Preston dancer helps UCLan create virtual dance project for primary school pupils

Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey who is performing the moves for the Space in Schools project - Image credit: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards
Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey- Image credit: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards

Fun, free resources aimed at helping to engage primary school pupils with the wonders of space through dance are available for schools now.





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The project has been created by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in partnership with Preston dancer Lucy Starkey.

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A six-week scheme of work featuring interactive educational videos, filmed at the University’s Alston Observatory, and classroom investigations are now available to teachers and parents.

UCLan astronomer Dr Joanne Pledger, UCLanDance Co-course leader Ruth Spencer and Artist in Residence Lucy Starkey have collaborated to bring the learning of science and dance together in the ‘Into Our Skies: Space in Schools’ scheme.

Preston-based dancer Lucy Starkey who is performing the moves for the Space in Schools project - Image credit: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards
Image credit: Into Our Skies, Photographs by Rebecca Richards

Dr Pledger said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the three interactive videos and learning resources we’ve created, and we know schoolchildren are going to love them.

“They are closely aligned with national curriculum guidelines meaning teachers can provide practical opportunities for pupils engage in topics such as The Solar System, orbits and the rotation of the Earth.

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“We fully believe these resources can be a massive help to teachers at a time when they’re being stretched by the impact of Covid-19. These free resources take the stress out of lesson planning and can be used in the classroom, as a homework task or can be very helpful in the many cases of classes having to self-isolate at home.”

The additional resources include top tips on how to facilitate a dance class and supplementary information on ‘the science bit’, designed to help parents and teachers alike deliver high quality content, irrelevant of their background or level of science and dance knowledge.

Dr Joanne Pledger behind the scenes
Dr Joanne Pledger behind the scenes

Funding for the project came from a £15,000 grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Public Engagement Fund. The project is inspired by the solo show ‘Into Our Skies’ created by Lucy and has been supported by UCLanDance.

The free six-week scheme of work can be accessed by registering online here, following which teachers will be sent a link to download the resources.

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