Dance (PE)

KS1 Dance / KS2 Dance / Age 5 - 11

BBC Teach - School Radio offers three co-ordinated dance resources that provide a comprehensive dance offering for KS1 and KS2 PE lessons. There is also a new resource for KS2 called Step-by-Step which offers guidance on how to extend any curriculum topic into practical dance sessions that all pupils will feel able to engage with and enjoy.

Each dance unit provides opportunities to respond to a range of stimuli including specially-composed music, stories and poetry. The units of work develop from simple movements based on pupils' everyday experiences through to enabling them to create their own dances - as individuals, as groups and as a whole class. In each unit the elements include composing, performing and appraising. Refer to the Teacher's Notes on each of the web pages for more information on delivering these dance resources with your group.

KS1 Dance: Let's Move / Time to Move

KS1 Dance: Let's Move
KS1 Dance: Time to Move

KS2 Dance: Step-by-Step / Dance Workshop

Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11
KS2 Dance: Dance Workshop
Teachers' Notes for Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11

Introducing Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11

Step-by-Step is a new dance resource for all those planning, delivering and supporting dance in a school setting to pupils aged 7 - 11: classroom teachers, school leaders and support staff. Whether you are completely new to teaching dance or you are just looking for new ideas Step-by-Step is here to help: it is aimed at the non-specialist teacher and requires no previous knowledge or skill in dance.

The range of content includes video for both teachers and pupils, audio downloads, dance frameworks to download and a comprehensive set of Teachers' Notes, which is the ideal starting point for gaining the skills and confidence for delivering dance to KS2 pupils. The content has been arranged to explore three popular topics: 'The Blitz', 'The Firebird' - a traditional Aboriginal story from Australia - and 'Alfred the Great'.

Using these Primary Dance resources

You will need plenty of space for your group to use these resources safely - the hall or a cleared and swept classroom or similar large space is ideal.

Use the best equipment that the school has to offer for playback. Check that the loudspeaker is facing the children to ensure the best possible listening environment.

Make sure the children dance in gym shoes or bare feet. Bare feet give a good sense of contact with the floor, if your floor is safe. The children should be in PE kit to allow easy movement and to ensure that they do not become too hot.

Encourage the children to listen carefully right from the start – not just to the presenter but also to the music.

Teaching points

Some tips to help you get the best out of the dance sessions...

  • Always encourage careful listening.
  • Reinforce the importance of safety - eg awareness of others to avoid collisions, spacing, sensible landings (with the whole foot, flexing as it comes down and knees bending).
  • Help the children to observe each other’s movement in a positive light and to learn from their observations.
  • Give the children a sense of your own enthusiasm.

Downloads and streaming files

The audio for teach dance session is available to download as an mp3 file. You can then arrange convenient playback either from a computer or from an mp3 player, such as a smart phone.

The dance sessions are also available as streaming files from each of the individual website pages. The streaming files are perfectly reliable if you have a robust internet connection. However, using the download mp3 file ensures you will avoid any danger of 'buffering' during playback.

These Primary Dance resources and the National Curriculum

'Dance makes a distinctive contribution to the education of all children in that it uses the most fundamental mode of human expression - movement. Through its use of non-verbal communication, children are able to participate in away that differs from any other area of learning. It provides aesthetic and cultural education, opportunities for personal expression, and it also introduces students to a wealth of traditional, social and theatrical forms. In a broad and balanced curriculum, this important area of human experience should not be neglected.'
(Dance in the School Curriculum, a paper by the National Dance Teacher’s Association and others).

Dance is acknowledged as a vital ingredient of a child’s education in the National Curriculum. The Expressive Arts documents for Scotland and Northern Ireland encourage teachers to develop dance as part of the Arts and PE curriculum. There is an emphasis on performance and clear indications that dance should be taught in both a creative and a cultural context. The children should be taught to:

  • Develop control, coordination, balance, poise and elevation in the basic actions of travelling, jumping, turning, gesture and stillness
  • Perform movements or patterns, including some from existing dance traditions
  • Explore moods and feelings and to develop their response to music through dances, by using rhythmic responses and contrasts of speed, shape, direction and travel.

Warm up

Your class will benefit from a warm up before the programme begins (if you have time). Yawning, stretching, jogging on the spot and pretending to wash the face and neck are all examples of ways of warming up. Each of the dance sessions ends with a ‘cool down’ to prepare the children for return to the classroom.

Other resources with Dance content

Code Crackers!
The Great Fire of London
KS2 Music / Dance / Drama / History: World War 1 Performance Pack - 'Archie Dobson's War'