Monday 8 December 2014

A Winter Wonderland programme

It's the school holiday and Jazz is off her 4 hours daily school schedule till next January. I knew they needed some teaching, learning and creative moments out of home. I searched around for speech and drama classes and found Centre stage, where I embarked them on a 5 days Winter Wonderland holiday programme. 

The Winter Wonderland programme intended for the ages 3.5 to 5 years old was a week of festive Christmas-creativity. They sang, dance, act, create, play, make, think and do the winter favourites inspired by Frozen, The polar express, The snowman and many more. It did sound like it was going to snow in the class.

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School holiday programmes

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View from entrance

Most importantly, I thought it was just too perfect to have both Js in the same class at the same timing. Oh yay! 'Me time' to do my readings. I have to confess I made a blunder mistake of thinking it was a speech and drama concentrated class, till I read the programme highlights again. Oops! Oh well, what ultimately mattered was that they enjoyed it, at the end of its 5 days.

I did some slight research before coming to settle at centre stage. Though I couldn't really find much reviews about it online. I gathered my own research, after all, it's always better to self experience than to hearsay. Here's what I like:

1. They have 3 centres locations, and the one that attracted me was the one in the east since we are staying in the east. Travelling time does quite matter.

2. They were established in 1999. Which is clearly some good years of teaching and experience under its belt. 

3. Their teaching staff are of good credibility, holding a professional profile of both practical and theoretical experience. Most of which are native English speakers. Definitely a plus point too.

4. And of course, it was one thing to hold that portfolio of experience and qualification, but another thing to teach children as young as toddlers. I was comforted when I read about their school outreach programmes with some preschools in its lists.

5. Their client profile is mainly expats and rather diversify. I like exposing Js to a different environment from their daily and of diverse culture for learning and sharing. 

The school was founded by Peter and Alison who started their careers as two London based actors, and very soon found their work to be dominated by educational and children’s theatre. With a team of experienced facilitators, the aim was to create the “drama club” style of class so readily available in the UK, Australia and US.

So yeap, Js ended their 5 days holiday programme on a high note. They sang and performed two Christmas songs. Their teacher, Fran had put in much thoughts and efforts in showcasing these little kids to their parents.

You have no idea how much the homeschooling and stay home mum in me desperately wana watch my kids perform. It was also a query I asked before joining the class. Whether there would be any performance at the end. I mean, ultimately, from my parental view, that would be the most ideal evidence of self-confidence. Even if audience was little. Or perhaps, I need a reason to tear over little achievements like this. They did too adorably well!

Here's what I've captured while taking peeks outside their class:

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Cosy class of 6 kids

I asked Js what were they doing. They said they pretended they were in candy land, sailing in a river flowing with chocolate! Oh wow, I love that imaginary world they dived into.

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Playing a game

There were also storytelling, games, acting and lots of art and crafts! They graduated with a huge portfolio of Christmas crafty creations. Every class was planned to get playful and creatively messy. I heard lots of cheerful excitements from the outside. I also liked it that there were teacher assistants to help with the cleaning up just so there wasn't much idling time. 

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Lots of craft in that folder!

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Showing and telling me his creation

Apart from holiday programmes, Centre stage conducts weekly classes like drama, dance and music. Their weekday classes are good if your kids aren't on full day school or childcare. They hold some classes on Saturday, but not Sunday. Sabbath day is good for all. I like it that they would pro-refund your fees if you decided not to continue after the 3rd lesson. Nice thought in making this policy.

I read this off their website, with 16 theatre productions a year – Centre Stage is one of the few arts schools that gives its students the opportunity to perform in front of live audiences in fully staged productions. I think if interest and commitment are well partnered, it's a nice to eventually have that opportunity.

Interestingly, they do birthday parties too! Oh, I wouldn't mind a sponsorship on that. Haha!

Check them out if you're keen!

Portsdown Road
Centre Stage School of the Arts – Main
Block 15 Woking Road, Singapore 138694
Telephone: +65 6732 7211

Centre Stage School of the Arts – East
5000G Marine Parade Road 01-32 Laguna Park, Singapore, 449290
Telephone: +65 6449 6211

Fusionopolis Studios
Level 2, Ayer Rayah Avenue
Telephone: +65 6732 7211

Disclaimer: We were given discount to the holiday programme. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions and photos are solely our own. 

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