Yes, you heard correctly! Yesterday saw us make our TV debut with a feature on BBC South Today!
Having been quick to adapt to a virtual format when the first lockdown was announced, over the past 12 months, we’ve run a range of online activities to help support local children with their mental wellbeing. It was great to see all the hard work put in by our teachers, pupils and parents alike recognised in this news segment:
The BBC report focused on our Winter Term classes which were based on a script devised by Dramatis principal, Suzy Duxbury. ‘Willy Wonka’s Lockdown Madness’ was written to help children express their frustrations and fears surrounding the pandemic as well as provide them with some much-needed social interaction with their peers.
As Suzy explained, “Like everyone, I was concerned with how the pandemic was affecting children and so reached out to an online parenting group to get a better understanding of how kids were being impacted and where Dramatis could best support”. A common concern was “a change in behaviour”, with some children becoming “increasingly withdrawn” and others having “uncharacteristic outbursts”. Parents cited a “lack of structured activities” and “ongoing absence of friends” as possible causes as well as the “struggle for children to explain how they feel”.
As a result, Dramatis devised tailored scripts for children to work on as part of their Winter Term classes which culminated in filmed performances of ‘Willy Wonka’s Lockdown Madness’. The Spring Term, which concludes next week, will see children perform ‘Lucy’s Adventures in Zoomland’, another script created to help explore changing emotions in relation to the lockdown.
Eva, one of the pupils who took part in the BBC filming explained: “‘it was great to work through a new script that felt relevant today and it was fun trying new characters”.
We’ve had some lovely feedback about the feature, with many pupils excited to have some fun news to share with their friends in the playground as they return to school this week. For others, its given them a taste of stardom, that will no doubt motivate their drama performances in the future!
A huge thank you to Pete Doherty from the BBC team, for helping spread the word about Dramatis and for guiding us through the process of making our TV screen debut!
We will be announcing Summer Term dates in the coming weeks, but if you have a child who can’t wait to get going, check out our upcoming Easter Workshop (‘Can’t Stop the Beat’) which will run from Monday 12th April to Friday 16th April (and will be our first IN PERSON activity since last year!)