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Biggest challenge with Christmas nativity plays?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by JumpStartDance, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. JumpStartDance

    JumpStartDance New commenter

    Hi

    I help out in a lot of schools with their Christmas Productions - mostly nativities.

    I’d love to know what your biggest challenges are when putting on your own Christmas shows.

    For me it’s definitely the lack of space. I have all these great ideas for the dancing but then have to compromise significantly to fit in the small stages / performance areas we have!

    I love to hear your own challenges and how you overcome them.

    Thanks
     
  2. EBC

    EBC New commenter

    Space is one issue, but more a case of rehearsal time in the main hall. We tend to block the hall out for the last two weeks and smile at our lovely pe teacher.

    Making sure the speaking parts are equal! Adding lines and double checking to make sure they all have the same amount.
     
    ViolaClef likes this.
  3. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Being asked about it in August comes pretty high I'd guess.
     
  4. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    The time it takes away from the curriculum.
     
    nomad likes this.
  5. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    [QUOTE ="vannie, post: 12900764, member: 824206"]The time it takes away from the curriculum.[/QUOTE]

    That's really sad. Drama and music are an important part of children's education and are part of the curriculum. A well planned and executed nativity /Christmas play covers a lot of the music/drama/dance/art requirements for a primary school as well as a lot of social aspects such as working together etc.For less academic pupils and those who are talented musicians and performers it is a chance for them to shine.
    The biggest challenge is dealing with teachers with your attitude and denying the children a chance to be creative. Curriculum is not just numeracy and literacy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  6. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    That's really sad. Drama and music are an important part of children's education and are part of the curriculum. A well planned and executed nativity /Christmas play covers a lot of the music/drama/dance/art requirements for a primary school as well as a lot of social aspects such as working together etc.For less academic pupils and those who are talented musicians and performers it is a chance for them to shine.
    The biggest challenge is dealing with teachers with your attitude and denying the children a chance to be creative. Curriculum is not just numeracy and literacy.[/QUOTE]
    I’m aware of that. I just wish that they didn’t take every free afternoon in November to produce. That’s a lot of history, geography, art / dt that the children are missing out on. And ultimately the teacher is then forced to play catch up. I’m sorry you think that this is negative but it’s the reality for a lot of people. Each class will invariably have a class assembly to deliver during the year as well so they do get opportunities to perform,
     
    lardylady, Zoot and nomad like this.
  7. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Don’t know what happened to the quotes there.
     
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I think a nativity type play is important for all the reasons @sparklepig2002 gives. However, the ridiculous amount of time given over to drama and music for this one production is frustrating for many teachers, not just @vannie . It does cover much of the music, dance, art and drama curriculum, but we still have to teach all throughout the year.
    No, though these tend to be ring fenced as morning lessons with rehearsals in the afternoon. However, science, geography, RE, history, DT, PSHE are also part of the curriculum and tend to get hammered in Autumn 2.
     
  9. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    We never start before December. I suppose we are lucky in that music is taught by a music specialist. The children get an hours music each week. With a bit of creative timetabling in the afternoons, eg having classes together to learn the songs, it doesn't cut too much into other subject time. However, it does rely on all the teachers willing to be flexible. We are also lucky that the head thinks the creative subjects are important and supports music and drama. I know that doesn't happen in all schools. Yes, a class assembly is a performance but it's not quite the same as a musical play. The children get a lot out of putting on a play. I think it's a shame if it doesn't happen.
     
    ViolaClef and sunshineneeded like this.
  10. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I know what you mean @sparklepig2002 ... rehearsals in my school start on the first week back after half term though. We do get music but it’s hit and miss as the person teaching it might get pulled. For class assembly I always get mine to do a proper topic based play with songs from OOTA. I’m not a total monster!
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  11. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Aww. I didn't think you were. I'm sorry if I came across as being a bit harsh. I am passionate about the arts and have met a lot of negativity over the years-with music in particular. It makes me cross when colleagues think music/drama is unimportant. Your assemblies sound lovely. :)
     
    vannie likes this.
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    The biggest challenge is definitely saying "That's great! Now, just say it again, but this time, more loudly, and more slowly, and with more expression!" about 130 times and it having absolutely no effect at all.
     
  13. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Child with main part in reception production going to Centreparks for the week before. (To give him his due, he was word perfect on return.)

    Fitting in rehearsals for three separate productions (huge school) into one hall. It used to be four, until one phase realised the advantage of doing something later in the year.
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  14. JumpStartDance

    JumpStartDance New commenter

    Yes there's a lot of pressure to ensure equality of parts! I know some parents keep a keen eye on this...

    Do you have any advice on how to work with the small performance space you have?
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  15. JumpStartDance

    JumpStartDance New commenter

    Does anyone else struggle to get the Reception children to remember where to stand, so that they're not blocking everyone else or squeezing up together like sardines :D
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  16. JumpStartDance

    JumpStartDance New commenter

    Wow that sounds like a very stressful rehearsal period - glad he was on it when he got back!!!
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  17. JumpStartDance

    JumpStartDance New commenter

    Yes the arts can often be sidelined. I'm a big fan of the performing arts and it's hard to see creativity being neglected. But when teachers are already under so much pressure, it's not at all surprising...
     
    vannie and sparklepig2002 like this.
  18. JumpStartDance

    JumpStartDance New commenter

    :D
     
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Errrm isn't that part of the experience?
    They squeeze together because they are nervous being on a stage in front of lots of people. Many of them are not yet 4 1/2 years old, they have heaps of time to perfect being a cow/sheep/twelfth angel/etc!

    At least reception stay awake...I had to carry several nursery children (Only just turned 3 in one case) from the stage last year as they fell asleep and were in danger of falling off the stage. Two of them missed pretty much every rehearsal due to falling asleep. (At least the parent performance is at 9.30 in the morning!)

    How much rehearsal time nursery actually need to go to in order to sit still and look cute as whatever stable animal costume more or less fits them, is another debate!
     
    nick909 and vannie like this.
  20. EBC

    EBC New commenter

    Not really, just that I offer my classroom for a swap for lessons in the hall like drama (other year groups).
     

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