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posted 5 May 2015, 06:01 by Unknown user   [ updated 5 May 2015, 06:02 ]

Liscarroll National School

Musical Drama Policy

Musicals:  Rapunzel and Cinderella

Date:  June 2015


The Liscarroll National School Musical is used as a vehicle to carry the objectives of many parts of the Primary School Curriculum as outlined below. It is is a highly valued event in Liscarroll which builds and promotes a positive sense of community within the school which is shared with parents and the local community outside the school. Students are exposed to a rich spectrum of learning and personal development in all areas during the planning, rehearsing and performing the show.

It is our strong long held collective belief as a staff that children gain an immeasurable amount of personal development and confidence building from both performing on stage and engaging in the lead up planning process and rehearsing involved. Research continues to reveal the positive impact of drama on a student's physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.  It is important to note that within the educational setting of the school environment, the process carries equal importance as the performance. Emphasis is not solely on producing a final polished performance to a packed house, but rather learning and developing various skills that lead to the children sharing a showcase of their work with family and friends in the wider community of Liscarroll.

Our Broad Objective

  • That the children will have a richly positive and rewarding learning experience during the process, the memory of which they will carry with them throughout their lives.

Our Curriculum Based Learning Objectives

  • That through the interaction with the text in the script, the children will explore, learn, and be exposed to different interpretations and  tonality in the voice that can be used to bring a text to life.

  • That the children will develop empathy for the characters and interpret the emotions in the language of the play.

  • That the children will develop the ability to cooperate and to communicate with others in helping to shape the drama

  • That through the themed approach to subject teaching the children’s enthusiasm for learning will be fostered and the connectivity between all curricular areas explored.

  • That memory, confidence, self-esteem, organisational skills, patience and cooperation will be developed in a natural and unforced environment.

  • That reading and learning will become purposeful rather than an academic exercise.

  • That the children would learn, through drama, the relationship between story, theme and life experience

  • That the children will become comfortable with script and understand the basic processes by which script becomes action.

Self evaluation for students.

Prior to the musical, children are required to fill out an online self evaluation form where they are asked to evaluate the areas in which they believe their strengths lie.  They then make a choice ranging from 1 to 5 in order of preference from a selection of offered roles both on stage and off stage. From this form, results are logged on a central spreadsheet and calibrated according to the children’s responses.  It is in this context that auditions are later held.  We find that students value the fact that their own opinions are regarded highly when selecting parts for the show.  They feel encouraged and listened to and communication both ways is ongoing.  It encourages them to reflect on their own strengths.

Students with special needs

Our musical is always about collaboration, cooperation and negotiation, and when it is used in mixed-ability groups it acts as a bridge between children with special needs and others in their peer group. It is our belief that the musical enables students with particular difficulties, and provides an ideal environment to encourage students to work together and to develop trust and friendships.  We have included students with varying degrees of special needs and support them via the channels of learning support and resource teaching using methodologies such as social stories.

Inclusion of Students from Lios Cúram

Inclusion must be purposeful and successful and individualised. Social stories to deal with various needs must be developed. It gives opportunities to rehearse situations that occur in real life...e.g attending functions, performances. Being part of a bigger group. Developing a comfort zone. This may be in relation to noise, lights or personal space. This socialisation which begins on the periphery and slowly and with proper support can lead to inclusion on stage, off stage in prop creation/ management, lighting ,sound or just the enjoyment that comes from supporting all art genres. This can create a life long interest and give much needed pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment. There truly is a “place for everyone.”


In the context of the SPHE Curriculum, our musical at Liscarroll National School aims to foster self-worth and self-confidence and places a particular emphasis on developing a sense of personal responsibility for one's own behaviour and actions both on stage and off stage and in direct and indirect learning.  The Musical promotes self-awareness and understanding by helping children to recognise and appreciate individual abilities, and to cope with change of various kinds. They can learn how to manage their own performance and to set and review personal goals within a safe and supportive environment. As outlined in the SPHE Curriculum, such intrapersonal development will increase the child's sense of self-efficacy and help him/her to be more in control of his/her own life. In Particular, the strands Myself and others and myself and the wider world are targeted.

Drama, by its very nature requires that the child be put into circumstances ­ physically, mentally and emotionally ­ that are outside their understanding of how things should be. This helps them to grow as a person.

English Language

The Musical endorses the broad objectives and the integrated nature of the English language curriculum and is a language based activity, with the integration of reading and oral language. Oral language skills are developed simultaneously with other skills during the process.  The musical is an important element in realising the integrated language learning experience envisaged in the English curriculum. Learning new songs, playing new games and participating in pretend play (when children must take on the language of the role they are playing) all contribute to a child's developing vocabulary. They are encouraged to express themselves both verbally and through facial expressions and body language which is key to making them better and more effective communicators.

Arts Education

In the context of the Arts education of the Primary School Curriculum, the musical enables the child to express ideas, feelings and experiences in language, gesture and movement. Together with music and the visual arts, the musical encourages the child to express ideas that are creative and explorative. During rehearsals we explore pathways to learning that involve reflection, imagination and sensitivity. Learning through the musical facilitates the use of a range of intelligences.

Performance strand of Music Curriculum

The musical dwells on the importance of using the voice, the first and most accessible instrument for the child, both for the sheer enjoyment of performance and as a means through which musical skills may be expanded. Song singing is a vital aspect of the child's early musical development. The development of musical literacy is closely linked with the script of Cinderella where the songs are presented in staff format. Correct vocal techniques are encouraged and a rich culture of strong singing has been developed within the school.


The curriculum acknowledges that children live in and are a part of society, and that their personal development is deeply affected by their relationships. The curriculum takes full account of these aspects of the child’s life in seeking to balance individual and social development, in developing an appreciation of how the different dimensions of life complement each other, and in helping the child to work cooperatively with others.”

... From the Introduction to the Primary School Curriculum 1999,  P14.

The general aims of primary education

This vision of education can be expressed in the form of three general aims:

• to enable the child to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her

potential as a unique individual

• to enable the child to develop as a social being through living and cooperating with others and so contribute to the good of society

• to prepare the child for further education and lifelong learning.

... From the Introduction to the Primary School Curriculum 1999,  P15