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Dance in Primary Schools


Ellie
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Could anyone tell me if any form of dance is included in the curriculum in UK primary schools ? (or other countries) I have noticed that over the last few years young childrens' motor skills are not generally as advanced as they used to be, and I put this down to 'more tv, more technology, less climbing, running and generally playing out'. But then I also remembered our Music and Movement classes (pants and vest in the school hall - anyone else remember this ?!) and Country Dancing lessons - Do any schools still do this ?

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Yes - Dance activities are in the curriculum for both KS2 and KS1.  The coverage of which is most probably very much dependent on the individual schools.  My previous school employed a fantastic specialist dance teacher, who taught each year group for half a term.  They then performed in the local theatre or other public event- depending on the time of year.  However, besides learning the Hakka and a one off class of Indian dancing - I don't think my own children did any dance at their primary school!  

 

Another consideration is the removal of funding at a local government level.  The county did had a very inclusive dance programme that went into schools, but as with the music it has been disbanded - now ran by private individuals, but nowhere near as comprehensive.

 

I have to agree that in comparison to when I was a child at school, there are more children who really are not co-ordinated (and dare I say unfit!).  I had a child in year 3 once who couldn't even do a sideways roll, she could only rock.  Too many child spend free time watching TV, playing playstations etc and not participating in any physical activity which in turn does not develop their motor skills etc.  Lots of children don't even walk anywhere either - and that goes for the parents too! 

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Playground games arent the same anymore though are they - they stand in huddles chatting rather than skipping, singing, ball games etc.,  gosh makes me sound as if I am 70+ - it wasnt that long ago honest!

 

Health and Safety has a lot to blame - I remember French (elastics) Skipping being banned in the primary school as "somebody may trip over the elastic"! - Seriously?

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Oops....dance is part of the curriculum in Scotland too, under expressive arts (with drama, art, music) for the last few years, rather than being lumped in with PE as it was in the previous curriculum. Experiences in dance vary very much from school to school, but in my council anyway, there seems to be much more dance coaches going in & doing blocks of dance (quite often hip hop or similar). I always did after school jazz classes but that was an extra thing, & funding cut drastically with that a few years ago (but I and other teachers did after school clubs for free).

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Thanks everyone. There weren't any specialist dance staff when I was at primary school in the 70's. I think it must've been our class teacher who did music and movement and the country dancing too (used to love it - apart from having to hold hands with 'a boy' !!!!!)

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In the 60's and 70's it was very much the class teacher doing the dance. We were trained under the Laban system but did a bit of country dancing too.

I'm sure this gradually petered out and now it seems in lots of Primaries Dance is done in sort of blocks of half a term at a time often by a specialist teacher. However it does seem to vary a lot and often will depend on any members of staff who are more interested inDance to arrange any extra experiences like an Indian Dance teacher coming in etc.

it should be part of the National Curriculum but most schools are biased towards PE and Games so they do get these in some form most weeks but dance and drama may be less often unfortunately.

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I'm not suggesting anyone on here would know from first hand experience but does anyone know what sort of dancing would have been taught 100 years ago, in Infant schools in the uk? It is our centenary year and we though some country dancing type event would be fun in the summer.

 

Sorry for the hijack!

 

We are currently spending some of our PE funding on a dance specialist to train both children and staff. All schools are sharing 150 million which is ring fenced for PE.

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Some of the learning depts of the major dance companies have good resources online for staff that can integrate other aspects of learning into the dance curriculum.

I've brought this to the attention of dd's school several times - it's like banging your head against a brick wall. They just aren't interested.

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My DC school has an after school country dancing club and every year each KS2 class prepares a modern/disco dance which is later a part of the end of school show. Also I've been asked to teach Year 6 Cuban salsa (as their PE). True, the holding hands with boys (girls) was the hardest bit but they were great and some of the children really loved it!

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I remember learning Maypole dancing at infant school.  At junior school we learnt country dancing, and one of the teachers was Scottish so we learnt some Scottish dances, loved it.

 

Err BankRuptMom - I did actually trip over the French Elastic thing - the elastic got dirty and kind of merged into the colour of the playground and were hard to see, I just ran straight through and then bang!  Only time I ever heard Mr Kerr (Scottish gentleman) swear (well in fact any teacher swear) when he saw what I'd done to my knees - they went septic as well!  I don't remember them banning the French skipping but they banned but those clacking things!

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Is it because they think it's 'ballet'? I believe rambert also do a lot of education work. Where are you based? PM me?

Will do, I'm seeing the teacher next week so I will talk to her first and try and get a sensible answer out of her for once!!!!

 

It is probably because they think it is ballet, but also (IMHO) because they can't be bothered :wacko:

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