A little bit of drama

The stage could make a dramatic difference to youngsters at risk of heading for the scrap heap, at least according to one teacher.

Drama teacher Lindsay Fleming has been working, two periods a week, with groups of first year pupils at Our Lady and St Patrick's High in Dumbarton.

The aim is to build the social skills and self-esteem the youngsters will need for post-school education, employment or training.

The sessions for groups of chosen pupils, invited to work on their leadership skills, contain discussion, role play and improvisation. "We talk about aspects of their life and behaviour that they're happy with, and aspects they would like to change," Ms Fleming says. "Things that happen in other classes come up and, through drama skills, we role play how they might do things differently.

"We have simple scripts, and we ask them to take on different characters.

It gives them a chance to be different people, and find other ways of doing things."

Although drama was the starting point, art and home economics at Our Lady and St Patrick's now run similar sessions as part of the School of Ambition initiative.

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet, pictured.

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