1. Schools are under more pressure than ever to deliver academic results
With Naplan and increased standardised testing, schools and teachers are under pressure to deliver academic results. Unfortunately, this often impacts the way schools approach the curriculum, and subjects like drama, music and art sometimes receive less attention. We meet students who are struggling because so much focus is put on their academic achievement rather than other important things like building their confidence, mindset and creative thinking. We sympathise with the jobs schools are expected to do, and we can help.
We can’t wait for education departments to bring a bigger focus to the arts in education, but we can bring Speech and Drama classes to your school, and do our bit to add to the repertoire of activities that teach life skills, that are just as important as test scores. It just so happens that the work we do on poems and stories in class, helps with literacy too! We aim to inspire a love of reading and literature, and regularly hear feedback that our students’ comprehension, vocabulary and spelling has improved.
2. Drama shouldn’t just be for the performer-types
Our proudest moments are when we hear about students who put their hand up to participate in school activities like the stand up comedy competition, or the lip syncing competition. Their parents can hardly believe it! Schools do a great job putting on events like this, but it is often only the loudest and most confident kids who get up on stage.
All kids have the ability to perform, and so many of them want to, but don’t feel confident enough to take the first step. Speech and Drama kids learn valuable performance skills that help them feel brave enough to have a go!
3. Oral presentations are used increasingly as assessment
Oral presentations are our favourite kind of assessment, and there seem to be more and more of them around. We’ve met preppies who have to do a different show and tell every week. We’ve met grade fives who have oral presentations for four different subject areas in one term! We’ve also noticed that an increase in oral presentations assessment items does not always come with an increase in the training students are given in practical presentation skills, let alone improvisation skills, to be able to speak on a subject spontaneously.
Speak Up classes teach students these practical skills, and set them up to be natural public speakers for the rest of their lives.
4. Arts education improves lives
This is a big one, and we could fill a whole blog post with reasons why! There is no question that learning performing arts, art or music makes us into better people. Think about your most impactful learning you went through at school? For me, it was being in plays. Working as a team to take a script from page to stage. The friendships, the energy, the laughter! This kind of learning goes beyond academic achievement. Regular performing opportunities are a big part of what we do here at Speak Up, and more often than not, they are where we see the magic happen.
Do you wish your school had a Speech and Drama program on site?
Many of our relationships with current Speak Up Schools were initiated by proactive parents who saw value in our programs and wondered, “why can’t this fabulous program happen at our school?” It can!Find out more about our Speak Up School Program