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Wild West

It’s the start of our Summer Term and it’s always amazing to see the children after the holidays and to meet lots of new children who join us for the first time. Our theme for the 4-7s this term is the Wild West and we will be going on an exhilarating mission to rescue The Horse with the Golden Mane.

The children will go home with their Wild West Poster and each week, as part of our curriculum, they’ll get a sticker which they can take home and fill up the poster. By the end of term, they’ll have a lovely poster full of their achievements. 

Eye Contact

Our focus this week is how important it is to make eye contact with people while having a conversation. It’s quite normal for children not to look at people while taking to them, especially people they don't know very well, and it’s something that parents often mention.

We always encourage the children to make eye contact when they are speaking to individuals and to groups of people too. This week we cover it in more detail and play lots of fun games exploring the topic. 

 

 

Different Opinions

This week we discuss how to express different opinions in a clear way.

In our improvisation, Billy and Pepper have a disagreement over an expedition to Banjo Creek and PF doesn’t know what to do so he asks Billy and Pepper to put forward their different opinions in the most clear way possible so that he can decide.

We then choose everyday topics and ask the children if they can come up with reasons FOR and AGAINST them. This allows us to encourage the children to express themselves articulately. 

Handshakes


This week, our focus is on handshakes. The Wild West Ranger comes to visit and he teaches the children how to do the perfect handshake.

He says that a handshake should be firm, last a few seconds, and pump into the hand 2-3 times before letting go. The children all get an opportunity to practise what they have learnt.

They also learn that it's important to look the other person in the eye too. 

 

Body Language

We think it's really important for children to begin to understand the importance of body language.

In this session, we meet the beautiful Lily Yellow Lark and learn the Ya Ta Hey song. To find Lily Yellow Lark the children have to follow some Native American smoke signals. They create these using their bodies. We also play lots of mime-based exercises where we remove words and try to communicate using just mime. 

The children tend to really enjoy these games and it's great to see them exploring new ways to communicate. 

 

Sorting Out Disagreements

In this lesson we use drama to look at how we might sort out problems that we face in our day-to-day life. 

In our improvisation, PF meets a group of cowboys and cowgirls who are always arguing and PF offers to help them sort out their argument.

We discuss what a disagreement is and how best to sort one out using different role-play different ideas. We encourage the children to be able to present their view in as clear a way as possible. 

                                                                                                

I'm amazing because...

This is a really positive session for the children and one that they enjoy enormously. 

We ask the children to think about things that they’re amazing at so that we can celebrate these things. 

We also ask them to choose a friend or a member of their family and tell us why they think they’re amazing.

 

Sharing A Problem

This week we discuss how important it is to share a problem if you have one. 

In our improvisation, PF feels sad because he has a problem. His friends persuade him to share it with them because 'a problem shared is a problem halved'. PF tells them what’s wrong and together they work out a way to help him sort it.

This leads onto a discussion about who the children should chat to if they have a problem and we do some role-play around this topic too. 

Wild West Rehearsals

This week is really focused on our Wild West show. It's great to see the children working together to put on a performance for parents to come and see in a few weeks time. 

We're not only rehearsing but also finding out more about the story. We finally manage to find the The Horse with the Golden Mane and with, good teamwork, we defeat the Evil Cowboys and Cowgirls that are trying to find him too. It’s a great end to our adventure. 

 

Final Rehearsals

As it’s our Wild West show next week, we focus a lot on rehearsing and going over the lines this week.

We often find that the group really come together during this time and it's really nice to see them supporting  each other. 

This week we also give the children a sneaky peek into the next term's theme, Under the Sea, which the can begin to get excited about ready for September. 

Wild West - Show Day

Show day is finally here. This week we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started.

The children come in costume which adds a huge excitement to the day.

We really enjoy sharing what we have been working on with an audience and the children tend to find being a part of a show a hugely rewarding experience. 

We also like to thank parents who have spent time preparing costumes and going over lines with the children. 

