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Welcome back and making friends 

It's the first class of a new term and in our improvised adventure PF meets and makes a new friend. At first he's a bit nervous, but he soon finds that they have lots in common and get on brilliantly. 

We play a game called Speed Detective where they have to meet a new person and quickly find out 3 new things about them and then share the information with the rest of the group. 

Throughout the lesson a huge effort is made this week on encouraging the children to partner-up with students that they don’t normally work with or someone that has just joined. 

Exploring our Emotions 

We talk about feelings and why they are important to be able to express. 
We play our Positive Body Language game, where the children act out different emotions through body language. 
We also discover how our voice changes its pitch and volume depending on the mood we're in. 

 

Talking in front of an audience

As teachers we demonstrate to the children why it's important to project your voice and use eye contact when you’re talking in front of an audience.
We play lots of vocal exercises including a game where we walk on stage to face the audience and introduce ourselves in our beautifully projected voices. 

Co-ordination and Balance 

We look in detail at Balance and how to maintain a controlled body position during a task, which could mean anything from sitting at a desk to walking along a pavement.
In our story the Stilt Walker falls off his stilts and PF volunteers to do his act in the show that night, but first PF has to have great balancing skills in order to stilt-walk! So we have fun playing lots of co-ordination and balancing style exercises to work on our co-ordination too. 

Following Instructions

Our exercises this week are centred around the children following specific instructions in smaller groups and pairs.
Following instructions is something that we have to do throughout our lives, so we focus on getting the children to listen carefully and then carry out the tasks as precisely as they can. 
In our PF improvisation, PF nearly falls over when walking the stilts, but is rescued by The Circus Flea who flies to his ear and offers him clear instructions to help him stay up-right.  

Memory Skills 

At Perform, we ask the children to memorise information regularly, whether it be song lyrics, lines for the end of term show, or remembering instructions.
The brain is a muscle and we find that they pick things up extremely quickly because this muscle is ‘exercised’ in the correct way.
We meet Baba the Elephant in our Circus adventure who teaches the children that Elephants never forget and play a series of fun memory-focused exercises. 

Learning about fairness and what it means

In our improvisation the Rodeo Rider is being laughed at and PF doesn’t think it’s fair. 
So we learn what being fair means and how we should always be fair to our family and friends. 

Being a brilliant listener

Listening can sometimes be challenging for younger children but it’s really important and the middle part of the class Listen, Speak & Sing is often dedicated to this.
We talk about what listening to someone means and why we should always try to listen. 
In our improvised adventure, the trapeze artists are all trying to work out a plan but everyone is talking over each other and not listening. We also do a Circus sound-scape where we begin by listening to our surroundings and what we can hear outside. We finish by creating a fun circus environment through our voices.

We learn to collaborate

There’s a lot of emphasis at Perform on solo activities and getting the children to participating confidently on their own. 
We also like the children to work together in team building exercises. 

We play a great game called Making Shapes where the children have to make a circle holding hands as quickly as they can. We then ask them to do it again, but in half the time it first took them. We explain that if they work as a team and help one another they will achieve this! 

Please and Thank you 

Every term we have a message running through our themed adventure. This term in the Circus story, the Lion is refusing his tricks because the Lion Tamer doesn’t say please or thank you or ask him to do the tricks in a polite way.
We discuss why saying please and thank you are important in life. 
We always like to be meticulous about manners at Perform, encouraging and reminding the children to say thank and re-enforcing it through the characters that they meet along the way.
 

We have excellent manners 

Following on from our Please and Thank you focus last week, we play a fun game called Manners never go on holiday!
In this activity, we learn that there's never a time to relax our manners, they should be always with us at all times. 

Using our best voices 

We discuss what our best voice is?
Rather like when we wear our best clothes for a special occasion, we all have a best voice which is friendly and polite. 
We experiment by saying something friendly using an unfriendly voice and how that sounds. We finish by playing  some really fun vocal intonation exercises. 

Getting ready for our Circus show 

We have just 2 weeks left before we ask our friends and family to join us ready for our Circus show. We spend a lot of the lesson making sure that we are all comfortable and familiar with our stage directions. We encourage the children to use their loudest voice when singing and speaking ready for our audience. We also chat about the costumes that we're going to wear. Exciting stuff. 

It's our Circus Show next week 

It’s show week next week, so we spend a significant amount of the class going through our show and getting excited about dressing up, singing and dancing and performing for our families.

Even though it’s a great part of our term’s work, the performance is not the most important part of what we do at Perform.However, it’s a fantastic way to bring together the skills that we focus on each week.

