It is always a delight to see Little Crofters venture out onto the stage to make their debut performance for their Christmas play. At just three and four years old, The Croft Theatre must have felt enormous to the children.
This year Little Crofters performed 'The Lonely Fir Tree', a heart-warming tale of a Christmas Tree that doesn't get picked and is left behind. The Little Crofters had lots of fun, showing great joy in singing and dancing for an audience. Encouraged and assisted by their Teachers and support staff, the performance contributed to the children's social and emotional development, stimulating their creativity and imagination. The play also reminded children of the importance of friendship.
By the time pupils reach Reception, they are familiar with the stage and are showing signs of increased confidence, as they moved around the stage using their 'big voices' so that parents and carers could hear them. This year Reception performed 'Away in a Manger', the story of a donkey having to share its manger with other barnyard animals and eventually a very special baby. With more lines and songs to be learnt and movement to be remembered, working as a team becomes increasingly important to Reception pupils.
Year 1 pupils were kept busy helping Father Christmas find his lost hat. Elves searched everywhere for the missing hat, but to no avail. Just as the elves were about to give up, Father Christmas stood up and guess what he'd been sat on the whole time! Year 1 loved the play and thought the snowman scene was very funny. Year 1 tested their use of language and communication skills with clear diction and vocabulary, and songs were performed with great enthusiasm! Blocking and movement concepts were introduced to Year 1, which was an extra thing to be remembered. Pupils collaborated with one another producing a brilliant festive play about the importance of perseverance.
Year 2 entertained parents and carers with their interpretation of the Russian tale, Babushka. Babushka is a complex tale which challenged Year 2. Babushka travels to meet the baby Jesus, accidentally giving her gifts for the baby away to people who really needed them. When Babushka arrives at the stable empty-handed, she is amazed to find that her gifts are already there. Year 2 worked hard memorising the three scenes from the story, completing two dress rehearsals to make sure they were word perfect, and a final performance. This sustained level of focus requires a greater level of concentration, memory and self-discipline, building on pupils' confidence and self-esteem. Year 2's play was a great success and an enormous achievement for the children.
All this hard work and creativity isn't just for fun though! The physical act of being onstage not only develops our confidence as human beings, but it also does something else. It provides us with a positive lifelong memory. It puts a smile on our lips and casts our minds back to that very time, when we were shepherds, camels or stars in the night sky. Memories cannot be purchased online or in the high street. Creating new ones that last a lifetime, is one of those things we strive for at The Croft.
Well done Early Years and Pre-Prep!