Deirdre started out teaching one small class of enthusiastic children in a chilly church hall in Lewes in 2003. In those early days, she often brought her baby Callum along and taught the children carrying him on her hip (he wasn't that keen on going to anyone else!) Word soon spread, more children joined the fun and the company began to evolve.
Fast forward several years and Kaleidoscope now encompasses a wide range of weekly drama, dance and musical theatre classes, holiday workshops, weekend workshops and our popular annual Summer School. We now have a team of dedicated staff and our reputation is second to none. We are well known for our inventive, visually stunning productions, like Peter Pan, The Tempest, Arabian Nights and Oz. These productions allow all of our students to work as a team and enjoy being parts of a truly theatrical experience.
Partners of Priory School
In 2013 Kaleidoscope were chosen as the performing arts partners of Priory School in Lewes and we continue to work closely with pupils and teachers at Priory, offering weekly after school classes to Priory pupils and participating in the school's dance shows and musicals.
It took a long time to come up with the company name as Deirdre wanted something that would appeal to children, and sounded both playful and creative. Eventually she chose the name as she had a clear memory of finding a kaleidoscope in her Christmas stocking when she was a child, then spending hours gazing at the magical shapes inside it and being enthralled at how she could create new patterns. After Deirdre had learnt how to spell 'kaleidoscope' properly, she registered the company!
Our Unique Curriculum is written by our founder and artistic director, Deirdre, who has over twenty years experience as a drama teacher, drama examiner and theatre director. She has created a unique child-centred curriculum where every scheme is carefully planned and structured allowing plenty of opportunities for children to use their imaginations and develop their creativity.
Our focus on social and analytical skills as well as performance skills. We place great emphasis on developing each child's social skills - encouraging active listening and speaking confidently in front of the class. We also encourage our students to analyse their own work and give positive feedback to others in class, so everyone improves their work at their own pace, in a supportive, encouraging environment.
Using the performing arts to boost confidence. As each term progresses we love to watch each child blossom as they enhance their performance skills and boost their confidence. Children who attend our classes regularly tend to stand out by being personable, self assured and confident in all they do. They are often more at ease in social situations, more articulate in conversation and, as a result, often do better in the classroom.
Our high standards of behaviour and work. We encourage the children in our classes to respect each other and always behave appropriately. Our teachers have high expectations. We frequently encourage our students to contribute their own ideas, rather than be just told what to do.