On with the dance

4th June 2004 at 01:00
Last November I received information from British Gymnastics about the launch of a new sports aerobics scheme and sent away for the teacher's pack. This includes record cards, achievement charts and wall posters for the three levels - bronze, silver and gold. It is, basically, a version of the exercise-to-music that adults all over the country participate in. I realised that much of it fitted very well with the PE curriculum.

The next stage was to choose appropriate music and enrol the help of some very able Year 5 and 6 children who excelled at dance. They rose to the challenge as, during lunchtimes and at home, they choreographed the initial routines, fulfilling the requirements for BAGA's bronze award movements.

After much practice, we felt confident enough to run this scheme as an after-school club. In total, more than 30 children from Years 4, 5 and 6 signed up for Friday sessions held at 3.30-4.15pm. In addition, two parents with aerobics experience offered to assist.

It shows that if you ignite children's interest and empower them with a level of ownership and responsibility, truly amazing things can happen.

Seeing a group of children instructing others is quite breathtaking - and these are only 10 and 11-year-olds. The next stage is to take their performance to BAGA's headquarters in Newport, Shropshire, during the summer term, to demonstrate their routines for the silver award. All this from one glossy A4 flyer.

Jim Kelly

KS2 PE co-ordinator staff development co-ordinator, St John's Primary School, Belper, Derbyshire

* Sports Aerobics Award Scheme and other schemes: British Gymnastics, Unit 1, Lilleshall Hall Farm, Newport, Shropshire. TF10 9AS. Tel: 0845 129 7129 ext. 355www.british-gymnastics.org

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