Brookham Pre-Prep & Nursery Brookham

And it’s better that way.

The Monday morning assemblies are designed to set the tone for our school. They focus the children’s minds on the ethos and values that underpin Brookham’s three Golden Rules and our PSHE curriculum. Each half term is carefully planned around a central theme that develops, week by week. Having said that, plans are there to be changed and this week the original vision involving Lego and trains was discarded at approximately 19:22 on Sunday evening.

The television was on and a tune started playing that set me humming. I searched my elusive memory for the name of the track and the original artist, before turning towards the television screen. In fabulous Strictly Come Dancing style, the smoke machine and lights illuminated the twenty-two dancers beautifully, as in unison, they lifted their heads and turned their faces towards the camera. The group of individuals slowly began to move, working together to bring to life a choreographer’s vision. ‘Life on Mars?’ by David Bowie is a powerful and evocative piece of music that takes the listener on a dramatic journey, so I sat on the sofa ready to enjoy the performance.

It was at this point that I noticed the hand of one of the dancers turn the wheel on his wheelchair. Suddenly, this dance took on a whole new resonance. I sat transfixed. As the dancers struck their final pose, Monday morning’s new assembly began to form. It took a very simple format: tell the children you are going to show them a clip of people dancing; ask them to look very closely, because once the clip has finished they will be asked what they have seen; show the children this dance on BBC iPlayer and listen to their responses.

I was incredibly pleased with their observations as they demonstrated how closely they had noticed every detail of the performance and performers. Yet, it was their absolute certainty that each and every dancer was not constrained by their differences that filled me with such joy. The children highlighted that the artists gave of their best, and all contributed equally, in order to create a dance that held the hall completely captivated for the full two minutes and twenty-eight seconds. It is clear to see they understand that it is our differences which make us unique and special. This message has been adopted as a true belief of Brookham children. Monday 3rd December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I know that our children will work to ensure that the world becomes a more inclusive and equitable place where everyone has the opportunity to become the best they can be.

Watch the clip Strictly here.

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