School dance success celebrated

Pupils from Smithfield Primary will showcase their newly acquired dance skills at the University of Aberdeen tomorrow (Thursday May 27) as they launch an important education conference.

A dozen pupils from the Clarke Street school will open Learning Together Embracing Change– the end of programme event for final year students of the Bachelor of Education degree course, academics and local authority partners.

They will demonstrate the dancing moves taught to them by fourth year BEd students Elizabeth Hood and Mark O’Brien during their 14-week placement at the school.

The pair taught dance routines to the whole school in order to encourage them to work together and cooperate. Their efforts culminated in a special ‘S Factor’ show to which parents and the local community were invited.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the pupils will share their experiences and demonstrate some of the dances they learned to the University audience.

Carol Strang, a senior lecturer in the School of Education, University of Aberdeen, said: “Elizabeth and Mark did a wonderful job not only of working with their own classes but with the whole school getting pupils from P1 to P7 – boys and girls – to dance and uniting the whole school in a creative and fun way. The children learned a lot.”

“The show that they put on at the end of it was superb and very well attended and we are looking forward to seeing the children in action at the University of Aberdeen.

“It will be the first time we have had children dance at our conference and it is great for the University and the local community to mix in this way.

“Elizabeth and Mark have shown what can be achieved with enthusiasm and motivation and they and all the Smithfield pupils should be proud of what they have accomplished.”

The University of Aberdeen students focused on the ways in which dance can enhance learning and the new Curriculum for Excellence, which aims to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum in schools.

Carol Strang added: “The use of dance was about more than the children learning the skill of dance itself, it facilitated community learning, helped everyone to work together to create design something and showed pupils the need for cooperation.

“The children enjoyed taking part and learned important new skills in the process.”

Pupils from Smithfield will be at the University of Aberdeen tomorrow (Thursday) and will be presented to delegates at 10.30am.