MovementWorks® aims to address developmental deficits that are created by modern urban living and to optimise the learning potential of children of all abilities.
All children deserve the best opportunity to learn. Movement is at the core of childhood development and is much more important than most people realize.
Modern living manifests in our children not having optimal developmental opportunities. Our babies are put to sleep on their backs. They are cradled in car seats and bouncers for long periods, and then put in baby walkers and buggies. Consequently too little time is spent moving through key developmental stages. Our children play outside less and sit in front of screens more. They consume more processed food.
These combined factors relate to the increase of childhood obesity in the UK – officially an epidemic. Yet a lesser-known phenomenon which is of as great significance, is that these inadvertent ‘environmental insults’ limit movement opportunities and therefore children’s optimal physical and cognitive development. This has an impact on our children’s global learning potential, the effects of which can be life-long. Neuroscientific advance confirms that movement is essential for healthy brain development.
Through movement we first make sense of ourselves and of the world. Embodied learning anchors language and social and emotional skills. There is a growing body of evidence linking movement processing issues with the increasing diagnosis of developmental disorders and behaviour problems. Read more about this research.
Efficient movement patterns reflect globally. Conversely, physical difficulties are often early indicators of developmental disorders since they mirror the neurological organisation of the brain. In this way unaddressed physical deficits reflect in a child’s levels of concentration, ability to fully participate in their education and probable development of unhelpful compensatory habits. For example, a child may display uncomfortable sitting postures, pencil grip/control, difficulties in reading and writing or personality and behaviour issues. Unaddressed, these manifestations can negatively influence their access to the curriculum and their educational progress generally.
…our education culture skips over anything to do with embodied learning and we never make up the lost ground
– Penny Greenland MBE.
MovementWorks was established in 2012 specifically to promote and provide quality movement education experiences; with particular emphasis on the young, their carers and educators. The organisation aims to reach those who may not otherwise have access to optimal movement-based learning and to highlight and foster the global benefits of Developmental Dance Movement® in Early Years, Primary Education and beyond.
Our work has been cited in the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Arts, Health and Well Being and we are endorsed by the Royal Society of Arts as a project having a “real world impact”.
MovementWorks advocates creating optimal conditions for learning and supports inclusivity, catering closely to children with specific learning difficulties. We embrace an embodied learning approach and provision for individual needs.
If we want the best academic outcomes, the most efficient and cost-effective route to achieve that is, counterintuitively, not to narrowly focus on academics but to also address children’s social, emotional, and physical development.
– Adele Diamond, Canada Research Chair.
You can see more about the benefits of our unique dance-based learning approach in the talk Can Dance Help Children to Become School Ready delivered on Early Arts U.K, an award-winning national online educational platform.
MovementWorks for development, MovementWorks for learning, MovementWorks for all.