After the 3 week pilot of our dance toolkit at Mudeford Infants School, we finally had chance to sit down with Kate Jennings, the Year 1 Teaching Assistant that Amy was working with, and get her honest thoughts about Groove Child and the Primary Dance Toolkit resource.
The feedback blew us away…
We already knew the exercises and class plans worked, after several months of developing and using them ourselves within Primary School settings.
We had also already trialed elements of the toolkit earlier this year, William Gillpin School in Hampshire, but with Year 3 teacher Mrs Shannon Hartwell who had a background in dance and was fully comfortable delivering it.
So the BIG TEST for us was this time round at Mudeford Infants, to see if it really is as we say – ‘easy to use’ and accessible for a non-dance teacher who, in her own words, “doesn’t enjoy teaching dance” and has struggled at other dance CPD workshops.
We set ourselves this challenge because a huge part of the Groove Child MISSION is to get as many UK Primary school staff as possible inspired to teach dance and change their perception of dance to a better one.
Not only to show them how fun, inclusive, gender friendly, and easy it can be to plan and deliver a dance/creative movement session, but also to see how beneficial it is for children’s confidence and overall physical and mental well-being.
Primary PE and Sport Premium
Groove Child INSET training is an ideal way for schools to spend part of their Primary PE and Sport Premium as it offers a high quality staff training in dance and meets all of the key visions that the Youth Sports Trust are recommending as part of their 2018-2022 strategy:
- Groove Child helps children develop physical literacy
- Groove Child helps close any gender and disability gaps in dance
- Groove Child INSET training includes dance coaching/teaching points as a guide for staff
- Groove Child is physical education with a holistic focus on physical and emotional development (particularly in it’s work on feelings and emotions, visualisations/intro to mindfulness, and many of the exercises can be used in support of active learning within the classroom)
- Groove Child offers Primary staff an adaptable solution towards the recommended 30 active minutes per day
Quick final thoughts from Mrs Jennings at Mudeford Infants…
What was YOUR biggest takeaway from these dance sessions?
CONFIDENCE! Dance is definitely not my favourite thing to teach, but after observing and joining in with the sessions first, I felt more able to deliver a confident, structured fun dance session for the class.
How did you find planning a dance session using the Groove Child Toolkit?
I was initially terrified! I wasn’t sure I would be able to plan and deliver a session – and hoped Amy might forget! But after looking back at the 2 lesson plans she had done the week before, it was actually quite easy to tweak what we had already done to incorporate the new ‘Superheroes’ theme – and it was really good fun (for me and the children!)
What did the children most enjoy/get out of the Groove Child sessions?
The feeling they had achieved something – although it was a relatively short (half hour) session, they all had chance to warm up, showcase their own moves and ideas, learn some new ones, and perform as group!
What inspired you most about the Groove Child sessions?
That anyone can do it! And that ‘dance’ doesn’t have to be difficult! I feel the toolkit is a really good pick and mix resource with different elements that can easily be adapted to whatever topic or theme your class is on…
What would you say to other Primary Schools considering the Groove Child Toolkit INSET training for their staff?
Do it! Fun, easy to plan your own sessions, and even easier to follow one of their set ones! Not just great for specific dance lessons but also useful for active learning in the classroom and to have as a very useful bank of exercises for other times in the school day.
“Thank you Amy for spending the last few weeks at Mudeford – we’re all going to miss you!”
Kate Jennings, Year 1 Teaching Assistant and ELSA at Mudeford Infants Community School.
For more info about the Groove Child Primary Dance Toolkit and what it includes, please contact Amy Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org