Digital learning is rapidly transforming the education space. Covid-19, in particular, has driven the rise of digitisation in this sector: A 2020 McKinsey report reveals that the pandemic has accelerated the move to digital and online learning by seven years.
In response to this shift towards digital learning, The Royal Ballet School has rolled out a multi-stage strategy to enhance its online engagement with worldwide audiences. This digital transformation strategy included the launch of Primary Steps on Demand in 2022.
With its roots in the in-person Primary Steps Programme, Primary Steps on Demand offers primary schools everywhere a flexible, user-friendly, online dance programme. These are five benefits of digital learning that teachers and children can expect from Primary Steps on Demand:
- Flexible delivery.
- Exceptional quality.
- Engaging lessons.
- Accessible, inclusive content.
- Ongoing support and continuing professional development (CPD).
- Flexible Delivery
Primary Steps on Demand is accessible through The Royal Ballet School’s video-on-demand platform. The platform allows users to train with the School’s Artistic staff in the form of pre-recorded classes on any device, at any time.
As such, Primary Steps on Demand is fully flexible, empowering teachers to deliver the programme’s content when and where they choose.
The Royal Ballet School team designed Primary Steps on Demand with versatility in mind, so the programme is suitable for smaller spaces. Additionally, schools don’t require any special set-up or equipment to deliver the programme.
- Exceptional Quality
In this interconnected, digital age, it’s easier than ever before to reach new audiences with quality, educational content. Through Primary Steps on Demand, The Royal Ballet School is extending its ballet teaching expertise to primary schools around the world.
Delivered by the School’s knowledgeable team, the programme provides all the resources teachers need to offer their students an outstanding dance education, without the need for dance teaching experience.
The School offers this exceptional programme at a low cost. As a result, primary schools looking to satisfy their curriculum dance requirement can enjoy a high-quality, creative dance education from £3 per student. This education is rooted in The Royal Ballet School’s values of excellence and innovation.
- Engaging Lessons
Digital learning is revolutionising the traditional classroom model and encouraging many teachers to rethink the way they deliver the curriculum. Primary Steps on Demand is a prime example of this innovation, as the programme offers a unique, experiential approach to curriculum learning through creative ballet.
The programme includes “Exploring the Curriculum,” a series of creative ballet classes that cover a range of stimulating material with strong cross-curricular links. The series encourages teachers and students to explore a variety of curriculum subjects through the medium of dance.
Lessons for children aged 7 to 9 include:
- Light and shadow.
- The water cycle.
- Ancient Egypt.
Lessons for children aged 9 to 11 cover:
- Around the world.
- Light and shadow.
- Louis XIV — The Sun King.
- Moving on up! (Transition to secondary school.)
- The Universe.
- The Heart.
Each “Exploring the Curriculum” class offers a complete learning experience for children. Meanwhile, the accompanying lesson plans and student resources facilitate further in-depth study. This is ideal for teachers who wish to explore the relevant subject further with their class.
Primary Steps on Demand also includes the “Exploring Ballet” series, “Discovery Blasts,” and “Inspiration Bursts.”
“Exploring Ballet” is a series of six classes that cover essential ballet concepts like balance, dynamics, and counterpull.
“Discovery Blasts” and “Inspiration Bursts” complement the “Exploring the Curriculum” and “Exploring Ballet” series. These shorter movement guides can operate as standalone lessons to get students moving. Alternatively, teachers can combine several videos.
- Accessible, Inclusive Content
The Royal Ballet School understands that every child is unique and has their own interests, abilities, and learning preferences. Because of this, the School has crafted Primary Steps on Demand to cater to all young learners’ needs.
Alongside full video classes, movement guides, lesson plans, and student resources, Primary Steps on Demand provides teachers with valuable notes, tutorials, and advice. This advice can help teachers support students who face difficulties learning in a conventional classroom setting.
The programme also uses inclusive, gender-neutral language and offers adaptable content for children with physical disabilities or special educational needs (SEN).
- Ongoing Support and Continuing Professional Development
Another advantage of digital learning is increased connectivity. Schools that participate in Primary Steps on Demand become part of The Royal Ballet School community and can access ongoing support from the School’s team as they need it.
Schools can deliver Primary Steps on Demand without a trained classical ballet or dance teacher. However, the programme also includes CPD sessions for teachers who wish to gain experience and insights into teaching dance.
Teachers at all levels can join The Royal Ballet School’s free, optional, online CPD sessions. These sessions include a question-and-answer segment and cover:
- Classroom management for dance.
- The fundamentals of safe dance practice.
- How to harness a creative dance teacher mindset.
This CPD element makes Primary Steps on Demand an ideal use of schools’ physical education and sport premium funding.
A Wealth of Benefits
Primary schools that join Primary Steps on Demand enjoy a wealth of benefits from the online programme. Alongside the many advantages of digital learning, schools can expect a creative approach to dance education, with a focus on fostering students’ independent thinking and creative skills.
Schools can sign up for a 12-month programme, which is renewable annually. Pricing plans start from £500 per year for small schools and £150 per year for non-school educators.
About The Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is a global leader in classical ballet education. Since 1926, the School has played an integral role in shaping the dance world, producing internationally acclaimed dancers and choreographers for generations.
Famous Royal Ballet School alumni include Margot Fonteyn, Kenneth MacMillan, Anya Linden, and Darcey Bussell. Today, a new generation of rising stars, such as Lauren Cuthbertson, Francesca Hayward, and Vadim Muntagirov, are making their mark on the world stage.
Admission to the School depends solely on an individual’s talent and potential in classical ballet, regardless of academic ability or household income. As a testament to the School’s commitment to inclusivity, approximately 88% of students rely on financial support to attend.
The School offers a comprehensive full-time dance course with excellent academic, pastoral, and healthcare programmes. A Royal Ballet School education ensures that students are fully prepared to excel in their future careers, whether in classical ballet or beyond. Additionally, the School’s Training and Access programme seeks to expand access to its expertise and experience to a wider audience.