Speech & Drama
We are delighted as a school to have Patricia Reynolds as our visiting speech & Drama teacher. She comes in to school every Wednesday and covers all aspects of the Speech & Drama curriculum with the pupils from Junior Infants to 6th Class.
Patricia runs the very successful R.A.P.A. (Reynolds Academy of Performing Arts) group and has considerable experience working with children as a Speech and Drama teacher. As well as teaching in our school, she teaches in several other local schools and runs private after school classes which a large number of our pupils attend.
Patricia studied with The London College of Music, attaining a Licentiate Teachers Diploma and an Associate Diploma. Patricia is also an Associate of the Irish Board of Speech & Drama, and examines for them throughout the country.
Patricia has written and published two books of plays for children, “Showcase 1” and “Showcase 2”, which we use in school, three children’s story books, ‘Trish the Witch’, and a poetry book for adults, ‘That’s Life’.
The annual Feis Dhun Dealgain, now in its twenty-third year, was organised by Patricia and is the only Speech & Drama festival in County Louth catering to over 800 entries every year. She enjoys adjudicating at Festivals throughout Ireland, including Derry Feis, Arklow Music Festival, Sligo Feis Cheoil, Pettigo Feis to name but a few. Patricia has produced, directed and acted in many plays and performances and is a founder member of the prestigious parish Drama Group “HaggleRock Theatre Group”.
Patricia enjoys music, dancing, reading, cooking, being outside in her garden digging in the flowers, holidays and writing. The most exciting moment in Patricia’s life is when she wakes up every morning, because as she says; ‘you just never know what today is going to bring!’
A Letter to all St Francis NS parents from Patricia Reynolds
I have been asked to explain and give an account of what I teach in Speech & Drama classes during school hours. I think this is a very valid request as many of you the parents, don’t actually have the opportunity or access to my school curriculum. I do understand that the children come home with poems to learn, however that is only one aspect of their learning in this area.
From Junior infants up to sixth class, there is a specific programme of development in the drama course. All children will learn poetry, this allows me to hear their pronunciation, check posture, breathing and resonance and any areas which may need further work.
Throughout the years all classes perform activities designed to improve their presentation and communication skills. From Junior infants, games such as Word tennis, one minute talks, aural, visual and sensory guessing games, through to project presentation, poetry, script writing, adjective and descriptive games using verbal and fast response skills.
As the children move up through the school system they learn collective and collaborate story-telling, defining space, exercises to encourage observation, concentration, understanding and application. Still imaging or frozen picture, thought tracking, thought tunnels and thought tapping, actor awareness and stage geography.
Junior and Senior infants perform mime plays, such as The Waterhole, The Elves and the Fairy Tree, The Jewels of the Sea King. In verbal communication, they perform traditional stories, such as The Gruffalo, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and many more.
1st, 2nd and 3rd classes perform occupational, recreational, story and abstract mime, improvised plays in groups varying in size. Working examples from the English curriculum.
4th, 5th and 6th, continue the process with performance of improvised advertisements, stories, common situational improvised plays. They also present individually, on topics they are interested in and class group debating and choral verse.
There is so much more that we actually cover, too much to mention in the above.
Regarding performance, in general the school participates in a full school performance or performances every second year and every year the Nativity at Christmas time. Different schools have policies in place for performance.
I have also been asked to inform parents about Feis Dhun Dealgain. This is the only Speech & Drama Festival between Dublin and Newry. The Feis has been in existence since 1997 to date. There are approximately 400-600 entries per year from myself and other participating teachers. The event is usually held in March and the Venue presently, is The Crowne Plaza.
The children are invited to participate and you have all received notes relating to the event. The children are prepared for the Festival, either in school, depending on the policy, or I will practise with them during my lunch breaks, on my own time, on the day I am in the school.
I am quite open and happy to come to your PTA meeting and answer questions you may have regarding Speech & Drama.
On a final note; I would like to say why I think Speech & Drama is so important as a lifetime gift to give to your children.
In this day and age it is vitally important for young people to have opportunities to discover their abilities and talents and draw on their own self-esteem. It is equally important that they learn to communicate with others effectively creatively and confidently. Many of the chosen college courses now require a formal talk on the chosen subject, where fourty to fifty percent of the final marks are given on the actual presentation and delivery.
Speech & Drama is a wonderful medium through which your children learn to develop these skills in a safe, creative, social, disciplined and learning environment. The focus in class is on helping the student discover, acknowledge and utilise their own self-esteem and confidence through group based work and performance, and of course as an individual. Good speech work, breathing techniques and resonance is essential for all presentation and communication techniques.
Plays, Speech & Drama Festivals are all equally important in learning about personal challenge, and the ups and downs of life. How to shine, how to lose gracefully, above all, how to do your very best and enjoy yourself in the performance and competition.
Some final points I would like to share with you regarding how I feel Speech & Drama is an essential tool in our developing world.
Speech and Drama ……….
- Helps Stretch Senses – uses imagination, encourages an appreciation of beauty and the arts.
- Helps intellect – stimulates the imagination.
- Helps the quality of both verbal and written communication.
- Helps develop an interest in literature.
- Expressing physically helps vocally.
- Aids and develops good posture.
- Encourages a sense of responsibility and leadership.
- Encourages us to see another person’s point of view.
- Improves clarity and quality of speech.
- Enormous aid to confidence because all work involves speaking out.
Speech & Drama should free the body, mind, spirit and the imagination.
Many thanks for your time in reading the above.
Patricia Reynolds – LLCM/TD ALCM AIBSD
To contact Patricia Reynolds
Tel: 086 17 00 501