This week has been an exceptionally busy one for our dedicated team of teaching staff. The parents’ meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings have provided a perfect opportunity for many of you to meet face to face with your children’s teachers to discuss their progress and be given advice and guidance in areas of the curriculum such as Maths and English. At Gateway, we really understand the importance of working in partnership with parents. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that good communication between parents and teachers leads to a positive impact on the social, emotional and cognitive performance of a child and we pride ourselves in keeping parents up to speed with how and what the children are learning as well as the progress they are making.
As we head towards the last three weeks of term and the countdown to Christmas, production and concert rehearsals are in full swing for all children from Preschool to Year 6 - always an exciting and magical time and a highlight of the school calendar. The Performing Arts play a hugely significant role in helping children develop their creativity, and here at Gateway, performances such as these provide a wonderful opportunity for them to ‘have a go’ regardless of their ability. Learning how to perform, singing with and in front of others, dancing as part of a team or group – all of these things help children build a sense of purpose and camaraderie. For some, this has been a totally new experience and brand new skills have been learnt; for others a time to showcase their talents and extend themselves. It always amazes me how, in such a short period of time, so many lines, songs, movements and dances are learnt and then performed with great expression and confidence. However, there is much more educational value to these performances than meets the eye. Performance is a way for pupils to gain a stronger and more lasting sense of both self-confidence and self-esteem.
The World Voice programme states that ‘by communicating freely with the voice, face, and body, children learn to express ideas with confidence, empathise with others from different cultures and backgrounds, and feel at home in their own skin. Song, music, drama and dance can help children become more imaginative, self-aware and collaborative global citizens’.
I couldn’t wish for anything more for our children. I very much look forward to seeing you at the performances in the coming weeks.