From tap-dancing to teaching
Mia has been a Dance and PE teacher at Solebay Primary Academy for five years. She explains more about her role as part of the PE department and provides some insight into day-to-day life at Solebay, and a career within Paradigm Trust.
Hi I’m Mia, and I joined Solebay in 2015 as their resident dance teacher and I haven’t looked back! Becoming part of Paradigm Trust was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; from an early age I knew I wanted to go down the teaching route and when I saw there was a position available at Solebay, I just had to apply.
Working at Solebay has been one of the most rewarding, exciting and interesting jobs I have ever had. Being able to bring dance into the pupils’ lives has been a real joy – from the physical benefits and inclusive nature to its creativity and social interaction, there are so many positive impacts that dance has on children. I am so pleased that Paradigm Trust has given me the resources to be able to make it part of the pupils’ day-to-day learning.
As you may already know, Paradigm Trust is bound by a strong ethos and community is one of its value points. That’s something I consistently try to bring into dance routines and PE lessons to bring all the pupils together, showing that exercise and dance can be enjoyed regardless of level or ability.
Being part of a London school has also been fantastic in providing me with the opportunity to teach different dance styles and help pupils learn about culture through movement. At Solebay, we have lots of children whose second language is English and we have found that the introduction of dance to their lives has been extremely rewarding for them. As an inherently inclusive medium, it has given our pupils a new way to gain confidence, express themselves and engage with one another. I’m very proud to be part of that!
In terms of support and opportunities at Solebay, the offer really has been second to none. Throughout my time at Solebay I have gained skill across teaching in terms of planning, assessment and confidence in my own abilities as a teacher. Because of this support, I have been able to progress and develop a range of techniques and strategies to help bring the best out of the children.
Whilst at Solebay I’ve seen so many children learn, grow and improve; and that really is priceless. I’ve had the opportunity to get the children to perform in assemblies, concerts and competitions, with one of my favourite memories being choreographing the Year 6 Leavers Show. Seeing the children perform and put on a production after months of hard work is such a heart-warming moment and I am extremely grateful that Solebay continues to give the students and me this opportunity, year after year.
Overall, I feel very lucky to be part of Paradigm Trust. The values and hard work of the team was highlighted during COVID-19, in order to keep the pupils’ fitness levels up, and to allow them that much-needed opportunity to express themselves, we devised a weekly live stream dance lesson for all pupils, staff and parents/ carers with the end goal to come together and perform the routine we’ve been learning in a flash mob! Not only is this something I think not many other schools were able to achieve, it helped to build even further on that sense of community.
So, if you’re thinking about applying for a role at Solebay, or any other school in the Trust I couldn’t recommend it more – you won’t look back!