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What’s taught in Foundation Stage drama?

Girl in fancy dress
Your guide to what your child will learn in drama at nursery and school and what you can do to inspire your budding actor or actress at home.

Your child will experience drama through role play as part of the national curriculum’s creative development section (or strand) of the early learning framework. The Early Learning Goal for Foundation Stage states that by age five a child should have developed the ability to ‘use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences'.

The practitioner's role is, therefore, to ensure children are provided with a variety of resources, such as a home corner, dressing up clothes and other props, as well as plenty of opportunity to explore, develop and express their ideas.

Your child will be encouraged to develop creativity, social skills, self awareness and independence. These skills will help your child to learn in other areas, too.

KS1 drama lesson examples

Here are the kinds of activities your child might try in drama:

  • A child hands a green foam block to the practitioner saying, ‘Here's a cup of tea.' When the practitioner pretends to drink it the child shows delight, takes back the block and makes another cup of tea.
  • After watching some ladybirds in the garden, some children make wings from large pieces of red paper. After the practitioner helps them to fasten the wings to their backs, they crouch down and imitate the movements of the ladybirds.
  • A group of children have packed a bag with resources from the home corner. They are planning to go on a picnic. In the adjoining block area they have built a car to take them to the picnic. They discuss where they will go and set off on their journey.

Encourage your child to fall in love with performing at home

  • Children's theatre is inspiring and magical. Lots of shows and performance activities for children are available online, so you won't need to travel or invest in expensive tickets.
  • Encourage your child's awareness of their surroundings by pointing out and asking questions about the things you see around you.
  • Read with your child and listen to them read too, even if they only pretend. Read out loud to your child using different voices for different characters.
  • Donate some of the stuff you'd normally recycle or give to charity to your child's own role play box. Ideas could include old clothing, bags, purses and hats for dressing up; junk mail, a telephone, a phone book and shoe box for a pretend office; cake and cereal boxes for a grocery shop.
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