From HEAD to TOE – where next?

Posted: 5 February 2024

Sharing with our schools

We have come to the end of our From HEAD to TOE project and are finalising the reflection and evaluation reports to help summarise the learning and impact gained.

In the last few months, we have been hosting Whole School INSET sessions in each partner school, co-led by Dance Artists and Lead Teachers, to disseminate the learning, share the resources produced and hold valuable conversations with senior leaders about how the practice can be embedded and developed further in each school. These conversations have taken many different directions which is a testament to the accessibility, adaptability, and relevance of the work we have explored.

Children naturally want to move around; they want to expand energy… Watching the pupils learning in this way really brought home the powerful impact movement based and physical activity can have in improving and supporting pupils’ ability to retain and recall key vocabulary and subject knowledge. 

Daniel Smith, Headteacher, Stalmine Primary School

Sharing further afield

As we wrap up, we are making plans to share the research, practice and practical outcomes in a range of settings. We will be sharing work as part of the Knowledge and Research Exchange festival at UCLan in February and have been selected to present the research at Dance and the Child International in Slovenia this July. We are in conversations with cultural and education agencies and organisations to ensure we can pass on our learning and support others wherever possible.

Our next Blue Moose Dance Artists Day will be dedicated to this practice, upskilling our current Artist team and Artists from across the North West with key vocabulary, curriculum understanding and practical ideas to enhance their existing delivery in schools by unlocking connections to English and Maths and find ways to increase their offer for teachers and pupils.

Pupils found the activities planned by the dancers and lead teacher to be very memorable and looked forward to the lessons. Staff found the interactive activities helped pupils to remember more and to be able to recall information through re-living the movements in their minds.

Cheryl Vardey, Headteacher, Nateby Primary School

Where next

We are overwhelmed by the positive response we have had about the need, potential impact and interest in this project and are keen to help more schools explore how it can work for them. We are developing a number of options for new schools to learn more about this practice and embed the delivery in their schools.

Alongside a bank of resource cards which have been designed to grab and go, we have developed an INSET training session and a series of Teacher/Artist delivery programmes and are also open to discussions around more bespoke options; we are aware this work in nuanced and can benefit schools in different ways so are keen to keep that conversation evolving.

If you are interested in exploring how From Head to Toe can support your school, please get in touch:

Meet the team

From HEAD to TOE brings together a team of Artists, Teachers, Evaluators and experts in the field including:

Sarah Hall and Sarah Gough (Dance Artists, Blue Moose Dance Company)

Laura Broome (Project Manager)

Dr Fiona Bannon (Evaluator and Critical Friend)

Justine Watkins Fife (Marketing Consultant)

Paul Hamlyn Foundation (Funders)

Pat Cochrane (Evaluation support)

Chaucer Primary School, Fleetwood

Nateby Primary School

Pilling St John’s Primary School

Stalmine Primary School

St Josephs Primary School, Kirkham

Images by Claire Griffiths