To Be Or Not To Be A Super Star Stepper

To Be Or Not To Be A Super Star Stepper

This term at Star Steppers we have been focusing our work on plays written by the awesome William Shakespeare. To some this could sound a bit boring, a bit too serious not really ‘Star Steppers’. But I’ll stop your thoughts there! We have of course explored Shakespeare ‘Star Steppers Style!’ – upbeat, creative, inclusive and, in the main, encouraging the children to explore, challenge themselves and to use their imaginations.

Our youngest groups Step 1, have explored the story of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ via the fun children’s film Gnomeo and Juliet, our middle groups Step 2 have been learning about the story of the ‘Tempest’ and our eldest groups Step 3 and 4 have been acting out and script writing the story of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’.

I have to say I was a little bit nervous at first telling the children that Shakespeare would be the theme for this term, I was expecting cries of ”No!”, yawns of boredom. However quite a different response, the Monday Cheam class actually clapped and cheered.

So off we went and 10 weeks later it has been a fantastic project, a learning curve and an exciting experience for all. One child actually said last week ‘you make Shakespeare more fun!’ Which made us feel we had, maybe just maybe, achieved our goal this term!

Step 1 have explored new and complex vocabulary, sung their hearts out to “Don’t’ Go Breaking My Heart” and danced their socks off learning partner steps and tricky stage formations in their ‘Love Story’ dance.

Step 2 have thrown themselves into the stormy waters of the Tempest and have been working on a beautiful piece of children’s theatre which they will perform especially for Step 1, including stage and prop management, physical theatre, sound-scaping, a Monster dance routine and underwater song.

Step 3 and 4 have created, written and directed their own monologues and duologues based on the infamous tale of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and they perform them beautifully in an edgy, modern context. They have taken such pride in this project and we have been thrilled with how well they have engaged with the themes and story.

Wow! It has been busy but fun and a lot of in-depth learning and progress has taken place too! The progress the all the Star steppers have made is incredible. Children who once were shy are now proudly performing their lines with character and projection. Classes of children are working together as a team to change and/or create scenery, the work ethic and pride is immense and so wonderful to see.

At Star Steppers we pride ourselves in teaching the 3 main strands of performing arts; dance, singing and drama. The benefits of dance and singing often speak for themselves, however the role drama has to play is very important too.

At Star Steppers Drama is not only used as way for children to act out and narrate stories. It is a valuable learning tool and a successful way of building children’s confidence, speech, language and communication skills, team work, spatial awareness and to enhance their imaginations and to build upon their creative responses. The Star Steppers team plan and write each drama script (never ever bought and used directly form the shelf) as we want to ensure each child has an opportunity to act, speak, performa and shine and be the Super Star Stepper they deserve to be!

An interesting thought to leave you with……
“The future of our nation depends on our ability to create – and to be creative. During the coming decades our most important national resources will be human resources. If our nation is to continue to meet the challenges of the future, we need to develop creative leaders.”
From Performing together: The Arts and Education, jointly published by The American Association of School Administrators, The Alliance for Education and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1985.

So… Super Star Steppers, step forwards and be the leaders of tomorrow, of course in “Star Steppers Style!”

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