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Let Us Change GCSEs Again

Samantha responds to a recent news article by Thomas Hescott ‘Scrapping GCSE drama from the curriculum would be madness’ (Guardian, 3rd November 2014).

Some children can happily sit at a desk and write notes, read from the board, complete worksheet and retain all the information ready to regurgitate it for an exam. There are some in fact many students however who do not find this the best way of learning.

The resent article from Thomas Hescott In the guardian this week expressed his need for drama and how this was the best way in which he could access education. He was lucky as his parents understood this and rebuffed teachers concerns and advice to take him away from drama as they felt he was doing too much taking focus from more academic subjects.

Thomas says “My parents would nod and look concerned. Then would come the suggestion: “We think he’s doing too much drama.” My parents would look confused and reply: “You do know that it’s drama that keeps him coming to any lessons at all. If you cut the drama he would just stop attending school completely.” –Thomas Hescott

He goes on to point out that he accessed history, politics and philosophy through his drama lesson. He confirms that drama is not a subject designed to teach others areas by it happens to be a wonderful byproduct.

His story is not alone, many students learn through practical tasks, reenactments and role play activities. We know this; we have evidence to support this so why are we questioning the use of drama on the school curriculum?

Other articles from the guardian from Lyn Gardner and others suggest that the education system will be better off by incorporating drama into other topics. Thomas Hescott sums this up for me when he says
“How do you integrate drama into the core curriculum? How can a Geography teacher be expected to teach using drama? It’s as unreasonable as expecting drama teachers to teach geography.” – Thomas Hescott

It is the wrong way around, drama can teach any subject and I would 100% put my professional reputation on that. I have taught units on world war one, Shakespeare and poetry; All student’s to showed a significant progression across the board in history and English when looking at the same topic. Is it down to spending more time looking at the same area, is it because they find drama fun and so engage more? I do not have the answers to this but I am certain that if there are any changes to the curriculum it needs to be in the other direction.

Teach through, activity, projects and role playing to watch how their natural interpersonal skills flourish and they end up reinforcing their own topic knowledge by the end of it. 

Would you like to blog a response to a news article you've seen? Get in touch with Megan by emailing

Tags: Samantha, Bromley, Secondary, drama, supply, daily, teacher

Category: Australian Teachers

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