If students are to confident individuals, responsible citizens, successful learners  and effective contributors then so must their teacher (McCartney, 2016!!!)

1.Consider how you can create a positive questioning attitude in your performing arts’ staff.

It seems innate for a child to be inquisitive but as adults we become contented in our surroundings and our questioning attitude must be reinvented; to prevent teaching becoming routine.

Individuals will ask questions if they are interested and have a desire to become like their teacher/leader or what they represent. They are most likely to question if the atmosphere is friendly, the leader seems interested and the intent is shared and clear. Students who ask questions about technique tend to identify the point that enables them to embody the movement.

Creative questioning requires a subject area staff are interested in. This could be an existing interest or one that that is introduced. Current staff would need to be encouraged by new ways to present their art-form, development in existing skills or an application in a different scenario.

To engage individuals requires information to be delivered in various formats to appeal to the method through which they take in information and to hold their attention. Examples include practical activities, video clips, pictures, active tasks, discussions etc.

Group successes (knowledge gained, academic and social skills) must be shared and positive feedback given to those who work well within tasks to encourage others to follow.

The staff must share and be encouraged in an ethos of forward thinking. There is no point in an individual doing all the inspirational questioning and the rest opting out. To achieve this I would show them the benefit of the tasks to either their teaching or student performance. Tasks must be short enough for staff to link the objective with the outcome.

Regular communication in various forms supporting what they have learned and accomplished will motivate and draw the group along. A small note via email or blog is enough to inspire most and makes them feel less isolated. 

Leading with good news, asking others what they think and inviting staff to share encourages them to question.

Providing resources which provide staff with new information on relevant issues and this will encourage them to share ideas and discuss. I would invite their input, give them information that will help them form an opinion, and listen to their conclusions.

Explaining decisions will encourage staff to understand what and why they are doing things and hopefully make them more willing. 

 2.How will this enhance the teaching and learning experience?

Questioning allows students, staff, management team and parents to understand each other better and develop effective communication. Feedback to questioning is essential to sustaining a focussed team. Questioning is only effective if the reasons underlying both the question and answers are understood.

Benefit of Good Questioning Attitude to Students

Combining effective questioning skills with a positive questioning attitude benefits the acquisition of knowledge.

  • This optimises learning which it is rooted in experience and associations with various situations.
  • A questioning attitude develops a good inquisitive attitude which broadens knowledge more than accepting theory in school textbooks.

Students enhance their questioning attitude if provided with an environment that encourages questioning and prevents hesitation when there confusions and clarification required.

Higher order questioning from Bloom’s taxonomy triggers a greater level of thinking. Teachers should ask questions that require analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Ask the “whys” and the “hows” of certain things. The manner of constructing the question must be positive and encouraging for students to engage.

 Teacher usually ends discussion by requesting questions from the audience. This is an opportunity to expand understanding

Benefit of Good Questioning Attitude to Professionals

Questioning is fundamental in a successful communication process. Questioning is the key to better understanding of the things that are not clear.

Within the department, a smart choice of questions shows interest and understanding of the subject matter and provides a way of extending the discussion based on topics raised.

Within the classroom/studio, all teachers have a role as leaders of learning in helping to bring about improvement for children. Questioning during the lesson allows students to actively contribute. Many staff will already be practising active learning approaches and differentiated questioning provides a way of engaging all learners and then provide feedback that best meets children’s needs.

Curriculum leaders and Headteachers strive to ensure all children have high quality learning experiences. They need a clear vision, values and aims for curriculum change, to lead and support colleagues in identifying good practice, and to build on existing strengths to implement CfE. Many staff will require opportunities and support to develop their methodology and thinking in relation to active learning. Practitioner enquiry and questioning tween leaders and teachers identifies where teaching is at and where improvement is needed. This will promote sustainable development.

Parents need to question schools to ensure teaching best suits the needs of their children and to involve them in promoting learning. This discourse must be disseminated from senior management to teaching staff for this to be effective.

3.Reflect on how you can create a safe and secure environment which encourages learning.

Safeguarding is the creation of an environment where children’s welfare is actively supported by a multidisciplinary framework which makes provisions to protect against neglect/abuse.

Education Act (2002) states; as a dance practitioner I have a legal responsibility (duty of care) to safeguard health and development of all children and young people I teach.

In line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013), I have in place a Child Protection Policy naming my organisation and participant group. This outlines my aims and values to protect children from neglect/abuse. Children have the right to be protected from abuse.

My safeguarding plan describes how this policy will provide the early intervention and effective protection of children based on Every Child Matters and Children Act (2004) and Equalities Act (2010). Neglect within dance lessons includes failure to supervise continuously or give appropriate breaks, dirty/dangerous equipment/environment or inadequate teaching supervision. Staff must respond sensitively.

I have a cleared Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) enhanced disclosure.

Parents/carers complete an enrolment form with the child’s contact details/medical information. This information is used in the event that a child is unhappy/unwell/injured to permit parents/GP to be contacted, to ensure children are collected by an authorised adult and to adapt practice in line with injuries/illnesses/disabilities.

To ensure children can work/learn, without violence/abuse/exploitation.

