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No more dance at Calder High

From Jez Gregg

Thursday, 17 November 2016

I've been waiting to say this. I recently heard that Calder High School has stopped teaching dance all together.

After years of investment from Helen E Rutland, Hester Warburton and myself to build a vibrant, creative, collaborative and communicative platform for students it has now disappeared. Many of my friends were inspired by Helen, so much so that I returned to teach at Calder High in 2006 to carry the flame. I continued to develop the program in the school, taking students into the community to share dance and it's wonders.

Dance changed my life, gave it real purpose and direction, built me both professionally and personally, gave me opportunities that would not have happened otherwise.

I am devastated by the news that dance, which was an actual heartbeat of the school, has been removed. This can be changed for your children and the future of education if we keep talking about the importance of creativity in education, instead of stripping it from young, innovative, energetic bodies and minds.

Calder High School, I have many fabulous memories - but whoever decided to remove dance from the school should be desperately ashamed of themselves.

I am so angry and sad at this development. For all those I have taught in dance over the years, please tell me you agree, share this post and put some pressure on those who want to spoil the party... just so upsetting!

Dance doesn't just help dancers, it helps humans!

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From Anne Todd

Friday, 18 November 2016

I completely agree with Jez. The school needs to acknowledge the need for creative subjects. During my 27 years at the school, as well as teaching English, I ran all the debating and mock trial competition entries. Upon my retirement at the end of 2011, all such activities ceased. I can fully understand that no one wanted to volunteer to run them, but I twice offered to continue to do it on a voluntary basis - with no response from the school.

From Mark H

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Both of my sons were lucky enough to have gone to Calder High when it was a good place to go.

My younger son was taught and supported by Helen Rutland and other teachers beyond Calder High. He's been supporting himself as a professional dancer for the past 13 years and we acknowledge the great part played by Calder High in general and Miss Rutland in particular in helping his career development.

Without glossing over any other shortcomings the school may have had, the simple fact that my son, and many others, were encouraged to explore their abilities and personalities through the broad range of expressive arts then taught at CHS gave him a real expectation of a career and a validation of his personality.

If it turns out that there is indeed to be no more dance at CHS then the management and governors should hang their heads in shame. They are not fit to be in charge of an institution that pretends to have the interests of children at heart.

Pathetic really. Those managers and governors claim they're doing it in the interests of the children, but they lie.

Maybe one of them could crawl out and tell us the real reason. I think they're disingenuous and spineless, and would welcome a public debate on the matter.

In the meantime, thanks to Helen Rutland and all those genuinely interested in the development of children. And a big raspberry to those who think expressive arts are so worthless.

Any thoughts from our MP?