Drama is an important component of the Belhaven educational experience and helps develop rounded individuals. Every year the drama team aims to provide every child with an experience of performing on stage in front of an audience, developing confidence and self awareness in the process.
Drama takes place during school activity time, either as rehearsals for a school production, a drama club or in Public Speaking competitions. Staff look for a disciplined learning environment in which the highest levels of participation and engagement are expected. It is a positive, nurturing, and encouraging activity in which we hope the children feel confident enough to explore, perform, and achieve their very best.
Drama also encourages pupils to understand the important role that every child's contribution makes to the ‘whole’ school, fostering a positive understanding of ‘teamwork’ and camaraderie.
"Belhaven excels in producing confident and articulate young children." (Parent)
School productions take place every year and all Belhaven children are automatically involved, which ensures children get used to the idea of the stage and performance. Major roles for junior productions are normally given to pupils in Form 3 (year 6) while the classes below are involved in the chorus and in acting out cameos throughout the production.
The senior production major roles are given to children in their final year, with the Form 2 (year 7) pupils being involved in the chorus and in minor roles. In the final term each Patrol takes part in the Patrol Drama competition, where they are given a theme on which to base a short performance and where all the children are again involved.
As part of the process all children audition and rôles are often split to allow as many as possible the maximum time on stage. In addition to school productions, a junior drama and senior activity also take place in other terms, allowing pupils to explore areas such as mime and improvisation, as well as perform sketches.
It is also intended that every child in Form 3 and below will see one piece of professional theatre during the academic year, so they can see live, on stage, the kind of theatrical accomplishments and skills they themselves learn in both school productions and in the drama activities. In addition drama workshops can often provide a variety of theatrical experiences for our boys and girls as part of the annual lecture series. The school is also very keen to support and coach talented pupils attempting scholarships to their public schools.
Public Speaking is encouraged through the annual Spoken English Competition which takes place in the Autumn Term. Every pupil has to enter and speak on a topic of their choice for four minutes. After internal age group competitions, the winners from each age group are put through to the school final, which is always performed in front of an audience of parents and interested parties and judged by an external adjudicator.