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trying to strike while iron hot to raise profile of Drama with a supportive head.

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by madjessy, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. hi all I am looking for advice from anyone who has been in a similar to position to me. I was a new HOD of Drama and an NQT from Sept and feel that things are really going well. I inherited a bunch of y11s who had a lot of bad history with the previous HOD and thus a bad attitude but feel I did really well to turn that around. It's been a hard year, I'm on my own in the dept and have big visions for expansion namely getting more than 1 lesson a fortnight at KS3 and getting my dept to grow in staff numbers.
    I have just rounded off my year with a brilliant production which was the opposite of the dark nature of the previous which the head no longer wanted and have finally started to get a buzz going about Drama again that it is more than serious, dark/political and mime work. I'm wondering of the next step and wondered if I should really focus on the production to really sell the success and thus put us in better stead for the future. I was thinking of producing off my own back a review of the production to highlight the importance of it. This is because I just feel this doesn't fit into the SEF's format and really needs to be sung about so things to the effect of highlighting; turning around disaffected/non attending children, reinvigorating shakespeare, I was given a budget of £500 and didn't spend it all but made at least £700 over the 2 nights etc. Has anyone else ever had to or just produced a report. Did they find it sucessful?
    The main reason I ask is I find it difficult to get noticed in a school dominated by other subjects and heard on a course you should really shout your successes from the roof top. would be interested to hear anyones stories of success in department development.

  2. What you suggest sounds good to me. Yes, you do need to make everyone aware of how great the students were and how much of an impact it has had. Yes, a report of the production for the head, the website, etc is a good idea. Perhaps arrange a meeting with your line manager or a deputy head to look at how it it fits the SEF so that it appears in that wonderful document! Yes, start arguing the case for a lesson a week. We have a fortnightly timetable and manage to get two drama lessons for KS3 groups but this is at least a twelve month constant drip with evidence - possibly longer as it depends on the timetable structure and how willing SLT are to tamper with it. Remember to KEEP your £700 and do not see it as a supplement to your department budget but keep it separate in a 'productions' fund so that you can fund bigger and better productions next year and the year after etc.. I know of a school locally that does a talent show once a year that raises the money that subsidises the musical or play they put on later in the year. It will take time to build your subject's profile so stick to it and don't get demoralised when everyone seems to ignore Drama or they use it as a scapegoat - GCSE students too interested in rehearsals to attend GCSE Basket Weaving additional revision, for example - you have shown the impact it can have, remember every faculty is after what it can get: no one is really playing for the greater good of the school!
  3. japonica892

    japonica892 New commenter

    I have over the last 3 years built up my tiny little drama department from one with 10 pupils at GCSE and only Yr 9 at KS3 to one lesson a week in Yr 7 and 8, 2 in yr 9 and over 60 pupils taking it at GCSE.

    Our productions are going from strength to strength and the profile of Drama has risen considerably. I publish all our successes in the school newsletter, on the website and around school, I marketed the department and school productions as if it was a business and I have set up a theatre company with T shirts etc for pupils to belong to!

    I have awful facilities and only me and a few random people who get KS3 drama on their timetable with little desire or knowledge to teach it. My next move is to push for dedicated extra staff and keep fund raising for better facilities.

    Well done for achieving so much in such a short time...make sure your results are consistently good because pupils and parents vote for options with their feet based on good teaching and good results.

    Keep up the good work!

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