Drama Policy Introductory Statement

All staff were involved in drawing up this plan.

It forms the basis of each teachers’ long & short term planning in Arts Education, Drama. It will also inform new and temporary teachers of our approaches and methodologies in this area.

Rationale Drama provides children with ways to explore our cultural heritage and new dimensions of a changing world. Language plays a critical role in drama. The Drama Curriculum contributes to developing the child’s competence and confidence in English and Irish.The purpose of this plan is to provide practical guidance for teachers, parents and other relevant persons on the provision of effective Drama education in our school
Vision  We are committed to the all-round development of each child in our care. We hope through Drama to help the child develop confidence and enable each child to explore their emotions and engage with their environment in a safe and creative manner. We envisage that in Drama each child will be given the opportunity to develop their drama skills and competencies to their full potential, appropriate to their age and ability in a safe and supportive environment.


We endorse the aims of the Primary School Drama Curriculum :

  • To enable the child to become drama literate.
  • To enable the child to create a permanent bridge between make-believe play and the art of form theatre.
  • To develop the child’s ability to enter physically, emotionally and intellectually into the drama world in order to promote questioning, empowering and empathic 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 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 explore, clarify and express ideas, feelings and experiences through a range of arts activities
  • To provide for aesthetic experiences and to develop aesthetic awareness in the visual arts, in music, in drama, in dance and in literature
  • To develop the child’s awareness of, sensitivity to and enjoyment of visual, aural, tactile and spatial environments
  • To enable the child to develop natural abilities and potential to acquire techniques, and to
  • practise the skills necessary for creative expression and for joyful participation in different art forms
  • To enable the child to see and to solve problems creatively through imaginative thinking and so encourage individuality and enterprise
  • To value the child’s confidence and self-esteem through valuing self expression
  • To foster a sense of excellence in and appreciation of the arts in local, regional, national and global contexts , both past and present
  • To foster a critical appreciation of the arts for personal fulfilment and enjoyment.

Strand Strand unit
Drama to explore feelings, knowledge and ideas leading to understanding Exploring and making dramaReflecting on dramaCo-operating and communicating in making drama.



Pre-requisites for making drama
Content The fictional lens ; Creating a safe environment


Elements of Drama
Belief                                   TimeRole and character           TensionAction                                     SignificancePlace                                   Genre


All teachers are familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives for their class

levels. Curriculum objectives area at the core of each Drama lesson, and teachers refer to the curriculum objectives in their own planning.

The content objectives are laid out on the following pages in the Curriculum Handbook.

Infant Classes pgs. 14-17

First and Second classes pgs. 20-23

Third and Fourth classes pgs. 26-31

Fifth and Sixth classes pgs. 34-39




We use a combination of the following approaches:

  • A practical approach incorporating the pre-requisites, strand and strand units and the elements of drama
  • Many strategies can be used in the drama. Some of the more familiar ones are listed below, with comments on their usefulness to the teacher.
  • Drama games
  • Many drama games are useful in helping to establish trust, confidence and a sense of playfulness, and some are used to help the children experience some aspect of the drama (for example blind man’s buff, to equate with searching for a friend in a big city).
  • Games can promote the social integration of the class, but if used indiscriminately they can become a substitute for drama.
  • Still image and montage
  • Groups compose a still picture to illustrate an idea or capture a moment. In montage such an image is set against a contrasting image or a contrasting soundscape so as to question the content of the still picture (for example, a still picture of emigrants with a sound-track of sounds from home).
  • This strategy can help greatly in reflection and in slowing down the drama but if overused can lead to talk about drama rather than action.
  • Hot-seating
  • A character sits in the centre while the others ask questions about his/her life and he/she answers as the character. As a variation the others can also sometimes ask the questions as their own characters.
  • Hot-seating can help to clarify aspects of character for all concerned, but it has limited usefulness in primary school drama.
  • Thought-tracking
  • Some of the class do actions silently or make still images while the others speak their thoughts aloud about them, either simultaneously or individually.
  • This can be useful for reflection on the meaning of particular significant moments but should not be used as a substitute for entering into the drama.
  • Sound-tracking
  • Some of the class do actions silently or make stills while the others make the sound-track to go along with them. This can be seen in Drama activity 4 (p. 83) when half the class make the soundtrack for the other half.
  • This strategy is useful in situations where the teacher is working towards a loosening of control but unsure about how far to go. It is also a useful substitute for ‘showing’ a particular section of small-group work. However, if overused it can lead to intellectual rather than physical drama, to staying outside the drama rather than entering playfully into it.
  • Voices in the head
  • At a moment of choice for a particular character others in the group articulate the conflicting voices the character can hear in his/her head.
  • This can lead to reflecting on the meaning of a moment for a character. It should not be used as a substitute for putting the characters in situations where such considerations are articulated spontaneously as part of the action.
  • Integration

We use methods that encourage maximum participation by the child through group, paired and individual participation.

