This is an idea that I’m stealing from @BeaumontDrama because it is one of the best I’ve heard of. Essentially, it is training higher year groups to initially run, and then plan and run, their own drama clubs for younger year groups. It gives the older students an opportunity to develop new skills, take responsibility, take on a different role and see drama in a different way too. It also gives the young students the opportunity to participate in a drama club where, as a one man department, I wouldn’t have had time to do them before. So the older students who become drama ambassadors have the lot of responsibility on their shoulders, they carry the honour and good name of the subject of drama – hence for me the name drama ambassadors – they really are the face of the subject to younger year groups, presenting and selling the subject as a good one for options. I think potentially one can build up a strong community to experienced and trained workshop leaders.
I see this working on a long term basis – not something that is termly but yearly. The training sessions and hand holding early on necessitate a long term view on this. I want each year groups drama club to produce a piece of theatre for a review night in March/April time, and bearing in mind that the students doing the ambassador role will be exam students, March/April time seems a good time to stop the project. Therefore, it’s going to be an annual thing. Recruiting students in the first weeks of September, training them up and holding their hands over the first half-term. Letting them go during the second half term, completing the final January – March period working towards a performance. In terms of numbers, I think I’d be looking at three or four from Years 13 – 10 to run clubs for Years 7 to 10. I will continue to run the club for years 11 to 13 – that’s always an exciting club to run!
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences, especially if you run something similar.