Recent changes to the national curriculum have put even more pressure on teachers and students to hit targets so schools can tick those all important ‘boxes’.
Although many wouldn’t argue that it is important to raise standards, what happens to those children who are already struggling to keep up. As the pressure mounts, it is these children who can often feel that at such tender ages, they are failing, leading to increased feelings of self doubt and a drop in confidence.
But there are ways in which parents can help all children cope with the challenges in school and bring out the best in each and every child.
Denise Hutton-Gosney, who is the Principal of Razzamataz Carlisle has worked with young people for the last 15 years and has witnessed many times the powerful positive reinforcement that attending performing arts classes offers. “It’s a real privilege to work with young people and watch their progress through performing arts,” Denise explains. “By offering a high teacher to student ratio, we give these children lots of support and the encouragement to believe that they can be the best that they can be. We have a moto that says ‘believe and you can achieve’ and I’m proud to say that we have seen evidence of this time and time again.”
Take Leo, age 8, who has been with Razzamataz Carlisle since the beginning of 2015. Leo has been diagnosed with special educational needs and both he and his parents have found that performing arts have had a hugely positive effect on his life.
”Leo is a happy boy but struggles with keeping his attention on things and likes to follow his own agenda,” says Kate. ”Leo has a diagnosis of Autism and Dyspraxia. For him, this means he has lots of difficulties with socialising, communication, paying attention and processing language.
“When he first started Razzamataz, he was as he is now, a happy, smiling boy. However, since he has a tendency to go off into his own world and isolate himself, it was very hard to find something that would engage him and that he could also benefit from. I decided to see if he could join Razzamataz, and after a taster session, I was thrilled when everyone there was so positive about supporting him. Since then, he’s come on leaps and bounds in lots of different ways. He has developed a great little imagination, he has become much more focused and he is also socialising more with others. He has developed a real love for performing, especially dance.
“Before this, Leo struggled with lots of physical things that require co-ordination, but now he can jump off steps, ride a bike and participate in lots of other activities that he would have struggled with before. Best of all, it’s given him so much more confidence in himself and his abilities. He’s much less scared of trying new things now and his lovely personality is much better able to shine through.”
Leo is in Razzamantaz Carlisle Juniors class and participates in singing dancing and drama. He has recently performed in his first showcase with Razzamataz in June 2015 where he played one of the T-Birds in Grease at the variety show at the Sands Centre.
Razzamataz teachers are supported by assistants so the focus stays on the children during all of the classes, allowing them to build up a special bond with them which often doesn’t happen at school due to large class sizes.
“This bond gives students the confidence to explore any areas where they are having difficulty,” explains Denise. “This can be through drama role play exercises or even trying out difficult dance moves that they don’t at first think they will master. We are teaching them that practice, dedication and commitment leads to success and this gives them positive reinforcement to try next time, which ultimately does wonders for their confidence.”
If you want to support your child to achieve, try a new skill, make friends and grow in confidence drop us a line for a free taster day at Razzamataz Carlisle on E: firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Manager Debbie Mitchell on 01228 550129.