The Drama Hut were pleased to be asked by Plan my School Trip recently to write an article for them, highlighting the benefits of learning outside of the classroom for Primary school aged children.  Please see the blog article below:

History was my favourite subject at school and this was because of my history teacher Mrs Norman. She was about sixty, as I remember, and passionate about the subject, inspiring us with her unconventional methods. We would crumble digestive biscuits around the playground, symbolising the deterioration of The British Empire and on another occasion, I recall sitting cross-legged under my desk to avoid the imaginary bombs that were dropping all around our classroom as we experienced the blitz!

Most of us remember that special teacher, class visitor or school trip that managed to breathe life into a subject, opening our eyes to an exciting, wider world beyond the school gates. Today, as workloads increase and budgets tighten, the opportunities for enhanced, active learning experiences diminishes. Yet they have never been more needed. It is estimated that currently, primary school children spend 70% of their school life sat at a desk. In addition, we face the growing challenge of competing for our children’s attention with electronic devices and social media. With this in mind, how do we ensure that children have the opportunity for active, shared learning in their formative years?

Learning opportunities outside of the classroom do not have a clearly defined boundary but it is widely agreed that they have a common goal. Such learning can provide a dramatic stimulus to help kick-start or reinforce topics being taught in the classroom. Whether on a school trip or in a school hall, they can encourage creativity, curiosity, social interaction and help to break down barriers. These opportunities make room for safe exploration, often through improvisation, and role play, allowing breakthroughs in learning. Above all, they are a lot of fun, creating memories that last a life time.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Having been lucky enough to work with schools for over 5 years, providing curriculum based drama workshops, the biggest reward is witnessing the children’s infectious energy and enthusiasm. Whether they are re-enacting the Great Fire of London, practicing Roman battle formations or dancing a Tudor Pavane, we leave with the knowledge that the children are returning to their desks with an excitement for and shared experience of, the topic they are studying.

Julia Doyle – The Drama Hut Ltd www.thedramahut.com