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East Anglia School of Acting

Extra Drama at Old Buckenham Hall School - Delivered by Nicholas Paley

Would you consider yourself ‘creative’? The Oxford English dictionary defines ‘creative’ as:

“Relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something”.

In my opinion the worth of dramatic art on young people cannot be underestimated. The transitory and interpretive nature of drama develops an aptitude for compromise, teamwork, commitment and attention to detail valued in almost all work arenas. Regardless of whether or not a young person wishes to pursue a career in the performing arts, engagement in dramatic activity can encourage development of confidence, empathy, exploration of relationships and the ability to work through topics and narratives in a safe non-judgmental environment that might otherwise never have an active platform.

The interpretative nature of drama is filled with complexity and subtlety that needs considered investigation and requires high levels of problem solving and interpersonal skills if one has the desire to present a sophisticated and enjoyable production. Children that show competency in this field should have their accomplishments wholeheartedly celebrated.

If I had a penny for every time when talking about my career someone has said to me “ Get up in front of an audience…I could never do that!”

Nicholas Paley MA (Applied Theatre)

Peripatetic Drama Teacher

Old Buckenham Hall

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“Extra drama lessons have become one of the most happily anticipated events of our son's week at school. Although a rather pensive and sometimes solitary child, Our 10 year old son has developed enthusiasm and confidence since being taught improvisation and is keen to work in partnership with others. He relishes the opportunity to use his imagination without fear of criticism and is even excited about working towards the exam!” – Clare – Parent

“Maddy has benefited enormously from her drama classes; she has finally found her mojo! It has been a fantastic way for her to express herself and find her confidence. She absolutely loves it and her enjoyment of drama now is just wonderful to see!” – Kate – Parent

“Mr Paley is an inspirational teacher who stretches the children's imagination whilst making his lessons tremendous fun.” – Wiz – Parent

My Credentials:

I began my career as a professional actor over 20 years ago and have toured internationally in many theatre productions. During this time I also have been running education programmes for several professional theatres and companies including Derby Playhouse, Mansfield Civic and the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. I studied Applied Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and gained an MA. Outside of my schools and education work I also still direct, produce plays and occasionally act professionally, having most recently been on stage at the Mercury in Colchester. I currently have a pass rate of 100% and last year 92% of my candidates were awarded the grade distinction.

Our 3 terms of Extra Drama are organised as follows:

Michaelmas Term

Students investigate physical theatre, mime and improvisation and share their work towards the end of term in an informal showcase for their families.

This grounding in physical work and improvisation is built upon over the next 2 terms and skills learned are utilised in preparation of elements included in exams at the end of the academic year.

Lent Term

Students choose with guidance the exam they would like to attempt in the summer term. We investigate and choose inspirational texts, begin to learn them and work practically to stage them appropriately.

Summer Term

We refine and perfect our performance pieces. Texts, which are by now learned verbatim, are honed. We put the finishing touches and improve our mimes and devised work and we brush up on our improvisation skills. Trinity Guildhall exams are then taken by those students that wish to and certificates are subsequently awarded to celebrate their achievements.


£110 termly in advance (paid on receipt of external invoice)

Although term lengths vary the cost remains the same across all terms. I guarantee 30 sessions across a year but in actuality students often receive many more than this. This has been organised to keep invoicing simple and safeguard inevitable yet infrequent clashes with school concerts and sports fixtures.

If parents are happy for their children to take Trinity Guildhall examinations there is an exam fee payable based on the type and level of exam. These fees will be added to your summer term school bill. Details of these costs are available on request.