Many young pupils ‘can’t communicate’
South Manchester Helen O'Grady

On the 27 March 2015 the BBC website reported the above headline. It went somewhat under the radar because there are politicians vying for your vote at this moment in time and the press are pre-occupied with that issue in the main. For those of us who are interested in the confidence and self-esteem of children then you can read the newspaper report here –



The news report states:

Too many children are starting school in England unable to speak in simple sentences or control their behaviour, a study says. The Early Intervention Foundation’s analysis found a fifth of children lacked the expected personal, social and emotional development by age five. A quarter of children were unable to communicate at the level expected for their age, it added. The government said it recognised the importance of early years investment.

The report further comments that:

Alty UP EDThese goals covering personal, social and emotional development expect children to be able to manage their feelings and behaviour, show confidence in trying new activities, and to speak in a familiar group, among other things. Expectations on communication and language include being able to listen attentively, express themselves effectively and follow instructions.

There is no blame to this news report and quite right in my opinion. We all have very busy lives and struggle on in the current economic climate. The nature of life now is that most things can be achieved online such as communication through email or social media but this means often it is done in isolation. I know this to be true as I sit here alone typing this blog that you are reading. However, those children who have a mixture of internet, social media and physical interaction with their peers, invariably become well rounded young adults and confident communicators.

Some of our youth theatre children have appeared very recently on television news and documentary programmes. I make no apologies for repeating this link to the appearance of Hannah Sharp from our Altrincham Youth Class on BBC Breakfast news.

SMHOG are not saying that we are directly responsible for this remarkable young lady. She is confident, assured and skilled in her performance and delivery of the message she is representing. What we can say is that Hannah has been coming to South Manchester Helen O’Grady for many years and has fully embraced the drama based curriculum and activities which we use in our acting classes. She is a credit to her parents, herself and her generation.

South Manchester Helen O’Grady Drama Academy provides classes and drama based activities which are designed to instil confidence and build self-esteem in children. The lessons are disciplined and structured to create effective communicators and listeners, two very important skills for children as their learning develops. Often, progress to higher education and jobs is achieved through interviews where the confidence is a virtue. The classes are not competitive and every child who engages with the programme flourishes at their own speed.

DSCF4362_miniWe do not insist on every child being a performer although performance is used in the activities we teach. There is no audition and there is no favouritism. We are not a singing and dancing school who concentrate on those who can sing and dance, preferring to be all inclusive irrespective of the confidence, skill or ability of your child. For some of our students, their drama lesson with us is their highlight of the week. For some children it is physical activity which they enjoy because it is outside of any sporting context.

All of our children are excellent. They work very hard each week but in a fun filled, challenging and secure environment. They show their parents what they have achieved at Parents’ Evening and the end of year performance. Give them a head start in life by taking part in our programme of learning. Ring us, email us or message us through the mailer on this page or through our facebook page. Leave a telephone number and we will call you back for a no risk free trial lesson for new starters to see whether you child enjoys what we have to offer.

0161 749 8746

Hope to hear from you soon

The SMHOG Team

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