Drama is used both in and out of the classroom. Curriculum Drama lessons take place for all children in years 3-8; children have the opportunity to perform on stage right the way through from pre-prep to Year 8; particularly in English but in many other subjects too, drama is a popular teaching method; and children can sign up for speech and drama lessons, as individuals or in small groups; furthermore, optional theatre trips are a regular and enjoyable addition to the English and Drama curriculum at WHS.

Drama lessons at Winchester House School are based around the following seven principles:

  • We are at our most creative when we are having fun: playing is fundamental to drama work.
  • Drama is about telling stories.
  • Drama has rules: there is a discipline to it.
  • The ensemble feeling of collaboration is key: listening to each other as well as both respecting and applauding other people’s work is important.
  • The process matters as much as, if not more than, any performance.
  • Watching other people’s work and evaluating it as a group is important.
  • Teacher assessment is ongoing for every minute of every lesson: grades do not simply arise from any performance element.

Dramatic productions are an important part of the life of the school. The pre-prep engage particularly in their Christmas productions and performances for grandparents while, in recent years, Years 3 and 4 have presented plays based around the chosen topic within their creative curriculum learning.

Further up the school, attention turns to larger scale productions that will often include the addition of singing and dance (musicals). As part of their Leavers’ programme after exams, the Year 8s perform a play to mark the end of their time at WHS. 

Most productions generally take place in the main school hall. However, the school is lucky enough to have another smaller performing space - The Forum – which has recently begun to play host to much smaller scale, more intimate dramatic productions that will often have a more workshop feel to them.

Drama is actively encouraged and implemented in a lot of English teaching, particularly to explore themes in literature. This work is supplemented by well-supported optional theatre trips to venues such as London, Stratford, Milton Keynes and Wycombe. Public Speaking Competition is another highlight of the Drama and English year giving children opportunities to perform poems and speeches to an enthusiastic audience and one critical judge.

Individual speech and drama lessons are also arranged for children at Winchester House School. These thirty- minute slots give children the opportunity to learn on a one-to-one basis and work towards LAMDA exams at various points of the year. During the summer term, and in lent term for Year 8, the children have the opportunity to perform to their parents in The Forum.

If you would like any information about Drama at WHS, please contact the Head of Drama, Mrs Sally Easterbrook (sally.easterbrook@winchester-house.org)

"Drama can help students become tenacious, team-orientated, problem solvers, who are confident and able to think creatively"