What classes are on offer and when?

Group classes

After school Wednesday's and Thursdays; times depend on year/class in school. The classes are split by year in school bands as follows:

Juniors - Nursery to P2

Intermediate - P3 to P5

Seniors - P6+

Private one-to-one classes

These last 20 mins for an individual child and can be very effective for a child who is perhaps particularly anxious and serve to prepare them to ultimately join the group classes.

They are also preferred by some families for whom the group timetable does not suit.

Additionally some children really enjoy and benefit from the focused one to one attention that a group class offers or perhaps wish to really focus on their performance skills.

The classes contain all the same elements as group classes except for the team work exercises.

These classes are by arrangement only

Family Sessions

Family sessions are classes which facilitate families where the ages would fall across the normal age bands of group classes. In this way 2, 3 or 4 children from the one family can attend together and due to the smaller class size still benefit from age appropriate speech and drama lessons. The length of the lesson depends on the number of children in the family attending.

These classes are by arrangement only

How long do classes last?

Classes are 60 mins

How much are classes?

Classes are £6 to £9* *Current covid restrictions on class sizes

What do the classes involve?

In the Speech&Drama Classes children work on

  • communication skills
  • confidence
  • self-belief
  • coping with anxiety
  • Voice clarity
  • Projection
  • Facial expression
  • Vocal expression
  • Breath control
  • Correct method of breathing for speech
  • Posture
  • Diction
  • Tonal quality
  • Understanding poetry and books and bringing them to life as well as relating them to everyday life
  • Social skills
  • Team work
  • Mindfulness
  • Memory skills
  • Focus
  • Recall
  • Performance
  • Improve and harvest a love for reading as they are able to bring the characters and places in books to life in their minds (better than any film ever could!)

All done through a very fun, relaxed and interactive medium.

As well as drama, mime, developing interview skills there is a great focus on imagination, performance and ability to interpret the written word in a way that is meaningful to the child.

Poetry, prose and storytelling are the main tools I use to help the children explore their voices and communication skills.

There is alot more one to one attention in these classes focusing individually building childrens facial and vocal expression inherently developing confidence and skills quicker Children often use the drama group then, as a platform to consolidate and practice those skills.

How many are in a class?

Class sizes are kept very small particularly for speech & drama ensuring that children have a quality experience but at the same time have a group size that facilitates peer to peer learning and development.

Typical class sizes are as follows:

Juniors – 8-14 pupils per class (depends on spread of ages)*

Seniors and older 6-10 per class (depends on experience)*

*Due to Covid19 class sizes have been reduced to have 8-10 maximum per session

What performance opportunities are there?

It is a very important part of Dorans Academy’s philosophy to provide opportunities to widen a child’s comfort zone and indeed providing for the zealous highly confident child, opportunities to shine brightly and utilise and develop further the skills being taught.

Children have the opportunity to take part in

  • London College of Music examinations in Speech and Drama

As a full qualified teacher in Speech and Drama ALCM (TD) through the University of West London, children are taught to the highest standards and are prepared for the exams which are available from early learning (aged 4yrs) right up through the steps and grades.

The exams are fantastic for children’s records of achievement and CV’s as formal proof of their communication skills which are highly sought after in all careers. The exams are OFQUAL accredited and UCAS points towards university entry at Grades 6-8

  • Newry Feis

Newry is a very prestigious Feis and typically is held around Easter time. It is a small size, although highly competitive but gives the children an opportunity to perform in a competitive setting which has its own significant value and benefits.

  • Dorans Academy Poetry And Tea Event

Our own poetry performance opportunity is a lovely relaxed affair where children are surrounded by friends and family, perform for the joy of performing without any of the stress of subjective adjudication. It is accompanied by light refreshments and takes place in Castlewellan in the spring. The children choose one or two poems they have prepared from throughout the year and are met with smiling facing and rapturous applause! They are also prepared to deliver a choral verse performance with the rest of their class.

  • Choral Verse - Dramarama Christmas Show

The Drama groups (Dramarama) have an annual charity Christmas show and as part of this I afford the Speech and drama students the opportunity to perform Christmas choral verse as part of this show. Here they have yet another outlet to relish the thrill of the stage to a captive audience in a public setting.

There is no pressure for any child to take part in any of these they are simply opportunities which I offer to help their confidence skills and natural ability flourish and exciting platforms for those who relish performing; to widen their comfort zone and challenge them when they are ready. Children really grow in confidence and self-esteem with their classes and it is quickly reflected in their schoolwork, willingness to participate and wider social interactions.

Speech and drama classes are growing more and more important in a world where children are no longer learning the vital communication skill that will carry them through life.  In a society dominated by texts emails and social media the art of conversation is waning and as such children’s ability to present and communicate, to articulate ideas, emotions and to express themselves articulately and effectively in person needs to be addressed and supported.