We often get asked what is the difference between Speech & Drama and traditional Drama Classes. Is it just fancy marketing to add Speech? Does it make the classes less exciting? What does Speech even really mean? Or are the classes like old fashioned elocution lessons?
Speech refers to anything to do with speaking: discussion skills; telephone and connecting to camera skills; interviews; speeches; positive body language; how to interact well with people of all ages; making an impact with different audiences; speaking clearly so you can be heard; understanding useful speech structures to adapt information to the audience; the ability to think quickly on our feet or plan words and opinions to create a desired response. The way we speak, interact with peers and structure our ideas has a major impact in our school, university and career success.
Drama refers to the techniques and skills we use to perform. We teach a range of skills: improvising; mime and movement; storytelling; role play; interviews; acting stage and screen -skills that build self awareness and self confidence. Students learn poetry and prose recital; engaging with a range of texts and literature. Reading aloud, sight-reading are important life skills as students learn to bring printed words to life. Students work individually and in small groups to harness their creativity and engage an audience.
The short answer to my question - the Speech and Drama Class difference - is skills. The sheer breadth of skills we pack into the year is engaging, fun and building skills for a lifetime.
Ten Feet Tall Speech and Drama Difference
Ten Feet Tall Speech and Drama classes are small group -all of our students have an individualised learning plan and are placed in classes with students who have similar learning goals.
Individual learning goals
Ten Feet Tall students work towards a greater set of learning outcomes than traditional drama classes do; as we are working with a broader set of skills. Ten Feet Tall's programmes are bespoke written for each class - with clear learning outcomes.
And so, all of Ten Feet Tall's students work towards Speech and Drama examinations which has another set of benefits for the growth and development of our students. Ten Feet Tall students are given the opportunity to work on the skills that enable them to develop efficacy as they work towards achieving their graded Speech and Drama badge and certificate. Our students work towards end of term performances - usually performing 1-3 items per term. Unlike traditional drama classes that have 'big shows' - our students are actually performing each week as they present and perform to their peers. Near the end of the year students reflect on the pieces they have presented and choose pieces of interest to focus on for their November Speech and Drama exams. Students learn to organise themselves, reflect on their skills, rehearse and develop their skills as they prefect their exam pieces. So many good learning experiences are gained from these rehearsal times.
For our senior students, many are focused on achieving their graded Diploma examinations. Many universities recognise these examinations and the high level of learning our students undertake to achieve the required pass level. Many first year university students are surprised to find that the skills they learnt in our Speech and Drama classes have set them up for university success. In many courses, to achieve well, students are required to confidently present to their peers.
Multiple opportunities to perform
Ten Feet Tall's ethos is to offer families a range of speaking and performing opportunities rather than focussing on the one major show. We work with our students on speech and drama competition pieces, school performances, local speech competitions, end of term and end of year recitals. We offer programmes for gifted students and students who want to be extended. Our programmes support students with learning challenges and specific needs. We know that speaking and performing 'muscles' grow when our students have the opportunity to perform to a range of audiences.
Ten Feet Tall offers large group drama classes as we see a special set of skills that emerge from devising theatre - skills that are important for developing the self confidence of our young actors. Primarily we are established and focussed on developing the whole child through Speech and Drama classes- with skills that last a lifetime.
Skills not taught at school
Much of our Speech and Drama curriculum is not taught in schools and our students love the many skills they learn. It takes time to teach students the mirco skills of communication that simply can not be taught as effectively in the larger group classroom. And so, everything we teach helps with our students' progress at school. Speech and Drama classes, absolutely will assist in raising the capacity of your child in their Oral Language development, their Drama classes and their school speeches and presentations.