Start at the very beginning and everyone will join in the dance. Carolyn O'Grady finds out how to keep it spinning
Dance is a compulsory, integral part of PE for juniors, but many schools are seeking to raise its profile and develop it with other creative subjects. If this is the case at your school, the following checklist may help you: Raising the profile of dance * Ensure dance is in the school development plan as part of the arts policy (see From Policy to Partnership: Developing the Arts in Schools - details below).
* Put dance on the agenda at staff meetings.
Involve all the school, including the governors.
* Find opportunities for pupils to perform and share their work.
* Organise visits to the theatre to see dance and involve parents, other teachers and governors.
Staffing * Define the role of arts or PE co-ordinator in relation to dance. The co-ordinator can facilitate staff training by going on courses, disseminating information and keeping staff up to date.
Timetable * Look at the organisation of the timetable. How much time is to be given to dance? When?
* Consider the allocation of a suitable space.
Resources * Build up a dance resource bank for the whole school. Include music, poems, visual images and units of work.
* Keep them in an easily accessible place.
* Schemes and units of work: these may include national schemes of work, say from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; units from your education authority; or your own schemes (schools often customise national nd local schemes for their own needs). Dance schemes can also relate to other subjects, for example music or drama.
Partnerships * Contact regional arts associations; local dance companies and dance teacher networks.
* Explore links with neighbouring schools, including secondary schools, which can provide opportunities for performing, sharing visits from artists and resources.
Arts and Sports status schools may provide curriculum support for dance in their feeder primary schools. Many schools are forming clusters, for example, to deliver Top Dance.
Safety * Pupils should ideally work on a sprung floor.
* The space should be clean and clear of clutter.
* Professional development should cover good practice, such as warming-up exercises.
Publications and addresses * From Policy to Partnership: Developing the Arts in Schools , published by the Arts Council and QCA. This has been circulated to all schools this year.
* Top Dance: Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust have developed Top Dance with the support of the National Dance Teachers' Association. The scheme provides teachers with training, resource cards, handbook and suggests other resources. Further details from local authority scheme managers or the Youth Sport Trust, Rutland Building, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU. Tel: 01509 228293.
* The National Dance Teachers' Association. Information on membership or a subscription to Carolyn Woolridge, Dance Matters, 29 Larkspur Avenue, Chasetown, Walsall, Staffs WS7 8SR.