Teacher: 3…2…1… Action! Child: One snowy night when the Gruffalo snored…uh oh! I forgot my lines. Teacher: It’s okay, let’s try again.
The Speech and Drama Arts (SDA) team recognises speech and drama as an effective means of developing our students’ talents and self-confidence, which in turn can lead to a more positive self-concept for our students. Despite being in a pandemic, it didn’t deter the Speech and Drama Arts team from putting up a performance. Every year, our students and their teachers spend several hours preparing for this production. This year though we had the additional challenge of safe distancing to work with, our students and teachers did not let that stop them. 2020 was the first-ever year where the SDA students presented a virtual performance in a DAS event.
On 28 November 2020, for the first time ever, DAS hosted the Graduation & Achievement Awards Ceremony online, and 9 SDA students performed for the event. Students between the ages of 8-10 years old graced the screens of many. Donned with their masks and props, the students dazzled the audience with their abilities and enthusiasm. Set in their own classroom, with a magical background, the students presented a staged reading of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s famous sequel to The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child. The students went through a term of rehearsals and video recordings in their SDA classes. Every student, from the youngest to the oldest, had their own set of obstacles during the rehearsals, like memorising the sheer number of lines, remembering the actions, recalling the cues on when to use the props, and facing the fear of standing in front of a camera. Despite their learning difficulties and speech and language issues, they managed to overcome the challenges by trying continuously and not giving up.
The SDA team was also fortunate to have received volunteers from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). The SUSS Team greatly supported the SDA teachers by assisting in the classroom and making this production possible by editing the videos. After the performance, the chatbox on zoom was flooded with positive comments from the audience, with many being impressed with the students and the performance. Kudos to the Speech and Drama Arts students!
To find out more on SDA classes, click here.
By Amrit Kaur Gill
Senior Educational Therapist
Speech & Drama Arts Instructor
RETA Associate Fellow