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Learning for the 21st Century


Dive Into Dance

Windhill Primary School Dance Project

Using the ring fenced funding, provided jointly by the Departments for Education, Health and Culture, Media and Sport, following the Olympic and Paralympic games of 2012, Windhill School has developed a project called Dive Into Dance!

Dive Into Dance is a two-­‐year initiative to provide dance lessons for all pupils at the school as well as upskilling the teaching staff in an area of the PE curriculum. The lessons are delivered in class teachers PPA time by a fully qualified, specialist dance teacher. The lessons will be relevant and topical for each class in order to further the understanding of the topics covered. They will also provide an opportunity for pupils to develop their physical and creative skills.

Using staff meetings, observations and one-­‐to-­‐one reflection teaching staff will develop skill and understanding in the delivery of dance. In line with strengths identified in the last Ofsted report, the project will also provide further Physical Education tools to further embed a creative approach to the delivery and planning and delivery of lessons through the use of physical metaphors and a multi-­‐sensory approach to key concepts in other areas of the curriculum.

“Pupils make good progress in acquiring and applying speaking and listening skills because of the well-­‐planned opportunities for drama, discussion and role play”

Ofsted, Windhill Primary School, 2013

Throughout the project a resource bank will be collated for later publication. This will include visual, audio and written material used and developed during the lifetime of the project. This will exist as a legacy of reference material for independent and creative planning of lessons by teaching staff in the future.


Windhill is a community primary school in Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire with approximately 350 pupils on roll. The school community represents many different cultural heritages and many pupils arrive at the school speaking little or no English. There is an emphasis on being part of a global community and the international nature of the school community.

There is a higher than average number of pupils with special educational needs and a higher than average number of pupils who receive pupil premium. There is a strong focus on enabling outstanding teaching and learning, encouraging creativity and maintaining high expectations.

Specialist Dance Teacher -­‐ Louise Coates Dance Service for Schools

Louise is a fully qualified dance teacher (QTS) who has provided Windhill School with extra-­‐ curricular dance opportunities since 2010. She has worked in many roles within dance education including Performing Arts Coordinator for London Borough of Haringey; Dance Development Artist for DanceEast (National Dance Agency for East of England) and Creative Learning Manager at Sadlers Wells Theatre. From 2005 – 2010 Louise was Subject Leader of Dance at St Marys Catholic School, Bishops Stortford. Now, Louise works as a freelance dance educator through her company Dance Services for Schools. She provides support and activities for schools from Early Years Foundation Stage through to Post-­‐16, as well as seeking out high quality performance and choreographic opportunities in which young people can develop their Contemporary Dance skills.

Project Objectives & Funding Criteria

The ring fenced funding will be allocated according to these principles:

  • hiring specialist PE teachers or qualified sports coaches to work with primary teachers when teaching PE;
  • paying for professional development opportunities for teachers in PE and sport;
  • buying quality assured professional development modules or materials for PE and sport
Project Objective Achieved by....
Improve provision of Physical Education

Providing high quality dance lessons for all pupils

Upskill teaching staff Providing opportunities for observation, reflection and delivery of dance lessons by teaching staff
Provide high quality resources for teaching staff to use independently to plan creative and engaging lessons Producing a reference book of visual, audio and written resources utilised throughout the project

Teaching & Assessment

The teaching of dance within this project will take a three-­‐stranded approach: Create, Perform, Respond. This recognises the different elements of dance as an activity and makes the most of the educational benefits dance as a subject has to offer

Create – creativity, problem solving, exploration, social development, enjoyment Perform – physical development, confidence, expression, eventual choice of lifestyle Respond – appreciation, knowledge and understanding (of topic and self)

The focus is on enhancing and developing learning through the medium of dance/physical education. Therefore, the lesson content as closely linked with class topics.

Planning process:

Planning Process

Throughout all aspects of the planning process opportunities for reflection, future planning and judgement are created in order to fully embed the educational nature of the dance lesson


Assessment is used as a tool to provide a framework to raise the quality of the work produced. Although the NC programmes of study for PE at Key Stages 1 & 2 are now disapplied, targets are based on the NC PE attainment target level descriptors. They are produced and communicated in a way which sets up tangible expectations for pupils whilst providing a secure base for both pupil and teacher to establish current levels of understanding and constructively set out the next steps to help pupils improve.

Making Links

Using the knowledge and contacts of the specialist dance teacher the school will broaden the opportunities for pupils’ dance experience by making links with the wider dance environment in the following ways:

  • Membership of Herts County Dance Teachers Association

  • Participation in local dance events

  • Watching professional dance performances both live and recorded


    All teaching staff will be able to access the dance activity provided as part of their in-­‐house professional development in the following ways:

  • Observation of and one-­‐to-­‐one reflection with the specialist teacher

  • A staff meeting to communicate the project objectives and professional

    development opportunities is to be held in the Spring Term

  • All resources, lesson plans and recordings of the dance work carried out as part of

    the project are to be collated and published for the future use of the teaching staff

    Following a successful Year 1 further ways to disseminate the resources and ideology of this project include:

  • Staff will be encouraged to plan and deliver dance lessons independently and with support by the specialist dance teacher

  • The school will offer the project as a case study and training opportunity for a local schools training alliance in order to share the work with the wider schools community