ISTA present...

Drama across the primary school curriculum (Africa, Europe and the Middle East) with Dinos Aristidou

March 16 - March 21, 2021

The Studio takes place only on specific days and in 2-4 hour blocks during this time period.

Central European and UK times are listed specifically in the schedule below.

While scheduled, primarily, as a workshop for teachers working in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, theatre teachers globally are invited to attend.

About the workshop

Drama across the primary school curriculum

Workshop description
In this Studio teachers will examine the role that drama can play as part of a primary school curriculum, exploring strategies, techniques and approaches to the use of drama in teaching and learning and its use across different subject areas.

Learning outcomes
Teachers will:
Develop an understanding of the use and impact of ISTA’s ensemble approach and pedagogy.
Work through exercises and activities that can be used in the primary school classroom for different purposes; as a tool for the development of skills and understandings as well as a way of developing personal, social and collaborative skills.
Explore stories, events and ideas that encourage children to be curious about the world, search for imaginative possibilities and find the potential in themselves and others.
Examine theatre making through a simple guide to making engaging and student centred ensemble pieces of original theatre that can be shared with the class and wider community.
Come to see the use of ensemble as a powerful tool to help build self-confidence, empathy and social skills in a fun and playful way that also enhances wellbeing.

How this workshop will benefit teachers in their curriculum delivery
Learning through drama is experiential and offers opportunities for play, making learning fun, authentic and relevant. It is a tool for exploring the world and a means of communicating ideas and feelings to others. Through drama children discover the potential in themselves and in others. Driven by student centred inquiry and play, teachers will leave the workshop empowered to use drama:
as a powerful and effective tool for conceptual learning;
to develop a student’s understanding of ‘big ideas’;
to develop literacy, expressive and communication skills, providing children with a language that goes beyond the verbal, to express themselves.
Teachers will also leave the workshop with a toolbox full of drama activities to start using immediately in the classroom as well as the confidence, tips and tricks to use drama as an integral part of their daily teaching – turning classrooms into creative and inspiring places and designing experiences that have their foundation in collaborative learning.

Target audience
This Studio is suitable for all primary school teachers, regardless of which particular course they follow, who are interested in using drama in their classroom.

About your workshop leader

I’m a playwright, director and education consultant working in the United Kingdom and internationally. I was writer-in-residence at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton and am currently working with them on a new musical and with Birmingham Royal Ballet on a youth empowerment programme. I’m the creative learning director of UCAN, working with blind young people and artistic director of the Celebrating Our Stories Verbatim Theatre Festival for December 2020.

My passion is for Verbatim Theatre, working with communities to discover empowering ways of theatrically presenting untold stories. My work with students and teachers focuses on reflection, the role it plays in learning, in making art, in social activism and in building compassion. As an artist I am inquiring into what it means to make art with kindness.

I have an interest in curriculum and was manager of the curriculum review of IB MYP Arts. As a consultant I am involved in the development of the IB Diploma Theatre course as well as Diploma Literature and Performance and Diploma Music. My work involves the design of Diploma Theatre teacher workshops, online courses and teacher support materials (TSM) and the overseeing of whole school change programmes.


This Studio runs over a period of five days with sessions taking place as follows:

Tuesday – 2 hours evening
Thursday – 2 hours evening
Friday – no workshops
Saturday – morning 4 hours
Sunday – morning 4 hours

Session #1
Tuesday 16th March 2021 (2 hours)
6:00-8:00pm CET; 5:00-7:00pm UK time
Building ensemble and the spirit of play

Session #2
Thursday 18th March 2021 (2 hours)
6:00-8:00pm CET; 5:00-7:00pm UK time
Drama for understanding; exploring big ideas and developing understandings

Sessions #3&4
Saturday 20th March 2021 (4 hours)
9:00am – 1:00pm CET; 8:00am – 12:00pm UK time
Part 1 (session #3): Drama for understanding; working across disciplines
Part 2 (session #4): Telling tales; Drama and the development of literacy and expressive skills

Session #5&6
Sunday 21st March 2021 (4 hours)
9:00am – 1:00pm CET; 8:00am – 12:00pm UK time
Part 1 (session #5): Theatre making; creating, staging and performing plays
Part 2 (session #6): Reflection, application and resource sharing

Total course time – 12 hours

Important information

Event coordinator
Helen Abbott

The workshop will take place using the platform Zoom.

Places are limited to 20 participants per Studio.

We will send out Zoom meeting information shortly before the workshop.


The registration fees for this Studio are:
ISTA members: GBP £200.
Non ISTA members: GBP £225.

What to bring

Any materials shared with you prior to the workshop, such as the workbook. Plus anything requested by the workshop leader which will be shared with you a few days prior to the workshop.

Space requirements
If possible, please try to have a small amount of space near to you for any practical work.

Download & Forms

Please find below the relevant documentation for you to download:


Starts on Tuesday 16 March at 18:00
Finishes on Sunday 21 March at 13:00