  • This requires staff members to be vigilant for disruptive/withdrawn/unusual behaviour at all times and take reports of concern by children/parents seriously.
  • At enrolment I identify bullying behaviour as intentional physical or emotional hurt to another based on race/age/gender/size/religion/disability/socio-economic background/sexual orientation. I promote a child-friendly environment, targeting bullying from staff/children/parents/guardians.
  • In class, I am vigilant dispersing groups and ensuring phones are switched-off. I discourage discrimination by immediate sanctions and enforce a conduct policy where parents/guardians are contacted if peer-bullying or ‘Cyberbullying’ from peers/adults through texts/social networking is suspected.
  • I securely store records of concerns with the time/date and inform the Child Protection Coordinator within the Human Resources department. NSPCC/social work/police may then be informed.
  • To safeguard children rights to education/expression/respect and freedoms of thought/religion/leisure in line with Human Rights Act (1998) and Equality Act (2010). I support individuals equally irrespective of age/ethnicity/gender/religion/disability by arranging lesson content to be sensitive, appropriate to age-stage and enjoyable for all.
  • I cultivate personal expression during performance through choice of music and theme. Differentiation, evaluations and discussions allow children to express their views and ask for explanation. Children are encouraged to work together to overcome differences in ethical/religious/beliefs/disabilities when building choreography and choose costuming/staging/setting. This develops balanced relationships based on mutual trust.

In accordance with Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) I minimise risks in classes. I complete risk assessments when planning. Class numbers are below 26. Safe dance conditions provide >5m2 clear space on non-slip sprung flooring, diffused lighting, adequate ventilation and temperature 21-24oC. I continuously monitor spillages/tidiness/flooring and evaluate risk to children/tutor/parents. Building access is controlled by electronic entrance and I check children leave with designated adults. Children are always accompanied during lessons.

Correction of technique in dance will require teachers to realign the body. I respect individual rights and always ask before correcting an individual.

To prevent peer-bullying/inappropriate behaviour during toilet breaks, only one child attends and a limit made to minimise time out of class.

My safeguarding plan provides instruction to assembly points and I contact emergency services in event of fire/accident/theft/abuse. Children practice safety drills.

To safeguard health, I differentiate exercises based on ability/age/fitness and give scheduled breaks. I observe body language and listen to the child to deal with health issues. I issue the dress code on registration.

I inform parents of problems concerning fitness/hygiene/diet/illness. Unwell/injured children are kept comfortable and accompanied. I would phone parents/carer immediately on accident/illness and emergency services if required. I complete accident forms and records. I have Public liability insurance covering injury to enrolled children.

My practice enforces safeguarding legislation, creating a community environment where child’s and young people’s welfare is actively promoted.


4.How can your performing arts’ teachers establish and maintain communication with pupils?


Arguably the quality of the relationships teachers have with students is the keystone of effective management and perhaps even the entirety of teaching.

On meeting a class the teacher must establish behaviour.

There are two complementary dynamics that constitute an effective teacher–student relationship.

1. The extent to which the teacher gives students the sense of guidance and control both behaviorally and academically.

2. The extent to which the teacher provides a sense that teacher and students are a team devoted to the well-being of all participants.

If children are comfortable in our company, they will be more likely to communicate effectively. Where people do not get along or are suspicious of one another, they are likely to avoid one another wherever possible.

Effective communication – this is the key area for developing relationships with others and also covers many different forms of communication.

Social, professional and cultural contexts When communicating with others, I need to consider the context in which I work. I adapt the way you communicate in different situations.

For centuries, the typical communication in the classroom has been direct and practice, a lecturing style: The one who owns the knowledge (the instructor) is supposed to give it to those who do not (the students). Learning, is more effective if students are actively involved and is best measured by what these students are able to do with the material (the so-called “learning outcomes”). The teacher guides convergent or divergent results or students are peer assessed. Learning results from the interaction between the students and the material to be learned.

Communication can be verbal, written or physical.

Verbal: Verbal communication is needed when providing counts, praise, feedback, description and discussions. Get the child’s attention before speaking. Children can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Look directly at the‑child and call her name. A touch on the shoulder or taking her hand will help get their attention. Give time to look at you before you start speaking. Give clear, consistent instructions with effective tone of voice.

Written: It has been proposed that written feedback should be written as an improvement between two positive comments. Written feedback rather than grades are preferred. This feedback is individual.

Body language: Dance is an art and consequently expression is seeked not only from the student but also from the teacher. Body language should support a knowledgeable figure and an interested and motivated leader.

Electronic: With cyber bullying and social media it is essential that teachers do not contact individual students through channels which are not authorised or present secure information.

Results and students work must be securely stored.

Adobe connect, Edmodo and Skype are different ways that a group can communicate either by speaking or written. This helps build support and a community feeling. Moodle, Glow and Edmodo are effective ways to share notes, video-clips and powerpoints.

Individuals often judge based on how quickly we respond to an email or phone message.

Use of the various forms of communication actively involves a groups and supports students in reaching their learning outcomes. This provides ongoing support as long as the methods are used using guided discovery teaching styles and allows two-way interaction between students and the teacher.


Dealing with behaviour

  • Stay calm
  • Speak privately and in a quite voice
  • Establish eye contact and call the student by their name
  • State any command as a positive than a negative.
  • Use clear descriptive terms so that the student knows exactly what to do.




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