Key Stage 2 and 3 Learning Resource: Dancing the Past to Life

Dancing the Past to Life

Ordsall Hall closed its doors in 2009 for a major restoration and development project, and after two years 'under wraps' the Hall re-opened to the public on Sunday 15 May 2011.

On Friday 18 March 2011 school children from across Salford proudly presented Dancing the Past to Life, a dance work created to celebrate the re-opening of the Hall.

The Heritage Lottery Fund funded the project that involved six schools working with dance artist Rachel Towe during the spring term to create a dance inspired by the stories, artefacts and events that Ordsall Hall has been connected with through its history. Each school created a dance of approximately 5 minutes in length based on their theme and the final show saw all the dances come together as one performance.

The schemes of work, lesson plans, film clips and supporting materials can be found on the Resources page and are designed to give suggestions of activities that can be used in the classroom to explore movement and dance inspired by the themes of the exploration of history; the Tudors; Guy Fawkes; the Second World War and Ordsall Hall today.

Themes

The units have been inspired by stories and events linked to Ordsall Hall and are the themes that the six Salford schools explored as part of the dance project to celebrate the re-opening of Ordsall Hall in 2011. They enhance learning about Ordsall Hall and also link well with other themes that the children from the project were learning about in school.

As well as dance, all of the units enhance learning in other curriculum areas and promote social and emotional learning. The units have been split into a selection of activities with an example of how this would run over a 6 week scheme. There are also some example lesson plans for each unit. If using the example 6 week scheme it may be deemed that for your class there is too much to get through which will depend on the focus, experience and confidence of the children and of the teacher.

There are a range of activities that the teacher can select to suit the students and their learning. Most of the units provide activities for the children to work on their own, with a partner and in groups. The units can be used separately from the other units as they do not depends on each other.

Unit 1: The History Detectives, Suitable for Key Stage 2

A History lesson...BORING!!! Or is it? This unit looks at some people's perception of learning about history - some people find it boring and other people exciting. Children are given the opportunity to become 'The History Detectives' using actions, space, dynamics and relationships to imagine investigating history. They will use artefacts, photos, newspapers and costumes as a stimulus to create dance and to find out about history.

Unit 2: The Tudors - Rich and Poor, Suitable for Key Stage 2

The theme for this unit transports us back to the 1500s, near the beginning of Ordsall Hall's history when the Radclyffe family resided in the Hall. The unit specifically looks at the Tudor banquets that may have taken place in the hall and the unit can run in conjunction with the 'Tudor Entertainment' unit but equally stands well on its own.

The children will learn about the jobs of the servants in a Tudor house and create movement inspired by the scullions, poultry maids and chefs as they go about their work to prepare for the banquet. Learning about motif development is a key feature of this unit as the children use their actions, space and dynamics to create interesting solo and group dances. The children will learn some traditional Tudor dance steps and then use these creatively to make their own dances. They will learn about the contract in those who were rich and poor in Tudor society.

Unit 3: Tudor Entertainment, Suitable for Key Stage 2

The theme of this unit transports us back to the 1500s, near the beginning of Ordsall Hall's history when the Radclyffe family resided in the hall. The unit specifically looks at the Tudor banquets that may have taken place in the hall and can run in conjunction with 'The Tudors Rich and Poor' unit but equally stands well on its own.

This unit looks at Tudor dance as a social and historical dance and also the entertainment that was provided for the guests. The children will learn some traditional Tudor dance steps (adapted from the Trouvere Dance Resource) and then use these creatively to make their own dances. They will learn about the entertainment that was provided for the rich Tudors and work on contact skills to enable them to create groups dances to show the acrobats.

Unit 4: Guy Fawkes, Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4

This unit uses the story of Guy Fawkes and the 'Gunpowder Plot' as inspiration for dance ideas. In 1605 a group of young Catholic men devised a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was the first out of the group to be captured, interrogated and tortured for this attempt. It was rumoured that Guy Fawkes used Ordsall Hall as a base to devise the gunpowder plot.

This unit provides dance activities to enable students to create solo, duet and group work, to explore motif development, contact work and other choreographic devices.

Unit 5: The War Effort, Suitable for Key Stage 2

Whilst soldiers fought for our country in World War Two, back at home in Salford, people battled against the hardship of war and the destruction it brought with it. Nevertheless people remained strong and pulled together to do their bit. Ordsall Hall remarkably remained intact through the bombing and the grounds were used for 'Dig for Victory' allotments.

This unit celebrates how the Salford community pulled themselves up, brushed themselves down and kept on dancing! In this unit there are activities to explore the blitz in Salford and 'Dig for Victory'. A social dance style, called 'Lindy Hopping' is a key feature of this unit with some of the dance steps and lifts being learnt to inspire the creation of duets and group work.

Unit 6: Ordsall Hall Past and Present, Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4

Ordsall Hall tells many stories, has seen many changes and has inspired many communities. Today it stands renovated and ready to live the next stage of its history. The hall is surrounded by contemporary Salford with its bustling society and modern architecture but has the same heart and carries forward its rich history.

In this unit the students learn steps from street dance, contemporary and Tudor dance, contact work to enable them to fuse together these dance styles to create their own solos, duets and group dances and explore how the past inspires the present and celebrate how the two are wonderfully intertwined in a building such as Ordsall Hall. There are also activities which look at the architecture of Ordsall Hall as a stimulus for group shapes and dance.

Lantern Parade

The district of Ordsall Hall has an annual lantern parade which was recreated by all the schools as a grand finale to their performance in the 2011 show.

Associated materials

See the 'Resources' drop-down for schemes of work, lesson plans and supporting materials including video downloads.

Schools

Dancing the Past to LifeIn 2011 the schools that took part in the Dancing the Past to Life project to celebrate the re-opening of Ordsall Hall were:

  • Clifton Primary School - 'The History Detectives'
  • Summerville Primary School - 'Tudors Rich and Poor'
  • St Joseph's RC Primary School - 'Tudor Entertainers'
  • The Albion High School - 'Guy Fawkes'
  • Dukesgate Primary School - 'The War Effort'
  • Irlam and Cadishead Community High School - 'Ordsall Hall Past and Present'

Resources

PerformanceThe schemes of work, lesson plans, film clips and supporting materials can be found via the drop-downs above.

These resources are designed to give suggestions of activities that can be used in the classroom to explore movement and dance inspired by the themes of the exploration of history; the Tudors; Guy Fawkes; the Second World War and Ordsall Hall today.

Resources are available for the following units:

  • The History Detectives
  • Tudors Rich and Poor
  • Tudor Entertainers
  • Guy Fawkes
  • The War Effort
  • Ordsall Hall Past and Present

Useful links