25 September 2018

Schools are enduring a period of contentious budget cuts where the arts are all too often sacrificed in favour of more traditional subjects, namely numeracy and literacy. At The Birkenhead Park School though we are determined to maintain a broader range of subjects on offer to our students in order to enrich their educational experience.

We are therefore very proud to be reinvigorating our approach to Drama with a new teacher for the new school year. Alongside weekly timetabled lessons for all students in years 7 – 9, there’s a host of exciting extra-curricular activities for the whole school to get involved in. We sat down with Mr Osgood, our experienced new Drama teacher, to find out about his big plans for our budding performers.

Mr Osgood has earned his stripes in the world of theatre and acting. He’s a graduate of Teesside University with a degree in ‘Performance For Live & Recorded Media’, specialising in acting, drama, TV and film before completing a Masters programme in Creative Writing. Professionally, he’s worked with both the NHS and the Police force, using role play to inform their real life strategies and improve services for the future.

He’s excited to now be able to turn his attention to education and firmly believes in the value of Drama in schools. Citing renowned Wirral actors such as Daniel Craig and Paul O’Grady as obvious inspirations close to home, Mr Osgood is relishing the opportunity to show how Drama lessons help to instil invaluable real-life skills into our students:

“It’s traits like confidence, creativity and communication that are shaped in the drama studio but are by no means limited to the stage or TV cameras. Drama teaches young people to question things, to learn how to express themselves and to stand up for something they believe in.”

He’s been impressed with the early uptake of our new approach to the subject. Students have very quickly settled into their new drama lessons and he’s already been able to launch two separate lunchtime clubs for lower and upper school students to spend more time honing their skills, working on productions and most importantly just enjoying the new opportunities.

This is also only the start of what is to develop into a full calendar of extra-curricular activities open to the school. The plan is for those lunchtime clubs to progress into the return of whole-school performances open to parents. Plus we have a very positive relationship with LIPA, the arts University will be hosting regular workshops in school and inviting actors, directors and theatre-makers to share expertise with our students. There’ll also be the opportunity to get involved with LIPA productions outside of school for our older students. Finally we’re hoping to take students on theatre trips to the Everyman and Liverpool Playhouse.

Drama is a very exciting part of our curriculum and an example of the school’s ongoing journey of transformation. Mr Osgood’s first-hand experience in this industry and passion for his subject will help our students believe that a future in drama is an achievable and meaningful goal.

“It’s about helping people recognise that an industry exists around drama that is just as credible as any other, there are countless opportunities that can come from this subject area and I want the students to believe that drama is a viable career option.”