In 2008, Mayflower Primary School received PSE funding (now termed Funding for the Niche Scheme in Singapore Schools) to develop its dance education programme as a niche. This funding was awarded based on the rich dance tradition and excellent dance track record in the school.
The programme, dAnCE@Mayflower, is part of the school’s ACE (Aspiration, Cultivation and Expression) Framework. Within the ACE framework, there exists a pervasive and progressive education programme for each of the four art forms. Ample opportunities are provided for the pupils to explore, discover and develop their aesthetic abilities. dAnCE@Mayflower is a structured dance programme that allows Mayflower pupils to encounter dance at different levels.
This structure ensures that all Mayflower pupils are exposed to performances by professional dance troupes through assembly shows and cultural learning journeys. At the next level, they are taught basic dance techniques and take part in general programmes that encourage the development of their psycho-motor and spatial intelligence. Through these experiential programmes, the teachers and instructors have the opportunity to identify pupils to talent and potential in dance. These pupils are then channelled in the dance CCAs available in the school.
The dance CCA programmes are designed to allow each child to work towards his/her own potential. They are groomed by professional instructors and represent the school at national/ international competitions, festivals and public performances. The dance CCAs are the main vehicle for collaborative efforts with neighbouring schools and cultural stakeholders of the school.
Apart from the ethnic dance forms taught in the CCA groups, pupils will also have an opportunity to pursue their interests in other dance forms. dAnCE@Mayflower includes a myriad of elective programme with modules in contemporary dance such as hip-hop and modern jazz. Pupils who have potential and interest in dance, but are not part of the dance CCAs, can also tap on this opportunity to widen their dance horizons.
Since embarking on this journey, Mayflower Primary School has developed the dance education programme in these three key areas:
- establishing key infrastructure
- structured exposure and talent identification programmes
- racial integration within dance groups
Establishing key infrastructure
The two main developments in this area are the set-up of three dance studios and the refurbishment of the school performance venue.
By the end of 2008, the rooms used by the three ethnic dance groups were converted into proper dance studios with adequate dance and storage equipment. Below is a list of items each room has been equipped with:
Storage cupboards for costumes
Apart from CCA sessions, these dance studios are also used for the school’s dance enrichment and elective programmes.
Structured exposure and talent identification programmes
Dance enrichment and elective programmes have been put in place to provide a broad base exposure to dance, as well as to identify talent pupils and to allow pupils to explore their interest in dance.
While all pupils in MFPS will be exposed to three ethnic dance forms, contemporary dance, jazz dance and hip-hop dance, talented and interested pupils will be identified and channeled to our various Dance CCA groups for in -depth learning. Pupils who are exceptional and interested will also have the opportunity to take part in the SOTA Junior Academy and be mentored by our teachers to enter SOTA. To support auditions to SOTA, the school also provides the Ballet elective programme for the acquisition of Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) qualifications.
The funding was recently renewed by MOE in April 2013 to support the school in the dAnCE@Mayflower programme for the next 5 years.