Into Our Skies: Space in Schools

Into Our Skies Lucy Starkey dancing

UCLan Astronomer Dr. Joanne Pledger, UCLanDance course leader Ruth Spencer and Preston based dancer, Lucy Starkey have created a scheme of work inspiring primary school teachers to take a unique approach to teaching students about Earth and Space.

Into Our Skies: Space in Schools, due to launch in October 2020, is a 6-week scheme of work that is aligned with the “Earth and Space” topic on the upper KS2 science national curriculum and covers the 4 statutory requirements.

To access the resources register here.

We are running teacher CPD sessions on the Into Our Skies: Space in Schools in October. You can register for the CPD sessions through the Science Learning Partnership here.

The project resources include:

  • Three interactive educational videos, which challenge traditional science-learning and use dance to engage young people with scientific ideas.
  • “Top Tips” on how to facilitate a dance class and supplementary information on “The Science Bit,” designed to help teachers and parents alike deliver high quality content.
  • A risk assessment for the interactive educational videos is included for teachers to adapt.
  • Additional activities, demonstrations and practical sessions which reinforce the topics of the dance videos and promote deeper learning.
  • The soundtrack from the videos so you can create your own dance in an afterschool club, Christmas variety show or for a school assembly.
  • An opportunity for the class to “Skype the Scientist” and have a Q&A session with Dr Joanne Pledger.


Our aim is to engage young people with the curiosity and excitement of science by encouraging teachers to teach in a creative way. We recognise that teachers have had an extremely challenging year so we have designed a scheme of work that can be used with little extra work and can also be set as homework or as home learning if needed.

All resources are FREE. Teachers and parents can register their interest here and will be sent the resources directly. As part of our research we ask that teachers complete a registration form and agree to complete a short evaluation form on their experience using the resources and the student’s engagement. With this project, the key questions we want to answer are, “How does the teaching of upper KS2 scientific ideas through dance impact on student engagement and learning?” and “Do teachers find this a useful way of teaching?”

This project is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council through a Public Engagement Sparks award and is part of the University of Central Lancashire’s ongoing commitment to open and accessible opportunities to widen participation and supporting the our local communities.

UCLan/UCLanDance supported Lucy in the development of her solo show Into Our Skies, the performance piece that has inspired production of these engaging activities. A preview of her show can be found here.

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