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Cha-cha takes pain away

One, two, cha-cha-cha. And turn the page, cha-cha-cha. And start ... now, cha-cha-cha. For pupils at Monkspath primary, Solihull, sitting exams will forever be associated with the rhythmic beat of the cha-cha.

Shortly before pupils were due to sit key stage 2 tests, Year 6 staff invited two professional dancers into the school, to teach them all the steps to DJ Casper's chart-topping song, "Cha-Cha Slide".

The song, which includes the helpfully dance-friendly lyrics "slide to the left, slide to the right, reverse, reverse, cha-cha now y'all", was mastered by both the pupils and teachers in a single session.

Now, after every standardised test, teachers bring out the record and stage a group dance in the school hall.

Carol King, Year 6 teacher, said: "Our children weren't stressed at all by the tests. They were actually looking forward to them, because they knew they had to do them to get to the treat at the end."

The exercise, she added, also helps to stimulate children, and to keep them alert during exams.

Becky Bower, 11, said: "I'll always associate exams with dancing now.

"When I take GCSEs or A-levels, I'll probably want to do the Cha-Cha Slide afterwards."

Brian Boyle, 11, said: "I used to find exams scary and stressful. I would wake up in the morning and think, oh no, another test. Now, I think, good, we're going to dance.

"It's a bit embarrassing when the teachers dance though. They think they're trendy. But they always look like they've hurt themselves."

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