The disruption to daily activities has been felt by all of us across many areas of our lives during the height of the pandemic. Children have possibly felt the impact the most out of all of us as their education and extracurricular activities stopped. The lack of social interaction, disruption to daily routine and lack of extracurricular activities has meant children’s lives took a new and an unknown turn, impacting their wellbeing as well as mental health.
“She has felt bored and frustrated at times,” said Vandna Saxena, mum of a 6-year-old Stagecoach student Tanisha. “She is now counting down days to her school reopening and tells me she feels school sick.”
Extracurricular activities have always played an important role in children’s development and it has been a challenging time for children to thrive without a creative outlet.
For children, taking part in performing arts activities can help with major life challenges such as exam stress or bereavement. The performing arts can also provide an outlet for emotions that children might find otherwise difficult to explain.
Shirlie Duckworth mum of Stagecoach students Frankie and Nate said: “Stagecoach genuinely did help us survive what would otherwise have been a tough few months and my children have richer lives from attending at the school.”
The notable gap children have experienced in their education, social interaction and extracurricular activities has led to a 20% increase in enrolment enquiries to join Stagecoach. In each of the three disciplines taught at Stagecoach Performing Arts, students are exposed to techniques which can have a positive impact on their mental health and well-being. Being in a social environment where children gain shared experiences whilst making friends, having something they are able to bond over and gain a whole new support network outside of the school or a family, is vital for children.
Being physically active releases positive endorphins which make children feel more relaxed and overall happier. Dance classes are a great way to get children moving, developing muscle control, balance and coordination. We know physical activity decreased dramatically as children were spending more time at home and in front of the screens. Performing arts is a great opportunity to increase children’s activity levels while giving children an opportunity to express themselves and build their confidence.
Shirlie says “During the lockdown, both of my children genuinely found inspiration linked to their experiences from Stagecoach. They found homeschooling tedious so we had Theatre School on a Friday to make the learning at the end of the week more fun.” Furthermore, she says, “We did a theatre quiz. We combined dance practice with fitness by designing our own step and Zumba routines so we held Backyard Bootcamps where each would take the lead in a fitness class to showcase the routine they had made up.”
Over 80% of our schools are now preparing to go back to the venues and teach classes again. The safety of students, families and staff is of paramount importance to us at Stagecoach. We have introduced new safety measures
in line with the latest Government advice which we are updating regularly.
None of us knows what the future holds, so it’s important for today’s children to be resilient, brave and self-assured. At Stagecoach, we have helped over a million students unlock their potential.
“Credit goes to the staff and Stagecoach team for making every child feel so valued through their encouraging and nurturing ways”, says Vandna Saxena.