Assessment and Record Keeping

Teacher observation

This is the form of assessment most consistently used by teachers at Kilmacrennan N.S. and the most effective in relation to children’s engagement with drama. It involves the informal monitoring of children’s progress as the drama process takes place. In observing the varying degrees of success with which children acquire drama skills and concepts and learn through the drama process, the teacher can adjust his/her methods and approaches and modify the drama contexts in order to maximise its learning benefits for individual children.

Much of this observation is concerned with detailed and immediate drama activity and is unrecorded. However, it can be useful to make brief notes from time to time about particular learning requirements. This can be a further help to the teacher in taking account of the progress of the class, a group or an individual at any particular juncture, and can inform his/her planning of short-term and long-term drama approaches.

Teacher-designed tasks and tests

A further dimension of this type of continuous assessment is the monitoring of children’s performance in various tasks arising from their engagement with the drama. These arise continually in the course of drama activity, as, for example, when a pair of children is asked to play two characters in order to explore a particular issue, or a group of children is asked to work together to solve some problem or to arrive at a decision about the course the drama should take. The assessment of children’s ability to perform particular tasks such as these will to a great extent involve teacher observation in a way that is focused on a particular aspect of children’s engagement with drama.

Work samples, portfolios and projects

In drama these would be made up of writing, art work and other examples of children’s response to, reflection on, and extension of their drama experience. For assessment purposes, a representative sample of a child’s work that includes some of the best examples would be of greatest use. Decisions about what might be included will be made variously by the teacher, by the child and the teacher together, and by children in consultation with each other. In this way a valuable dimension of selfassessment will be given to the assessment of the child’s progress in drama and in learning through drama.

The question of manageability will be a significant factor in deciding how much of the child’s work might be included, although in drama this will be less problematical, since the portfolio will consist mainly of items in written form. However, since the child will have similar portfolios in other areas of the curriculum, the question of storage will arise. Obviously, circumstances will vary from school to school, and the nature, size and management of portfolios will be a factor in school planning.


We will assess

o   Willingness to participate in activities

o   Readiness to engage with a certain activity

o   The level of competence of a child in carrying out an activity

o   Interest in and attitude to activity

o   Willingness to cooperate in individual, pair and group activities

Our assessment tools are:

o   Teacher observation

o   Teacher-designed tasks

o   Work samples/ portfolios


At Kilmacrennan N.S, all children will have equal access to drama education. The drama programme will ensure equal access for boys and girls in our mixed school. It is crucial for positive reinforcement to be given to all children to build up their confidence and self-esteem in the area of visual arts.


Information and communication technology may be integrated with Drama through the use of the Interactive whiteboard, digital camera, photo-copier, DVDs ,CDs and the internet.Children may watch still images of themselves, videos of themselves in the drama lesson back on the IWB to assist with the reflection session. Children may create power points/ photo stories writing the script to accompany the ICT resource.

Organisational planning

The allocation of time to drama will have two sources:

  • in the time allocation given to Arts education
  • in its integration with other subjects and curriculum areas

In accordance with the DES guidelines Drama is allocated the following time:

Infant classes – 50 minutes per week

1st-6th classes – 1 hour per week

However, to facilitate the new time allocations for the numeracy and literacy strategy it is at the discretion of the teacher to use some of the time from the arts subjects on occasion.

Resources The following facilities are available to the children and staff for Drama Education.

