How Wood Primary and Nursey School located in St Albans, have been working with the ‘Sarrie’s In My School’ (SIMS) project since January 2020, using the programme to provide dance classes as part of the PE curriculum for all age groups.

How Wood worked with the Saracens Foundation to build the SIMS project into the school curriculum rather than just using it as an after-school club, and in doing so we have built a uniquely strong partnership.

At How Wood School where the partnership has become integral to the fabric of the school, the Foundation’s impact on the community reaches a much deeper level. Working with the whole school magnifies our reach not only within the school but locally as well. We are so proud of the relationship we have with How Wood and we are excited to take this blueprint forward of how SIMS can make a real difference in the education community.

We asked the Year 1 class teacher how the SIMS project impacts the children and what the classes mean to the children and this was her response.

“Our children love their dance sessions. The children are always engaged and are physically active throughout the whole lesson. Aimee (our SIMS project officer) supports them to encourage their creativity and ideas, and values all their work which in turn makes them feel safe to learn.

For us as staff, the classes allow dance to be taught to a higher level than our teachers would be able to provide, through watching and supporting dance from a specialist it upskills the teachers and gives them the confidence within the subject.

The children love dance and most importantly they LOVE Aimee. Her firm but fair approach means all the children respect her and therefore learn new skills with her!!”

It’s not just the staff we asked about the SIMS project. When one of the Year 4s was asked how they find their SIMS class, they responded:

“In class we can be noisy but in dance class we concentrate more as it is energetic and entertaining. It helps us because we are physically exercising, and it makes us feel healthy. It also makes us work together as a class when are put into groups and we can be creative with our own moves and not just following the teacher”

It is an absolute pleasure to be able to work with the whole school at How Wood, from the children to the teachers, to the office ladies to the cleaners and caretaker. The Foundation has become more than just an outside company delivering to the children 1-hour week, we feel a part of their school community and extremely excited to continue our journey with everyone at How Wood. We look forward to our future at How Wood Primary and Nursery School and in the wider community as a result!

If you would like to find out more about the Sarrie’s In My School project, please email aimeegill@saracens.net

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