Creative Education Strategy that will be implemented from january 2022.

In return for filling in the form, you will:

•Have the opportunity to shape future CPD sessions to suit your needs and interests

•Have access to CPD opportunities

•Shape opportunities for further networking

•Have the option to join and create networks and sessions that support your learning

•Have the opportunity to share & shout about creative and cultural learning projects 

•Have your voice heard!

Participant (education) Getting to Know You form

Participant (Arts & Cultural Partners) Getting to Know You form.



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