Stress Busting with In-School Drama

Stress Busting with In-School Drama

The Unique Voice In-School Drama programme is being used in many schools across the Bristol area.  But what does it actually entail, I hear you ask? Well, here to tell you all about her experience is our fantastic workshop leader Sarah Fullagar who has recently started her first term of In-School Drama at Compass Point: South Street School & Childrens Centre.  So why not read more, and find out about ‘Stress Busting with In-School Drama’.

I’ve taught a wide range of children a wide range of things through drama, but this particular scheme of work is, I think, incredibly helpful to the children.

Today we had a particularly noisy session; something the children always seem to enjoy, whilst the class teacher looked at me with a slightly sceptical ‘You’re inviting the kids to shout? Really?’ kind of expression.

We worked with the children talking about things that make them stressed before creating our very own stress machine.

I think it can be easy to assume that children have a lesser understanding of their emotions, and in particular of ways they can control them. But today in the discussions throughout the session these year 4 and 5 children showed an ability to be incredibly articulate, both in terms of expressing why they get stressed (‘When I can’t do things right’, ‘When people nag me’, ‘When people don’t listen to me’, ‘When I get hot and bothered’) and how it makes them feel, or what it makes them think (‘Just leave me alone’, ‘I hate myself, ‘I can’t do it’, ‘Go Away’).

Thinking back to myself at that age I was a huge worrier who regularly got overwhelmed by things that other people seemed to take on the chin. But of course the act of getting in a right flap and stressing out about it didn’t really get me anywhere. What in fact I needed was for someone to encourage me to realise that the act of stressing out was actually leading to a whole load more stress!

After making our stress machine we asked the children to relay how it had made them feel. Responses like angry, agitated, paranoid, flustered and ferocious (which I quickly realised I had no idea how to spell!) immediately filled the room, as did a clear understanding of why these emotions came as a result of stress.

We rounded off the session encouraging the children to come up with their own stress busting tips, each complete with their own action to help them remember it.

My impression is that many people find it easy to jump to the conclusion that kids don’t get stressed. After all, what’s so stressful about games, school and the odd couple of spelling for homework right? What we need to remember is that these children are experiencing potentially stressful situations everyday, in learning about the world around them, creating and developing relationships, exploring where they fit in within the wider picture, discovering who they are as people. It’s a lot to take in!

That is why I am so proud to be able to deliver these sessions with Unique Voice; I don’t think it’s possible to underestimate the importance of PSHE in schools, be they primary or secondary. By allowing the children to explore these issues in a practical and exciting way I believe the message can only be absorbed more fully.

Any Questions?

Please Contact Us to find our more about our In-School Drama programme or about any other services that we provide.


Sarah Fullagar