Drama Days and Development Programmes

Would you like to help your pupils to develop skills in drama, oracy and writing? If so, book a drama development programme (or drama day) with David Harmer.

David works right through the Primary age range, providing high quality drama work with pupils in schools, modeling strategies outlined in the Primary Framework and linking drama to writing. This day is often popular with schools concerned with the issue of boys’ literacy.

Typically, the day will consist of David working with the pupils. This is usually in the school hall, but any space large enough to accommodate practical work will do. He tells the children that they are going to make up a story with his help and the beginning point is very often taken from a well-known myth, legend or folk tale. For example, with very young children this may be a deep, dark forest or a giant’s castle. Older pupils will be asked to act out roles within a community; for example a medieval village, a band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest, or workers in a Victorian mill.

The narrative is developed by deploying a range of drama strategies until a conflict within the story is resolved. These strategies include;

  • Thought tracking
  • Working in Role
  • Hot Seating
  • Mapping the story
  • Mantle of the Expert
  • Decision Alley
  • Freeze Frames
  • Forum Theatre
  • Emotion Posters

The pupils then return to the classroom and write a short, immediate piece of work in role. Then David offers a simple planner so that the work can be developed into a story or any genre that the school prefers. As the pupils work, so David offers advice and practical help to enrich and expand their writing. Adults and children alike always say that this is a highly enjoyable and rewarding day.