  1. School hall
  2. Classroom
  3. Computer room

A Drama resource box is available from the store. It includes the following books

The following Drama books are available:

  • ‘The Drama Ideas Bank’ , Mary Books
  • ‘Classroom Drama’ by Úna Mc Cabe
  • ‘101 Games for Social Skills’, Jenny Mosley and Helen Sonnet
  • ‘Kidz-fiz-biz-learning through drama, dance and song’
  • ‘Drama Name Games’
  • ‘Primary Plays’ First and Second class
  • ‘Games we can all play’
  • ‘Step by Step’, Joanna Parkes and Sarah Fitzgibbon
  • ‘I’m a Meteor’ Audrey Meredith
  • ‘Beginning Drama’ 4-11, Joe Winston and Myles Tandy
  • ‘The Complete Drama Series’ Upper level

List of plays available in the classes

Junior Infants-One Little Ange

lThe Nativity

The Gift

Selection of role-play for Aistear

Senior Infants-A Little Bird Told Me

Whoops a Daisy Angel

Three Little Pigs

Poems and song adapted for Aistear


Ralph the ReindeerChildren of the World

True story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf

Fairytales adapted for role play


Children of the World


Straw and Order


A Christmas Carol

Tom Crean-role play


Ireland’s Got Talent

Bethlehem the Musical

Kilmacrennan’s First Christmas


Thieves of Father Christmas

Why do we do that?

Little Red Riding Dude


Wizard of Oz


Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Linkage and integration 

Every attempt will be made to integrate the Drama curriculum and to other subject areas where appropriate.

e.g. Drama and History – Titanic role play

Drama and English- diary entry of a steerage passenger on the Titanic as it sank

Drama and Gaeilge – ag dul go dtí an bhialann

Children will get the opportunity to perform in front of the school at the annual Seachtain na Gaeilge performance.

Drama and Geography- making the trip with Tom Crean to Antarctica

Code of ethics

All teachers and coaches working in the school context will be expected to adhere to the school Child Protection Statement. They should always ensure that they treat children with integrity and respect and that the self-esteem of children is enhanced. All adult actions should be guided by what is best for the child and carried out in the context of respectful and open relationships.

Health and Safety

The safety and well-being of our children is, as always, of paramount concern. Children are to be accompanied during a Drama performance, there is always a teacher present, and no child will attempt anything in drama which might a pose to his/her own health or that of anyone else.

Individual teachers’ planning and reporting

Individual teachers will design a physical education plan specifically for their own class.  Strands covered in Drama each month are recorded on the Cuntas Míosúil.

The Cúntas Míosúil will be very relevant in recording what has been covered and in reviewing and developing the school plan for the following years.

Staff development

Teachers work closely together and share talents and strengths generously with each other. Something which enriches practice throughout the school.

Parental involvement

Parents have a responsibility to encourage their children to participate in all strands of the Drama curriculum. Parents may view the Drama policy in the school .Parents provide an amazing and very appreciative audience for drama. Opportunities are provided for children to participate in and enjoy a variety of Drama activities which can be viewed by the parents at the annual Christmas concert. Each year, a Christmas Concert will be held. This will alternate in a 3 year cycle.

Year 1 Junior classes put on a play and senior classes put on a music performance,

year 2 senior classes put on a play; and junior classes put on a music performance,

year 3 Whole School Carol service.


Evaluating the policy

Means of assessing the outcomes of the plan may include

Teacher/parent/community feedback

Children’s feedback regarding activity levels, enjoyment and skill development

Inspectors’ suggestions/WSE recommendations

The criteria for evaluating the success of this policy will be :

  • The level of enjoyment exhibited by the children
  • The maximum participation by all children
  • The development of skills and understanding
  • A balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
  • A balance between contact and non-contact activities
  • The provision of opportunities for achievement for each child
  • The level of teacher satisfaction in teaching a broad, balanced curriculum.
Ratification and communication

This Drama policy was reviewed in January 2023. A copy is available in the School Office.




  • School Holidays

    • Enrolment Application 2023/24
      Use the first link for Applications to our Mainstream Junior Infant class & for applications to other Mainstream Classes

      Enrolment Application Form  school year

      Please attach a copy of the child's Birth Certificate with the application.

      Closing Date  31 January 2023.


      Please contact the School Office for Information regarding Applications for our ASD Class.

      Forms for Special Class Applications are listed below.

      NCSE-Application-Form-1-Application-for-access-to-SNA-support (9)

      SEN-School-Transport-Application-Form (22)

      Closing Date  31 January 2023.



    • June Bank Holiday
      The school will close for pupils on Monday 5 June 2023.
    • Summer Closure
      The school will close for the Summer Holidays on Fri 23 June (12 noon)
    • School Re-opening
      The school will open for the 2023-24 school year on Wednesday, 30th August 2023.
    • Halloween Holidays
      The school will close for the week Mon 30th October (Bank Holiday) until Friday 3rd November 2023.
    • Christmas Holidays
      All schools close on Friday, 22 December 2023, which is the final day of the school term.

      All schools re-open on Monday, 8 January 2024.