End of term presentation

On show day we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started. The children come in costume which really raises the level of performance and adds a huge excitement to the day.

We perform Outlaw, a specially-written musical based on the legend of Robin Hood.

This is a more advanced musical that will see them stretched vocally and choreographically. With a host of lines and blocking to remember, the stage craft that they have learnt throughout term will stand them in good stead for a fun and polished performance. 

Robinson Crusoe in Space

We are delighted to welcome the children back after the Easter Holidays and we are all raring to go to start working on this term’s show called Robinson Crusoe In Space. We've put an intergalactic spin on the classic story by Daniel Defoe.

Our version of the tale isn’t set on an island in the middle of the sea, its is set in the future on Mars.

We give the children an introduction to the theme and start to learn the dance routine and one of the songs. We also play lots of fun games to help us start to work together as a group and welcome new children to the class. 

Eye Contact

This week we explore a topic that we consider to be really important, Eye Contact. 

We want to teach the children how important it is to give proper eye contact, whether it be during a conversation with one person or facing a huge audience. 

We have lots of fun playing games to show the children why it’s so crucial that you give effective eye contact and we experiment with how awkward it is when someone doesn’t. 

Expressing a different opinion confidently

We love our children to be confident and express their opinions clearly and effectively so we this week's theme is all around Expressing Different Opinions.  It’s an incredibly interesting lesson.

It’s great to see how confident and at ease the children are at expressing what they think.  We encourage them to explain why they feel the way they do and to articulate themselves with clarity and projection too. 

The Perfect Handshake

We teach the children the importance of being able to give a good handshake.

This week is Bring a Friend Week and so it's the perfect time to think about how we introduce ourselves to other people. In this class, we have fun experimenting with different styles of handshaking and talk about what makes a handshake good or bad. We agree that the best handshake is usually one that's firm, not to long and has eye contact held throughout. 

 

Mime

This is a really great opportunity for the children to explore communication.

In Scene 6 of our  Robinson Crusoe in Space show, Crusoe meets the Captives but they unable understand each other because they don’t speak the same language. In the script they decide to communicate with each other through mime. We use this to explore different ways of communicating and expressing ourselves. We play lots of mime focused exercises where we completely remove words and work out how we can get our message across by just using our bodies. 

 

Conflict Resolution

As well as working on our Robinson Crusoe in Space show, this week we also spend time exploring Conflict Resolution. 

Role-play is really effective for topics like this. We give different groups the same conflict to act out and then we look at all the different ways it could be resolved. We ask the group to decide on the best way forward together. 

We also look at how these techniques can be used to sort out disagreements when they occur in our day-to-day lives. 

Being on Stage

As we are approaching the date of the show, it's a good time for the children to really think about what it means to be on stage. We discuss how our energy, projection and direction have to be altered in order to communicate with the audience properly.

If you look at the back of your child’s script, our Principal, Lucy, has also put together a list of useful theatrical terms. The children might find it helpful to become more familiar with these. 

Sharing a Problem 

Our topic this week is all about the importance of sharing a problem with someone else if you have one.

We even touch on a bit of online safety and discuss how important it is to share a situation you might encounter online with a grown up or teacher.

Rehearsal 

It’s all hands on deck this week preparing for our Robinson Crusoe in Space show. 

It would be great if you can go through your child’s lines with them at home so that they feel confident and ready for the show. If possible, ask them to say their lines in a different room from you so that you can really encourage them to project their voices. 

 

 

Final Rehearsals 

This week we really focus on rehearsing and preparing for the show. 

If you have a chance, please go through your child's lines with them. We really want them to feel confident and ready for the performance. 

We like to keep in mind that the final show is only a small part of what we do during the term - learning and enjoyment are the most important elements rather than the precision or slickness of the show.

Next week, please bring your child dressed in costume and come back to watch the show 30 minutes before the end. We hope you enjoy seeing what we have been working on.  

 

Robinson Crusoe in Space - Show Day

On show day we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started. The children come in costume which really raises the level of performance and adds a huge excitement to the day.