Our teachers will take the children on a final run through and get them to really work on their vocal projection in front of the audience and also to remember where they stand in every scene.  So much to remember!

 

 

The Perform Circus Show

Show day is a day where we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started in September.  The children come in costume to represent their character and this really raises the level of performance and obviously adds a huge element of excitement to the day.

In our mini musical we will tame the Lion who is refusing to do his tricks and save the Circus in the process. The children will perform The Lion Tamer Dance, sing The Clown with a Frown, The Circus Flea and The Human Cannonball songs. They’ll recite The Ringmaster Rap and the Rodeo Rider Tongue Twister. But they’ll also all have individual speaking parts and perform lines and remember stage directions.

It's a wonderful way to celebrate the skills they have learnt through the term. 

Introduction to Rome n Jewels and how it's based on Romeo and Juliet 

It’s the first class of the term after a long summer break. We play lots of fun and energetic ice-breaker and greeting games and get to know the new children who have joined our class.

We also learn about William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, including the plot and characters and compare to the way that it is different to our modern day version of Rome n Jewels which we start rehearsing. 

Who was William Shakespeare?

We find out what we already know about William Shakespeare.
We ask the children if they’ve heard of these expressions. All’s well that Ends well. Or Brave new world, or Good riddance, or Heart of Gold. If they do then tell them that they do know something about Shakespeare. 
We learn the difference between Shakespearean histories, comedies and tragedies.

What does being assertive mean? We explore through drama. 

We learn what assertive means. To be self-assured and confident without being aggressive.
We role-play a situation where we are assertive and discuss how that makes us feel. We chat about times when we need to be assertive.

Learning what Stage Directions are 

We’re now busy blocking our scenes for the Rome n Jewels show, so we make sure that all the children know the theatrical terms for stage directions.
We learn Stage Left, Stage Right, Up Stage and Downstage, and, of course, Centre Stage!
Whilst we aren’t working on a proper elevated stage, it’s important and interesting for the children to know these terms.

We learn Stage Combat!

We focus on stage combat or fight choreography is in this lesson.
We learn that this is a specialised technique in theatre designed to create the illusion of physical combat without causing harm to the performers.
The teachers carefully take the children through a series of different stage combat techniques for them to use in Rome n Jewels.

We have great memory skills!

Our focus is about having excellent memory skills and we take part in a lot of fun exercises based on this.
One favourite is a name and memory game where each child has to introduce themselves with their name and something they like to eat beginning with the first letter of the name. Then once everyone has spoken, they all have to go around again and guess the food for each person.

Exploring what Being Fair means through drama 

Drama is always a great way of exploring different situations.
In this instance, we look at what fairness is and what it means.
We discuss situations that we’ve been in personally when something hasn’t been fair.
We set the children some improvisations to perform for the audience who have to vote which one they think is being unfair or fair.

Why Listening is so important 

We focus on why listening is so important and what happens if you don’t listen properly.
We play a great game called Whisper down the Alley where the children are put into groups and given a sentence. The aim is for them to repeat the sentence as accurately as possible to each other so that by the time it gets to the last person it hasn’t changed.

What Collaboration means and how we can do this brilliantly 

It’s all about collaboration this week and we play a lot of team building exercises.
Our end of term show is a complete collaboration and we discuss how many people collaborate to put on a show.

Excellent Enunciation 

Good enunciation is the act of speaking clearly and concisely. The opposite of good enunciation is mumbling and slurring which we definitely don’t advocate!
So we spend time on the importance of enunciating properly when we speak. For example, imagine ordering french fries in a restaurant and getting french flies instead!
As well as lots of different tongue twisters and vocal exercises we also experiment by exaggerating our enunciation so really going over the top with this and then bringing it back to a normal level. It’s an excellent way to wake up our mouths and faces!

Being Positive 

We focus this week on Being Positive and looking at the bright side of situations.
Through improvisation, we give the children problem-scenarios and ask them to turn them round into positive situations. 

Vocal Dynamics 

We pay special attention to our voices and how we can use vocal dynamics within our performance in the show.
We do lots of work at Perform on vocal projection, but now we look specifically at how our voice can change depending on the situation we’re in.
So we experiment with quiet voices, medium voices and loud voices and do lots of vocal warm ups and games in the process. We also look at how different situations can affect your voice and how we can counteract this with breathing support.

Two weeks until Rome n Jewels 

We are almost at the end of term, and most excitingly, we have just 2 weeks left before sharing our Rome n Jewels show with our friends and family. 

We focus this week on rehearsals, perfecting stage directions and choreography and making sure that we know our lines brilliantly. 

