The Alien Needs our Help
3,800 school pupils from across the district have coupled music and dance to better understand how to make healthy wellbeing choices.
During the past two years, youngsters from 24 primary schools learned about the body’s immune system, vaccines, medicines and the importance of good hygiene as they met with an “alien”, who they taught to keep safe from diseases and viruses.
The Alien Needs Our Help project, a collaborative creative wellbeing programme from Ludus Dance and More Music, was commissioned by Lancaster City Council’s Public Protection team thanks to funding through the Government’s Community Champions Scheme after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pupils who took part in the six-week programme felt more informed and confident and knowledgeable about vaccines and how to make the right choices about their health after taking part.
Councillor Peter Jackson, Cabinet member for communities, wellbeing and partnerships, said: “Teaching children the importance of keeping their bodies healthy and protected from infections – particularly since Covid-19 and the rise of diseases such as measles and smallpox – has never been more important.
“We are pleased that through the collaborations with More Music and Ludus Dance, children have been able to participate in an engaging programme, which has supported teachers to deliver aspects of the science and PSHE curriculum, reinforcing the message to keep safe from germs and discover the history of vaccines”.
Darren Leadsom, Education and Inclusion Manager at More Music, said: “This project has been a great opportunity to collaborate with Ludus Dance and create a music and dance project that will help children make healthy choices.
“It’s fantastic that the council commissioned this innovative project to involve arts organisations. The positive evaluation evidence gathered from participants shows how successful that creative arts approaches can be to communicate these messages.”
Rachel Deadman, Co-CEO and Artistic Director, said: “It was a huge privilege to be able to access so many children, school teachers and Tas through this programme. We were told over and again by the schools how grateful they were to have this government funded creative project in their school.
“We were so thankful for having the opportunity to demonstrate to so many schools the usefulness of the arts to embed learning in a way that pulls children away from sedentary learning, puts them up onto their feet, singing and dancing as a means to acquire knowledge."
Liz Rice, Ryelands School
Working with Ludus and More Music on the project brought Science and History to life for the children. Their prior knowledge of germs and the importance of being hygienic, was extended by learning about the discovery of the first vaccine and how vaccines work. They fully engaged with the exploration of movement to explain scientific concepts, and songs to remember key historical dates and names.
What the children say
I was nervous when we did the performance, but I overcame my fear.
I enjoyed the dancing because it gave me confidence.
I am very proud of myself and I didn’t even know who even did the first vaccine.
I was scared at first, but I got through it. I loved Chris’ guitar.
I felt shy at first, but I loved the washing hands song.
I enjoyed stopping the germs fighting us.
I liked Edward Jenner.
Thank you for teaching us!