At Helme School, the Olympic and Paralympic Values are always close to our heart. Since our Get Set journey began over 5 years ago, we have adopted the Values as our own. We all try to demonstrate the Values in all areas of school life and we award Values certificates every week in our whole school sharing assembly.
As a small school, we have a higher than average proportion of children with special educational needs. As such the Paralympic Values are probably our most treasured.
We demonstrate equality in all ares of school life, but in PE it is often obvious for all to see. In our recent Dance Off competition, many of the adults were left in tears because our Value demonstrating! Dance had been our PE focus for the Autumn 2 half term and our SSOC crew had come up with the magnificent idea of organising a competition to celebrate our learning. The children worked independently during break and lunchtimes (and even at home with help from older siblings!) on routines with friends from any KS2 class. They also chose their own music to perform to. To introduce the competition element, the SSOC crew decided that judges would be needed. Fortunately, Martha Dunn (an ex-Helme pupil and dance superstar) was thrilled to be asked to judge and Honley High gave her permission to spend the whole afternoon with us. We are also very lucky to have a dancer on the staff team at Helme and Mrs Rekis was happy to accept the position of judge too.
The afternoon started with a mass "Do the Strictly" routine! Each class had learnt the dance with Mme Brian and it was great to see the children dance with partners from any class as a whole Key Stage (see the videos on the Twitter feed). Then, every child performed their dance in front of the rest of the children and the judges. We watched group dances, pairs and even a brave individual dance. The music ranged from Black Magic to Santa Claus is coming to Town and most dance styles were covered, from street dance to modern and from robotics to Latin. Every KS2 child performed in at least 1 dance. Two Year 4 boys performed a very moving routine to Demons by Imagine Dragons. Another child's feedback of "that made me feel fuzzy inside" was very fitting.
After each performance, members of the audience were invited to give feedback and we waited with baited breath while the judges gave their comments and scores. Comments ranged from "Great footwork" to "lots of upper-body wiggles!". Everyone was a winner, but the judges had awarded some very high scores and certificates were awarded to those groups and pairs. This was an afternoon full of Paralympic Values demonstrated by every KS2 child.'
Here are some quotes from the pupils who took part:
Tilda aged 8 ‘The Dance Off created an excitement around school for weeks leading up to it. Not only did the event itself inspire us all to get dancing more, but watching others practising their dances at playtimes and lunchtimes was really inspirational. Some people think that when you watch others, it's to copy them, but it's not. It's because you can't stop watching them doing something so well - they inspire you to want to get better and to perform the best you can. Even Mrs Brian (dance teacher) was inspired by some of our moves. She said she's going to include them in the show dance that Class 3 will be doing at the theatre in February.’
Athena aged 10 ‘I think we all proved how courageous we were by performing a dance in front of the whole school and the judges! It was so nerve-wracking! I decided to perform on my own which I've never done before. I told myself to just go for it and I did! Although I was shaking when I first started, I didn't want to stop in the end.’
Alex aged 9 ‘We all worked as teams for the dances - with partners or in groups, but we were also one great big team supporting each other. This shows that the value of equality was there for all to see. There were girls and boys dancing together in some groups even though I know that some people (not at our school) think that boys shouldn't dance. We also have some children who have support workers in school, but they didn't need them. They danced in groups, like everyone else. We all performed together and looked out for each other.’
William aged 8 (ASD) ‘I'm Autistic, but it would never stop me dancing. Everyone supported me so much. Jack, my partner, is great at spinning and stuff and I was inspired to work with him. When we won a certificate off the judges I was so proud. Tilda told me that my dance made her feel fuzzy inside - that made me even more happy.’
Athena aged 10 'We all showed determination because we all practised so much. Lots of us practised at home and I know that some older siblings from high school helped some people too. We were determined to perform our best dance. We all wanted to win - no one thought they'd lose! Actually, there were only 4 winning groups, but that didn't seem to matter in the end. No-one was upset, we were all proud of what we'd done.'
Alex aged 9 'Our ideas were like little seeds that grew into a massive dance celebration. It was determination that made the seeds grow.'