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Jigsaw Performing Arts Broxbourne Owner answers some FAQ’s!

Rachel, owner and manager of Jigsaw Performing Arts Broxbourne answers some of your frequently asked questions about the Little Ones Classes at Jigsaw Arts.

As the Manager and Franchisee of three Jigsaw Schools, it goes without saying that I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of performing arts classes, and how it can aid student growth and development at all ages. Throughout my 10 years at Jigsaw I have been lucky enough to have experienced teaching all age groups across all 3 disciplines.

However, my journey with Jigsaw Arts originally began working as a Performing Arts Class Assistant at Jigsaw Ealing, with the Little Ones (3-4 and 5-6 years). It was then that I realised how much of an impact the performing arts can have on students who are in such a key developmental stage of their learning.

From here, I have gone on to teach many Jigsaw Little Ones classes over the years and I am now privileged to be able to run the termly training for all new cohorts of Jigsaw Little Ones Performing Arts teachers, joining us across the network.

Below, I will use my knowledge to answer some of the key questions that I often get asked by perspective parents and carers who are interested in signing up their little ones for our fun filled performing arts sessions!

What does a performing arts class involve at this age?

Our little ones performing arts classes are designed to encourage confidence building, social skills, communication, cooperation and new friendships! Each session is structured to include 25 minutes of each discipline (singing, dance and drama) through warm up games, imagination exercises, introductions to basic dance and singing techniques and learning songs, routines and pieces of drama. Classes remain in a similar structure each week to ensure that our youngest Jigsaw students feel a familiarity when they attend through the term. This is something that helps to aid confidence building and self-assurance.

My child has never been dropped off anywhere before. Will they be ok without me?

We completely understand just how daunting it can be to drop your child off somewhere new, especially if they have never been without you before. It can be just as nerve wracking for the family as it is for the child themselves. At Jigsaw, we often suggest that new families arrive to class around 10 minutes early for their first session. This way both the student and their grown up, can meet the School Manager and the Class Teacher in a relaxed and calm environment. It gives you both chance to find out more about what will happen during the session and for the child to get comfortable with the space before the class begins. All of our managers and teachers have so much experience in settling children into sessions and we have our class mascots, Jigsaw Joey and Arty Bear to help new students feel at ease.

Can I stay with my child for the trial sessions?

Jigsaw has always run all of its sessions as drop off classes. While we completely understand this doesn’t always work for every family, we find it works very well for the way we structure our sessions and encourages independence and confidence building within our students, especially in preparation for starting school. Jigsaw offers all new families a two week trial for all classes, and while we understand that families want to see how their child gets on during this time, it is also an opportunity to see if your child can settle in and participate without you being in the room. Jigsaw Franchisees will always ensure that we have the correct email for you, along with two emergency contacts on the day so that we can contact you if there are any problems. We are also available and happy to offer honest feedback at the end of the class so you can see how they got on. Finally and most importantly, you know your child better than anyone, so you will always be able to tell if they had a good time!

My child is very shy and often struggles to find their voice outside of our home. Will they be ok in class?

Quite often, people deem performing arts to be an area reserved only for confident and outgoing people. But the arts are so much more than this. Within our sessions we see a range of personalities attending our classes and all of our sessions are designed to be adaptable to each of our students’ needs. One of the greatest parts of this job is to witness a shy child slowly but surely coming out of their shell to begin expressing themselves in sessions and through performance. We often hear feedback that after attending our classes, students are improving their confidence in nursery or school and this is something that is so invaluable to hear. Whether it takes a term, or a year, perseverance is key when it comes to building confidence.

I have a very confident and energetic child who needs an outlet to express themselves. Is this the place for them?

Just as we have shy children joining our sessions, we also have an array of children with very outgoing personalities within class. Jigsaw truly is a place to belong and all of our schools pride themselves on creating a safe and comfortable space for each child to express themselves in a way that best suits their needs. Classes are designed to be flexible and each child is encouraged at a pace that benefits them and their development. Imagination is also at the core of our sessions and children are encouraged to offer their own creative suggestions at multiple points in the class. We also offer two performance opportunities a year, so that all students can express and demonstrate all of their hard work for their families to see!

What if my child doesn’t participate when it comes to the performances?

Performing in front of an audience at any age is a very brave thing to do and for most of our little ones, it could be their first time ever in a room with that many people. Whether your child participates fully in the performance, stands on their spot quietly observing or decides to sit and watch with their grown up, all will still have achieved magical things throughout the term. One short performance does not determine the progress a child has made over the 11 weeks in class and with time and growth, we find that all children settle into the feeling of being on stage. Every child has different achievements to be proud of, and at Jigsaw, we celebrate them all!

How do I sign up?

Jigsaw Arts has classes running throughout London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Oxford and Cardiff. To find your nearest branch pop your postcode into the search bar here. Here you will find contact details for your closest school and a booking link for our two week trials. We hope to see you there!