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Drama & Dance

Drama is, as it were, in the genes of Dulwich College which was originally founded by the leading Elizabethan actor, Edward Alleyn.

In the Junior School the boys are exposed to a wide range of drama, dance and theatre both within lessons and through the co-curriculum. Drama features strongly in our weekly class assemblies, allowing the boys a platform to perform on a regular basis to their peers, teachers and adults. Performance also permeates our curriculum with the boys regularly given the opportunity to present research or work in front of their class, alongside role play activities which are particularly prevalent in English, History and Wellbeing lessons.

The boys receive taught drama and dance lessons throughout their time in the Junior School in which they can begin to develop specific dramatic and movement skills. Drama skills include mime, tableau, voice projection, staging, storytelling and many more. Dance skills include co-ordination, balance, control, extension, musicality and use of dynamics. Joint skills also include collaboration, creativity, imagination and expression.

In Drama lessons students work with interpretive skills whilst they delve into characters and with this work with still images, vocal and physical techniques, improvisation, staging, storytelling and many more. We also ensure that these lessons link with the curriculum. For example, in Year 5 boys use their knowledge of the Victorians from History lessons to develop skills such as hot-seating, extending vocabulary, and planning and enacting situations.

In Dance lessons over the course of the four years, boys will focus on different dance styles, such as contemporary dance, musical theatre, African dance and more. Lessons also connect to topics covered in other subjects such as the books ‘Wolf Brother’ and ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’, as well as the Victorians, Shackleton’s Journey and Ancient Egypt. These are explored through creative dance, with regular class performances and appreciation.

There is a major production each year, which sees all boys performing and getting involved. In Year 3 the boys perform a play altogether in the Lent term, which has included The Bee Musical, Mummy’s Return, Time for Tea and The Sword in the Ice. Year 4 sees boys performing in the Christmas production, with all other year groups singing alongside them. In Year 5 an external teacher works with the boys to create a ‘Play in Two Days’. Finally, boys put all of their drama, dance and music skills into practice for their musical production during the Summer term when they are in Year 6. In recent years they have performed The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Seussical and Peter Pan.

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