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utterly dire school productions (plays, concerts etc.) - anything constructive I can do?

(19 Posts)
geekgirl Thu 19-Jul-07 10:43:37

The school productions at my dds' school are always dreadful - yesterday's was another corker - the older half of pupils performed songs by a well-known 70s pop band;

the lyrics were projected onto the rear wall of the hall and the children just stood there, reading the lyrics off. Is it unreasonable to expect them to learn some songs off by heart? And to not just stand there, not engaging with the audience but with the rear wall? They always do this at school and it irritates me so much. There was virtually no dancing, nothing - just a bunch of children reading lyrics. Incidentally, several children did know them all and were just looking around being bored whilst singing (the concert went on for 1hr 15 min).

It's like this every time, they just seem to put no effort into actually making it good - the main reason why it upsets me so much is that ds currently goes to a private school nursery, and I have seen so many truly outstanding productions there with much younger children - none of this 'words beamed onto the wall' business there. Now, I know they have extra staff there for such things, but still... I just cringe at these events.

I would really like to help out but have no idea how to go about it, as I am not a teacher and only did an A level in theatre studies, not a degree. Any ideas? Also, I'd probably tread on people's toes terribly - they always seem really proud of themselves.

Tortington Thu 19-Jul-07 10:46:49

if you are going to work with the kids i the school you are going to have to have a full CRB check. I presume you will have to pay for it

speak to the head teacher and see if there is a way you can help out.

i think that they are prob doing the rehearsals in class time - so for you to put in more effort you may be wanting to suggest after school - but that will have insurance complications - and the head will be concious of the security of the school.

chopchopbusybusy Thu 19-Jul-07 10:49:40

I have sat during and after school productions and heard some of the parents muttering about how dire they are. Sometimes I have to agree that they have been a bit poor but my DDs don't go to a stage school and they view the productions as a fun event. Also, a lot of the school day is taken up by preparation for these and I personally would not really want more time spent on them. DDs school do often ask for parental help for them so if you do want to volunteer I'd go ahead. The teachers would probably be grateful for the help.

chopchopbusybusy Thu 19-Jul-07 10:51:28

Custy, do you have to pay for CRB? I filled out a form and the school sent it off - or was that not a full check in some way?

geekgirl Thu 19-Jul-07 10:52:24

I just wish they took a bit more pride in doing it well - last night they sang 9 songs - they could have just done 5 but actually learnt them properly with a bit of choreography, IYKWIM.

I think I'll offer to help after the hols without mentioning my disappointment.

chopchopbusybusy Thu 19-Jul-07 10:54:35

Yes, I see your point. maybe that is the sort of suggestion the teachers would be grateful for

Tortington Thu 19-Jul-07 10:56:43

if the school want you as a helper - say fopr a school trip i would think THEY would pay for it- but if your going in saying " i want to help" when the school never asked you to -then i would assume it comes out of your pocket

geekgirl Thu 19-Jul-07 10:58:19

I've helped out on trips and am a governor anyway, but the only check they do for that is List 99.
I think they would be happy to pay for it, they're always keen to get parents involved.

bev1e Thu 19-Jul-07 10:59:33

I would mention your disappintment and the fact that you are keen to be involved - your school would probably welcome it. To my mind it's pure laziness to have the children reading the lyrics from the wall - where's the fun in that?

geekgirl Thu 19-Jul-07 11:01:16

yes, particularly as young children have such good memories anyway - it wouldn't take them long to learn the lyrics (dd knew them all off by heart just because she'd been singing the songs at home)

bev1e Thu 19-Jul-07 11:11:32

It does sound as though not enough thought and effort goes into it - maybe because time and resources are very limited?

Bet you're not the only parent that dreads going to see it!

cornsilk Thu 19-Jul-07 11:16:02

It's very difficult to spend enough time on a performance to make it a good performance though. One teacher with 30 kids, having to deliver the rest of the curriculum as well, sorting out costumes, scenery, lighting...it's very difficult to manage.

Tortington Thu 19-Jul-07 12:00:32

its all bollocks anyway - they should be learning maths and english not doign any of this tosh

lionheart Thu 19-Jul-07 13:52:56

Do schools have to pay for the CRB check then?

Blu Thu 19-Jul-07 14:07:59

It's the luck of the draw as to whether your school has anyone who is experienced / skilled in school productions.

Custy - you Back to Basics philistine! If the person is good, involvement in drama will actually improve academic achievement amongst some children - can increase fluency in literacy, explore issues in the curriculum, challenge kids to really push themselves and therfore discover that they enjoy learning.

But reading projected lines doesn't do it on any level. Very sloppy.

Ask whether the school has an arts policy, ask whether anyone has any training in school productions, askk whether they can get help through Creative Partnerships to get professional help.

newgirl Thu 19-Jul-07 19:08:08

i think charging for crb checks is coming in in sept so it was free this term, but not next - in herts anyway

id offer to help - not sure how it would come across though

i imagine it would get better at secondary when the schools tend to teach drama and some even have theatres

lionheart Fri 20-Jul-07 08:34:50

I didn't know that, ng.

Blandmum Fri 20-Jul-07 08:43:23

You would have to be CRB checked. You might also be very limited in the amount of curriculum time that you have at your disposal. Getting kids to stay after school might be a big help but be prepared to suffer some brick bats from the parents who's kids don't stay and may miss out on the prime roles Parents are sometimes like that Just read MN

My kids always have a great school performance, but that is because they see singing as an integral part of the curriculum and spend their singing lessons through the term practicing the songs. Not all schools feel the same way.

Good on you though! I hope it goes well

MummyPenguin Fri 20-Jul-07 13:18:41

My DD has just taken part in the year 6 production, and it was wonderful. I was a bit sceptical as to what it would be like, as the Nativity which is always done by year 1 is usually a bit poor, but this was fab, presumably because the children are that much older. They sang some great songs from High School Musical, 'Don't Stop Me Now' and 'We Will Rock You.' They really connected with the audience, and danced too. Some children did solos (including my DD ) and there were dance routines by a group of boys, and comedy, it was really good fun and brilliant to watch.

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