Encouraging pupils to get up out of their seats and dance is not the sort of thing teachers usually get up to, but that was precisely what happened recently when pupils from Wheatfield and Windmill Primary Schools in Winnersh were paid a visit by a team of morris dancers.
The performers were the Shinfield Shambles who, despite their Berkshire name and roots, perform in the traditional Welsh style, and as one of the troupe members is a grandparent of a Windmill reception class pupil, they decided to pass on their age-old dance moves to the next generation at both schools.
“It was a totally novel experience for the children, and a chance to get out of the classroom on a wonderfully sunny day, so unsurprisingly it was one they absolutely love,” said Wheatfield assistant head teacher Tamara Brown.
“Reception and Year One pupils from Windmill were involved, along with Reception class from our school, and it was a wonderful day all round. Dance plays a role in the early years curriculum, as both PE and in imaginative studies, so this was a really colourful and enjoyable way to bring it to life – certainly a bit different to listening to recorded music indoors!
“The children watched some dances before learning about the costumes and the musical instruments involved, and then they learnt some simple steps themselves before performing some dances, which they found hugely enjoyable. Presenting activities in a fun way like this is often one of the most effective ways of learning - and at the same time the children are out in the sunshine and getting some exercise too.”
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