We really enjoy sharing what we have been working on with an audience. The children tend to find being a part of a show a hugely rewarding experience. 

We also like to thank parents who have spent time preparing costumes and going over lines with the children. 

Through the Looking Glass

It’s the start of the Summer Term and our new Perform X theme is Through the Looking Glass based on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel.

We have an amazing dance routine to teach the children. We’re really excited to start working on it and to start exploring the wonderful characters of Wonderland through hip-hop.

As always with Perform X, it’s a high energy class of fun and fitness and this week we often meet lots of new children who are joining us for the first time.

Exploring Emotions

Our focus this week is exploring emotions through movement and dance.  It’s a really interesting class where we look at what emotions are and how we communicate them. It give us an opportunity to pay special attention to our physicality.

We play a great new game called Ensemble Emotion which they love as well as lots of freeze frame exercises. 

Working as an Ensemble

This week we focus on how the group works as an ensemble. 

We discuss the meaning of the term and that it is used to describe a group of dancers, actors, or musicians who work together.

We challenge the children to work really well together as an ensemble for the entire lesson. The children particularly enjoy this session because we get to play a game called 'Swarm' which they love. In this game they have to mimic a swarm of birds and fly in different directions and really try and feel the collective energy of the group

 

Freestyle

In contrast to last week’s focus, this week we work on freestyle dancing. We think ist really important to give the children space for individual expression and in this class we encourage the children to create new moves and develop a personal style for themselves.

We give them some solo opportunities within the exercises and this is great for building their confidence.

 

 

 

Mime

In this class we explore the theatrical technique mime,  suggesting action, character, or emotion without words, using only gesture, expression, and movement.

We really get the children to focus on communicating without words often find that it's quite liberating for them. We believe that focuses like this can have a positive impact on their ability to communicate in general. 

Taking the Lead

This week we look at how to take the lead in a situation. There are some children who naturally do this, but we want all our children to have the confidence to take the lead sometimes.

We use discussion and some specifically focused exercises to develop the children's confidence and encourage them to practise taking charge. 

Being on Stage

In anticipation of our Through the Looking Glass presentation, give special focus this week to what it means to be on stage.

In this class, we discuss the level of energy and concentration that you have to give in order to engage the audience.

We perform our routine for each other in two groups and ask the group watching to feedback and comment.  We also play a game where we learn the theatrical terms for different parts of the stage which they love. 

Presenting ourselves to others

We have a huge amount of fun each week dancing and increasing our fitness. As you know, in our lessons we also like the the children to develop valuable skills they can use in their everyday lives too. 

This week, in the last 15 minutes of this session we explore the way that we present ourselves to others with a particular focus on our body language. 

We ask the children to enter the room and present themselves in different ways. We give them contrasting characters to portray as well. The main point we touch on is that adopting a confident physicality is actually really important and we go through what confident body posture is.  

 

Rehearsals

This week it’s full steam ahead with rehearsals for our Through the Looking Glass presentation. 

We’re at the stage where all resources have been learnt so our main emphasis is now is on perfecting our performance and making sure that we are feeling confident ready for when we have an audience. 

 

Final Rehearsals

This is the last class before our dance presentation. It's a really exciting and important time for the children. 

In this class we do a final run through and go through each child's role with them to make sure that everyone is feeling confident and happy.

 

Through the Looking Glass Show Day

On show day we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started. The children show a cross section of our Perform X activities as well as perform their Through the Looking Glass dance routine. 

Even though the performance is a significant part of our term’s work, it is not the most important part of what we do at Perform. We do find that it's a really lovely way for the group to bring together the skills they have learnt each week and have a lot of fun sharing it. 

Volunteering

We have a lovely topic this week which is all about the importance of Volunteering. 

Many parents bring their children to Perform to help them with confidence because they aren’t very good at volunteering or putting themselves forward for things.

We try and nurture our children during the classes and help those who may not naturally volunteer themselves as much as other children. There are lots of games that we play that encourage this brilliantly.