11th February 2000 at 00:00
DRAMA WORKSHOP. By Alison Chaplin. Scholastic. Three volumes (Ages five to seven, seven to nine, nine to 11) pound;22.99 each.

Drama in primary schools is enjoying a renaissance, due partly to the supposedly formal national literacy strategy. These volumes are built on explicit learning objectives drawn from the national curriculum - effectively addressing the criticism that drama is fun but superficial. Drama, the author asserts, is more than the end-of-term extravaganza.

The detailed guidance on assessment provided here is intended to give the subject an academic credibility I' not certain it (or the bureaucratically overburdened teacher) needs. Each volume contains an excellent practical glossary, a range of discrete activities and six extended, cross-curricular projects. There is some overlaprepetition over the three volumes.

In enriching children's experience of learning and in promoting creativity, empathy and self-esteem, drama has a unique and invaluable role in primary education. These stimulating guides will assist both new and experienced teachers in showing children there is more to lessons than chalk, talk and worksheets.


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