The drama club I run for my son's old primary school starts up again today. It is a very small school and in general I end up with about a quarter of them in Drama Club. Unusually, the group ranges in age from Year 1 (6 year olds) to Year 6 (11 year olds). I don't normally advocate taking a class like that, but in this case it works.
A lot of the reason it does work is down to the basic ethos of the school, which strongly promotes individuality and cooperation. It is an exemplary school in a lot of ways, and pretty much fulfils my ideals of what primary education should provide for children. Lots of support, lots of enthusiasm and a great willingness to go off curriculum and suit each child's skills. I'm well aware that this ideal isn't possible in a larger school, but it works here.
The group itself is an interesting microcosm displaying in embryo the many types of student drama attracts. The precocious girls. The chippy but talented lads. The hard workers who are better than they thinks. The under-confident ones who suddenly discover they really can do this. The ones who want to do it to be with their friends, or to be cool. The ones who are told they must do it by their parents and so on. All these types recur throughout every class I've ever taken, but it's interesting (and amusing) to see how early it starts.
This term they will mostly be occupied with the nativity play (more on that in some future post), so I'm free to run skill building workshop stuff with the Drama Club. Then in January I'll need to find a play for them to do over the summer. That is a whole other story.