YDance project, Shake It Up, aims to raise attainment for over 2000 Primary school children from 12 schools in four areas of deprivation over a four year programme.   

YDance will receive £298,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to run Shake It Up, which is based on YDance’s experience of the Arts Across the Curriculum programme (2004-7) and YDance’s activity teaching children and young people throughout Scotland.

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation said:

At Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we want to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives, and we believe that access to the arts can be a powerful way of achieving this.  YDance’s Shake It Up project is going to bring dance into schools, with over 2000 children across Scotland and their teachers exploring dance, movement and learning together, across the curriculum. This very much chimes with our values and we are pleased to be supporting this work.

Shake It Up will take place in four local authority areas which are part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, and run in conjunction with Challenge Attainment Officers.  Shake It Up will take place in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire (2017-2018), West Dunbartonshire and Clackmannanshire (2019-2020).

In 2015, the Scottish Government launched the Attainment Challenge – a large scale four year education programme focusing specifically on reducing the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children.  The Attainment Challenge aims to drive forward improvements in educational outcomes, specifically in the areas of literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.

For the next four years, two professional dance workers, Jessica Ho and Julieann Crannie, will each work for a day a week in a primary school, using dance to teach a range of academic subjects.  They will work in close partnership with teachers to plan and deliver the programme and involve the whole school in the process in order to maximise the impact of the project.

As the National dance organisation for children and young people in Scotland and with long experience in this type of work, YDance is well placed to deliver an effective programme which will enable more children to learn through dance and leave a sustainable legacy of teachers with the skills and knowledge to continue to develop this kind of integrated curricular lesson delivery.

January 2017 – December 2018 YDance will work in Parkview Primary School, Castleton Primary School and Mount Vernon Primary School in Glasgow, and in Baird Memorial Primary School, Berryhill Primary School and St Monica’s Primary School in North Lanarkshire.

Andrea Crawford, PEPASS Manager from Glasgow City Council said:

“This partnership opportunity with YDance to enhance is an exciting venture and one we look forward to developing.”

Jackie McIver, Headteacher at Castleton Primary School in Castlemilk said:

“Castleton Primary pupils and staff are very excited to be part of the “Shake it Up” project. We are thrilled to have the expertise of a Dance Artist to work cooperatively with staff. Developing skills in Literacy and Numeracy through dance, we can’t wait!”

Running alongside the programme will be a research and evaluation impact study which will be carried out by the Robert Owen Centre for Education Change at the University of Glasgow.

By delivering an arts based project which aims to improve attainment for the most disadvantaged in society YDance aims to promote the real tangible benefits of using the arts within education.  The evidence from Shake It Up will be used to strengthen the case for an increase in using dance in Scottish schools, and to provide evidence of the benefits of using dance as an educational tool.

Shake It Up has also received funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation is also currently supporting Creative Scotland to train Primary school teachers in Ayrshire in using arts based approaches in teaching and learning.