This week Year 6 students at Swindon Academy have been celebrating the cultures of their local community through a series of music and dance activities.
The students were introduced to a wide variety of different dances and musical genres through a series of workshops delivered by members from the local community as well as the academy’s own performing arts staff. The corridors of the academy sites in both Penhill and Pinehurst were filled with the sound of steel pan drumming and samba drumming whilst the students learnt a variety of dances including Caribbean dance, ballet and salsa.
The week’s activities were part of United Learning’s IDeas Festival – a national event for all of the Group’s schools to explore their local, regional and national identities.
Leigh Matthews, Head of Music and Curriculum Leader for Performing Arts, said:
“Our Cultural Ideas Festival has been a highly engaging and exciting experience for our Year 6 students. Being introduced to new experiences and cultures has been an ideal way to prepare the students for Year 7 and it has been heartening to see them throw themselves into new challenges with such enthusiasm and confidence.
“We are lucky to have such a vibrant and thriving community on our doorstep and we are so grateful to the many local community groups who worked with our students. Learning about these different styles of music and dance has been a fantastic way to learn about new cultures and our students are really proud that Swindon is home to so many different communities.”
Rebecca Woolven, Head of Dance at the academy, said:
“It has been a great experience for all involved. Students have left feeling happy and energised and excited learning more about different cultures when they…in their words… come to big school!”
Year 6 student Monique said:
“I had so much fun! I never knew that so many different cultures did so many different cool dances! I can't wait for secondary school!”