Early Years Blog Series

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It’s been a while since I’ve had chance to blog and one of the reasons is due to the amount of exciting projects we currently have on the go! JumpStart are working in conjunction with Team Charnwood to create and roll out an Early Years dance programme that develops children’s physical literacy.

Teachers, occupational therapists [1] and educational professionals are regularly observing that in the last few years more children are falling out of their chairs, that many are starting reception class unable to skip, hop and gallop effectively, that they are having more trouble paying attention in class and are exhibiting symptoms of anxiety more frequently.  There’s not one specific reason for these behaviours; rather a combination of different factors.

But the fact that children are spending less time in creative and un-structured physical play has to play a significant role in the decline of their physical skills and ability to focus in the classroom.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll examine these issues in more detail.  We’ll explore the vestibular system and why it’s important to develop this in early years children.  I’ll also be pulling together some of the thoughts and opinions from specialists in this field, such as Jabadao, to offer insight into children’s development and how dance activity can support it.  And we’ll share concrete examples of how JumpStart are putting these ideas into practice within our own projects.

We’d love to hear your own thoughts too – what behaviours are you witnessing in your own classrooms?  What do you think might be going on and why?  Let’s put together our experiences so we can see the bigger picture of what is happening in our classrooms.  Then we can start to tackle these issues together, incorporating what dance can offer to support children’s well-being and achievement.

 

 

[1] Angela Hanscom: ‘Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today’ .    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/08/why-so-many-kids-cant-sit-still-in-school-today/ Article featured in the Washington Post July 8th 2014.

 

 

So, what do you think ?