Developing social skills through drama
Getting ready for the term ahead is always an exciting process as we prepare the content for the new themes and new end of term shows. At this point, the songs are written, the choreography set, scripts printed, and the music learnt. If we were a normal drama school it would stop there. But we aren’t. Despite the fact that we have working professional performers as our teachers, our passion at Perform is all about helping children with life skills. And our drama, dance and singing sessions are the conduit for this.
Each week, we focus on a different life skill to explore this with the children. Next term, we’ll be looking at 10 different ones. Here are just a few examples:
- Breath control- how to have a healthy voice and how breathing calmly can help you if you’re feeling a bit scared.
- How to meet new people – tips on what to do if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know anyone.
- How to stand up for yourself.
- Together power – how to work brilliantly as a team.
- Vocal projection – how to always use a clear and projected voice without shouting.
You can see all our weekly focuses for next term here.
As Principal of Perform, I’m responsible for choosing our focuses each week and it’s my favourite part of the job. I find it really useful to talk to parents and hear about their experiences with their children. I’m often inspired by my own children (aged 7 & 9) too and think of the times that they’ve needed help. In fact, the ‘How to meet new people’ was put into the curriculum because my son, who despite being only in Year 5, is already worried about how he’ll meet new friends in secondary school. He doesn’t really listen to me, but his Perform teachers are excellent at bringing topics to life and leading the children through scenarios, exercises and discussions. I’m confident they’ll help him, and the rest of the class, feel more prepared. After all, meeting new people is a life skill we all use all the time.
The beauty of drama is that you don’t have to tell children what to do or think when you’re teaching. If they’re involved in an improvisation or a role-play, they can come to their own conclusions. That’s why this sort of empathetic learning is so powerful and effective. We don’t preach, ‘this is how you stand up for yourself’. Through the story and by playing characters, we get the children to experience it for themselves. It’s subtle but much more effective, in my opinion.
We are contacted almost on a daily basis by a parent thanking us for how the effect that our weekly focuses have on their children and it really is a joy to hear. If you’re a Perform parent and have a life skill you’d like your child to explore in class, please do get in touch with me and let me know.