It's our Rome n Jewels show next week 

It’s show week next week so we spend a significant amount of the class going through our show and getting excited about dressing up, singing and dancing and performing for our families.

Even though it’s a great part of our term’s work, the performance is not the most important part of what we do at Perform. However, it’s a fantastic way to bring together the skills that we focus on each week.

Our teachers will be take the children on a final run through and get them to really work on their vocal projection in front of the audience and also to remember where they stand in every scene.  So much to remember!

Rome n Jewels 

Show day is a day where we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started in September.  The children come in costume to represent their character and this really raises the level of performance and obviously adds a huge element of excitement to the day.

We perform Rome n Jewels, a specially written musical based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. They’ll have to remember a host of lines and blocking and the stage craft that they learn through the term will stand them in good stead here for a fun and polished performance.

 

Fitness and Fun - The Perform X Way 

We recap after the long holidays with our Exhilarate section which focuses on our fitness, flexibility and core muscles.
We play the Bleep Test and plan on how we are going to get to the next level in the coming term so that we can challenge ourselves.

We see how fit we are with different cardiovascular based exercises and stare our Alien Invasion dance routine. 

Getting to know each other 

Our focus is team building this week and getting to know each other.
We play lots of games where have to work with a different partner and we encourage the  children to go out of their way to choose someone they don’t normally partner with so that they get to meet and work with someone new.

Dance Battle Perform X style!

We get to show off our dance moves this week with a Perform X dance battle.
We split the children into teams, give them a piece of music and a few minutes and see what they come up with.
Then we watch them perform their piece as they battle it out to see who has got the coolest moves.

Entering a space confidently 

It could be a stage, or it could just be a room, but how we enter is always really important.
We look specifically at body language and how we can portray ourselves confidently with the way we hold our head, shoulders and the way we move.
We experiment with walking onto the stage or coming through the door and experiment by doing it confidently and unconfidently.

Taking the lead

We explore what taking the lead means this week and how whilst team work is vital it’s also important to know how to lead your team.
We play several games where the children have to take turns leading or directing the activity.

Choreography Challenge 1

The children perform dance routines at Perform which are choreographed for them by top industry choreographers.
But we like to stretch their creativity with allowing them to also create and choreograph their own material too.
This is Week 1 of our Choreography Challenge where we give the children the task of choreographing a short routine based on discovering a planet in Outer Space.

Choreography Challenge 2

It’s Week 2 of our Choreographic Challenge where we get to rehearse, perform and share our piece with the other children.

Losing Inhibitions

An inhibition is a feeling which makes you feel self-conscious and unable to act in a relaxed or natural way.
This week we explore when we sometimes might feel like this. What situations might we feel inhibited in?
We play a lot of fun and very high energy exercises where we let go of our inhibitions.

Breath Control

We learn what breath control is.

We discuss why it’s important to think about your breathing when you perform.

We learn how to use breathing techniques to make you feel calm if you feel anxious or scared.

Eye Contact

We explore the all-important eye contact which is why it’s vital to look someone in the eye when you’re talking to them.

We discuss how it feels when someone doesn’t look you in the eye when you talk to them.

We also look at why we must give eye contact when we’re performing on stage.

We've got attitude!

A fun focus all about giving our dance routine attitude and feeling.
Dancing is communication and when we dance we have to give it attitude!
We split into groups and watch one group perform the dance with strong attitude and the other with medium attitude and discuss why the strong attitude group is far more exciting to watch.

Vocal dynamics

We pay special attention to our voices and how we can use vocal dynamics within our performance in the show.
We do lots of work at Perform on vocal projection, but now we look specifically at how our voice can change depending on the situation we’re in.
So we experiment with quiet voices, medium voices and loud voices and do lots of vocal warm ups and games in the process. We also look at how different situations can affect your voice and how we can counteract this with breathing support.

Rehearse

With only 2 weeks to go until show week we are busy rehearsing ready for the performance! We know the vocals and choreography, we just have to focus on perfecting them and enjoying ourselves in the process. We can't wait to share this with our audience. 

Show week is next week!

It’s show week next week so we spend a significant amount of the class going through our show and getting excited about dressing up, singing and dancing and performing for our families.

Even though it’s a great part of our term’s work, the performance is not the most important part of what we do at Perform. However, it’s a fantastic way to bring together the skills that we focus on each week.

Our teachers will be take the children on a final run through and get them to really work on their vocal projection in front of the audience and also to remember where they stand in every scene.  So much to remember!

Show Day!

Show day is a day where we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started in September.  The children come in costume to represent their character and this really raises the level of performance and obviously adds a huge element of excitement to the day.

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