Have you noticed?;Briefing

17th December 1999 at 00:00
OUR ANNUAL survey for parents included a question on the children's opportunities to perform in front of an audience. While most parents seem quite satisfied, there were one or two plaintive requests for "a proper nativity play" and "excerpts from the popular shows."

I must confess I sympathise. When I received my chair's invitation to "a musical entertainment about the rainforest written by the children themselves" my heart sank. Actually it was very good. The volcanic eruption was particularly impressive.

The truth is, no one really wants to see their neighbour's talented child starring as Annie. They would, however, walk over broken glass to see their own little darling be a tree. Rainforests have lots of trees.

School productions must essential provide a showcase for the overweight, tone deaf and profoundly untalented. Parents with cam-

corders want their child on record, even if she is picking her nose and dressed as a banana. Not so much a theatrical experience, more a

photo-opportunity.

In a recent column I bemoaned the fact that parents would not come to curriculum evenings. Advice from a reader was to involve the children - demonstrations, model lessons, displays of work. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?

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