256: My Dance Leaders

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The government has stated that primary schools should increase dance provision in primary schools. I taught primary 6 for one year last year. This year I am in charge of two dance leaders who are holding classes for primary 2.

This started with the girls getting time out of school to attend the primary. The school arranged a taxi to deliver and collect the girls. Whilst one girl enjoyed the challenge the other disliked the children as they did not do what she asked and wanted to run about. I gave the girls some training on lesson planning and content and working creatively. We worked through initiating movement through imagery. I gave two scenarios one for Halloween shapes and one for princesses. The girls tried both out and their feedback suggested the lesson had run more smoothly.

On the back of this project additional girls have been recruited from St Matthew’s and they will go to the primary schools once a week to bring dance into their curriculum.

The idea is fine in principle but I believe the initial girls have had teaching issues. They have returned to class upset on a number of occasions and become increasingly worried about missing class as the exams approach. The main reason for this negative response was lack of training as to what to do with a class who miss behave. It has to be remembered that the girls have had limited dance teaching experience. Eve teachers in training would  have another professional over seeing the lesson. I felt for health and safety reasons as well as initially supporting the girls that a primary teacher could have assisted. Although I offered help in planning and management, I could not be there to ensure the lesson proceeded as expected. I cannot get out of class to assist. This would have provided the girls with a more positive experience.

Despite this the primary and my dance leaders performed at the school dance competition as the group when the Judges made their final decisions. I arranged that a primary teacher and some parent helpers were there to watch and support the children. I felt very proud of my leaders as I took the photo.

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