I am a freelance drama specialist, working mainly in educational contexts both nationally and internationally.
Drama in EducationClick to see picture gallery
I run workshops in schools (Primary and Secondary) using the Mantle of the Expert approach, developed by Dorothy Heathcote, to teach all aspects of the curriculum. In Mantle of the Expert the pupils work in role as "adult experts" within a fictional scenario and are taught from within this context by the teacher in role.
I am part of the national team that has been set up by Luke Abbott (Senior Advisor Essex County Council) to train teachers in using Mantle of the Expert.
My recent work in this area includes the Maths department at Whitley Bay High School, North Tyneside, where have I worked with staff and students. There are also plans to work with the Science department.
In addition I have trained staff at St Ivo's School in Cambridgeshire, and they have subsequently been very successful in using the Mantle of the Expert approach to teach a Y9 Maths class. What follows is a sample of their responses:
Staff of St Ivo's, Cambridgeshire
The training day was invaluable in providing a practical and therefore memorable experience of Mantle of the Expert. All 13 members of staff left the day feeling inspired and empowered to give the Mantle a go. Having tried some of Jane's ideas out now, I know it really works, even with a middle set Year 9 maths class!
Ellis, Year 9
I think Drama and Maths work well together because it is a fun way of learning and helps us get used to using Maths outside the classroom.
Gemma, Year 9
I felt that we all worked as a team and we got a very good result out of it.
Josh, Year 9
It was a push into reality. Some of the best maths lessons ever!
Michael, Year 9 Working with children in a South London school
Fun, amazing, great, enjoyable, exciting, exhilerating. It makes you look forward to your next maths lesson.
I have also recently worked with staff and pupils at Amble Links First School, Northumberland, enabling them to develop a whole school approach using Mantle of the Expert.
I have run numerous professional development courses for teachers demonstrating how to use this method to teach, and I have also worked extensively in schools with young people and teachers, using this method to promote drugs awareness.
I teach part time at Northumbria University on the BA and PGCE ITT programmes.
If you want to make teaching and learning more enjoyable I can provide Staff Development on how to use Drama to teach all aspects of the curriculum, workshops for children and young people and training in Drama and Theatre skills.
Since becoming a freelance worker I have worked on the following projects:
- Replay Productions, Belfast: development workshops
- Romeo and Juliet: performances and workshops touring schools, to support English SATS at KS3
- Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah, Leeds: educational advisor for TiE projects and workshops
- Street Theatre for Hexham Abbey Festival, Northumberland: I worked with children in four schools to devise morality plays for 2005, and directed the performances with a team of actors, a designer and a musician
- Examining: I am a senior examiner for Edexcel, Drama and Theatre Studies
- What's This Got to Do with Maths? (2002): Education Review vol.15 no 2, reprinted in Teaching Thinking and Creativity, issue 19 (2006)
- GCSE Teachers Guide (2001): to support the Edexcel Drama specification
- Longing and Belonging (June 1999): article on using drama to research theatre, Drama Broadsheet, NATD
- Fear Of Flying (1994): article on infant drama published in Drama Broadsheet National Association of Teachers of Drama theoretical journal of the National Association of Teachers of Drama