What can I say about the Autumn Term of 2020? In twenty years I’ve never had a term like it! After over a term of schools being closed to all but Key Worker and Vulnerable children, we returned to school in September to find everything was different. We were suddenly faced with a concept I’d never thought I’d have to deal with, year group bubbles. Schools divided up into any way they could so that year groups couldn’t meet and mix together. Suddenly timetables were split up. Lunches and breaks taken separately. Everyone keeping themselves to themselves and all at a safe distance from everyone else.
If that wasn’t enough of a challenge we found ourselves teaching in classrooms. With students no longer able to move freely around the school, staff had to go them instead. In most circumstances, students had to remain at their desks and work only with the person sat next to them. A challenging situation to be in for a subject like Drama.
Still the uncertainty didn’t end there. Students and staff were coming and going as people who told to self-isolate and stay at home. We now had to provide home learning materials as well as teach in the classroom, making sure that those at home were no disadvantaged. But how could this not disadvantage students. I’ve heard of Year 11 students who have been off school for 8 weeks through various self-isolations. How can that student, and the hundreds like them, not be disadvantaged.
Yet still more uncertainty though as it kept getting repeated by the Government that exams would still go ahead and everything was fine.
I write this in January 2021 and I know what happens, but even as I write this now we still don’t know the details of what is to come.
As far as I was concerned in December, I would have gone home on the last day of term expecting to go back to school in January.
I say I would have gone home on the last day of term because actually I didn’t. I missed the last week because of another reason why 2020 has been a year like no other before for me.
I also welcomed into the world our third child who was born earlier than expected. That put a sudden twist to the end of the year, but a happy one.
Stats and posts
Between the months of September 2020 and December 2020 Burt’s Drama received 86,247 views from an average of 10,766 unique visits per month. People visited from 147 different countries across the globe, the biggest ten being UK, USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Ireland, Kenya and India and UAE.
During the autumn term Burt’s Drama published 14 articles:
This spring you can expect to see more awesome articles covering a range of issues including putting on a virtual production, wellbeing in drama and rehearsal techniques and strategies.
I continue to work beyond the virtual world of the Burt’s Drama website.
How to teach Drama: A practical handbook of teaching a knowledge rich curriculum
During the Autumn term I finished the final draft of a book called “How to teach Drama: A practical handbook of teaching a knowledge rich curriculum”. The book is currently in the process of being edited and formatted. It is 200 pages of practical and accessible guides on reviewing and implementing a knowledge rich Drama curriculum with supporting downloadable resources. I hope that it will be able to get it out in time for April and May 2021, when our attentions turn to planning the next academic years curriculum.
Oak National and National Drama.
During the second half of the Autumn term I started work on a project with National Drama and Oak National. This is only now just coming to fruition in January 2021, but hopefully it won’t be long before you see the results of this project coming your way.
Drama and Theatre Magazine
Towards the end of the term I wrote an article for the Drama and Theatre Magazine which will be published in the Spring edition of this quite awesome publication.
I continue to sell a few resources on TES, all of which continue to receive excellent reviews and feedback.