Alive and Kicking

Constructing schemes of work and curriculum documents in drama to meet the needs of the department and OFSTED is one thing. Providing the rationale behind the work of the drama department is another. As is providing teaching material for colleagues who are not drama trained, and yet find themselves teaching drama lessons.

I am sure that for those who were drama trained it is all a straightforward process – but for those who were not, there is a need for support.

One possible way forward is through the use of the copiable book “Alive and Kicking” (also available on CD so that it can be loaded onto the school’s learning network – which means everyone can read the scheme of work at any time).

It provides a series of templates for all three years of Key Stage 3. There are schemes of work taken term by term, with three distinct modules per year. There is a detailed scheme of assessment criteria tied in to an expectation of many students going on to GCSE courses but also tied in to National Curriculum Level equivalents. There is also a package of resource materials for use with the modules, most notably a series of mini-scripts for children to work on in combinations of twos, threes, fours or fives.

The list of contents is huge – for example within the section on classroom practice there are articles on:

  • Rules of the studio
  • Key concepts and key words, year by year
  • Solo work (from simultaneous solo activities to audition speeches)
  • Improvisation
  • Scripts
  • Workshops
  • Use of Games
  • Alternative strategies
  • Feedback.

Other chapters cover key skills, assessment, reporting – and of course the complete year by year schemes of work. There is a sample chapter available on-line at

Cat No: 978 1 86083 569 8; Publisher reference no: T1650emn


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £29.95. plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £29.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £36.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the book…


Is it possible to make sense of the new EYFS?

What is the best way of providing children with opportunities for playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically?

In short, what is the most effective way of meeting the requirements of the new EYFS curriculum?

In many ways the new framework is better than the old one. It simplifies assessment for a start. There are no longer 69 boxes to be ticked for each child.

Gone is the requirement that 80% of assessment must be from child-initiated activities. (Not that we’re advocating a return to teacher-led activities. But – admit it – sometimes trying to catch children demonstrating that they know how to do something, and having pen and pencil to hand at just the right time to record it, was a challenge!)

There are other important changes. Gone are the six key areas. In their place there is now much more emphasis on the three prime areas, those that lay the foundations for children’s school readiness and future progress: language and communication, physical development and personal, social and emotional development.

Literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design (as they now call creative development) are still very much part of the curriculum, but are now called specific areas.

One thing we can guarantee the new EYFS curriculum does – it makes all your old planning documents out-of-date!

That’s where our Activities for 3-5 Year Olds series comes in.

The 10 books in the series all contain enjoyable play activities designed to develop children’s important preschool skills and a deeper understanding of the world around them. They also help develop key skills in the three prime areas. Even better, each activity clearly shows how it links to the new areas.

The books’ topics comprise: All About Us, Gardening, Caring & Sharing, Pets, Colours, Shopping, Families, Water, Food and Weather.

All the books in the Activities for 3-5 Year Olds Series contain tried-and-tested play activities. They are an invaluable source of easy-to-use ideas for all early years settings, from preschools and nurseries to reception classes and day nurseries.

You can order the Activities for 3-5 Year Olds Series in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 767122
  • By email to
  • By post to Brilliant Publications, c/o Trade Counter Distribution, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.