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Play to Learn

Explore KS1 curriculum subjects through creative, arts-focused activities.

Teaching the curriculum through the arts can have a huge positive impact on engagement and learning. Research shows that ‘participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities and transferable skills by 17%...and learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better in school’- Case 2010. Many studies also note increased confidence and self-esteem when children are involved in drama and the arts, alongside academic improvement.


  • Allow pupils to explore areas of learning and development through the in depth exploration of a specific topic (chosen in collaboration with the school)
  • Develop skills around basic drama practices such as speaking aloud in front of a group, teamwork, problem solving and working independently.
  • To create a performance piece that can be shared with parents and / or the rest of the school
  • Develop the drama skills of the lead teacher
  • Allow lead teacher time to observe their class working


The project consists of 6 x 60 minute sessions, based around a theme e.g. Space or Little Red Riding Hood (Teacher’s choice). Each session explores a different curriculum area through drama and play. The final session includes a performance opportunity within the school.

There are also 3 x 15 minute sessions for the practitioner and the lead teacher to reflect on and discuss the project. These will be scheduled for the beginning, middle and end of the project.

These sessions are also a CPD opportunity, designed to help the teacher to feel more confident in integrating drama into the curriculum.


Session 1 - English

Session 2 - Science

Session 3 - Geography/History

Session 4 - Maths

Session 5 - Art

Session 6 - Performance

*When registering for this project, schools will need to specify Year 1 or Year 2 and the specific focus within these curriculum areas can be chosen by the practitioner or in conversation with the class teacher.

  • “I think the project is going well and you are covering a variety of curriculum areas in each session. The children are loving the hands-on approach and quick-change activities. I would say that the confidence of particular children is increasing and they are all benefitting from working with peers that they wouldn’t gravitate to outside of the sessions.”
    Class Teacher, Curridge Primary School
  • “I felt the project went well. It was what I had hoped for – practical, fun and cross curricular. The children have become more confident in discussions of stories following the experience of acting them out and dressing up. They children were engaged in the sessions and looked forward to them each week. I would recommend the project to other teachers.”
    Class Teacher, Bucklebury Primary School
  • “I loved your energy all the way through and your resources. The children really enjoyed it and were engaged. I'm sure it has increased the confidence of many but I particularly noticed one child. It was the first time this child with autism has ever spoken audibly in a circle to tell you his favourite bit. Many of his peers couldn't believe it. He also engaged with me in role play during that last session which he has never done before. It has also enabled children to pair up with different people and to work in different groups. From my point of view I really enjoyed two of the games you played with them and hope to include them in P.E./drama warm-ups so thank you. I would certainly be interested in welcoming you again to a class I teach.”
    Class Teacher, Kennet Valley Primary School

Play to Learn Project Pack

Play to Learn Project Pack

Pdf 533KB

For more information, please contact our Early Years and Education Officer Rebecca Smith at:
01635 582666