Luckley House School

We are delighted to welcome a guest post this month from Luckley House School. This fantastic Independent School in Wokingham, is full of some exciting news for pupils and prospective families with the announcement of a new Performing Arts Theatre opening later this month and an initiative that will see each pupil attending the school to be issued with a brand new Microsoft Surface tablet.

To find out more about this news and what the school can offer your children, you can arrange a visit to their open mornings on March 15th and June 9th. Full details can be found here on Mumsnet Berkshire and or via the Luckley House School website

Luckley House School is a thriving Coeducational Independent School, located in Wokingham, Berkshire, offering day and flexible boarding provision for pupils aged 11 to 18 years. The school is set in attractive grounds with excellent facilities, and at just 40 miles from London, is the perfect location for boarders. With our strong Christian ethos, we value each pupil for their unique talents and abilities. We offer an extensive range of subjects at GCSE and A level, as well as a diverse co-curricular programme.

All Pupils will have their own Microsoft Surface 3

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 20.36.17We are delighted to announce details of an exciting new initiative at Luckley House School. From September 2016, every pupil will be issued with a brand new Microsoft Surface tablet, which will make great lessons even more exhilarating!

At Luckley, we  strive to provide the best education we can. As such, part of our vision is that every pupil leaving our school must be proficient in widely-used information systems in such a way that their work and other activities are enhanced.

Information and Communication Technology has had a huge impact on all our lives, not least in education. The pace of change is unprecedented and the expectation is that all young people will leave school proficient in the use of this technology.

In our review of the IT strategy for the school we have decided to introduce a one-to-one scheme in which every pupil in the school will be issued with a Microsoft Surface 3 from September 2016, which will be theirs until they leave the school. In brief, this device combines the best features of a Windows based computer, with tablet technology. Office 365 will facilitate access to files and open up opportunities for collaboration.

New Performing Arts Theatre to open 29 Feb

The Whitty Theatre at Luckley House School is an exciting new flexible 178-seat theatre, due for completion at the beginning of March 2016.

We cherish the performing arts, with their invaluable contribution to developing communication skills, creativity and self-confidence. The provision of a fully-equipped theatre and new drama teaching facilities will enable these to flourish.

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Such a significant investment in the on-going expansion and improvement of our facilities underlines the Governors’ commitment to our fifteen year School Master Plan and further reinforces our position as a provider of high-class education.

The Whitty Theatre is named after Mary Whitty, a committed Christian and the grandmother of the major donor who has made construction of this building possible.



8 Benefits of Toddler & Children’s Dance Classes

I am delighted to introduce the first of a series of guest blogs from Children’s Sports advocates, Sport4Kids for Mumsnet Berkshire. This brilliant local company offer a variety of sports and energy-busting activities for little ones, ranging from dance to football and rugby. To start this great series off, is Marie Willoughby, Head of Dance at Sport4Kids, to explain the many benefits of children’s dance classes. 

8 Benefits of Toddler & Children’s Dance Classes

Childhood obesity is still a growing issue in the UK and getting toddlers and kids into healthy habits from a young age is essential to improving the issue. Dance is a fantastic way to engage both boys and girls in having fun, learning new movements and skills, breaking into performance and building confidence. The benefits to health are both mental and physical and dance can even have a positive effect on life skills (being a smooth mover on the dance floor can’t be a bad thing…). Check out our 8 benefits of introducing your child to dance below…


  • It’s Fun…

JumpingDancing is so much fun, the children won’t even realise that they are exercising at the same time! Toddler and children’s dance classes will often have dynamic sessions that are fun, engaging and framed around children’s stories and characters with lots of props to play with.


  • It’s not JUST for girls…

While dance has traditionally been viewed as a feminine activity, the rise of dance groups such as Diversity have increased participation amongst the boys – in short – dance is for everyone! It is an activity that boys and girls of any ability can get involved in, even if your child is not necessarily ‘sporty’ or enjoys sports, it’s a must try.


  • Healthy Body & Healthy Mind

Physical– Through pulse raising games, anaerobic exercises, skills and technique, the body will improve on energy levels, muscular endurance, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.

Body Awareness – As toddlers and children grow and adapt to the dance movements and styles they will become more aware of their body and how it can move. This will in turn improve on the control of their bodies and thus their balance and posture.

Mental – Sport is a fantastic way to build confidence in children and dance can definitely help with this, as well as their self-esteem, attentiveness and even maintaining memory through mastering new skills and routines.


Emotional – Finding a toddler and children’s dance class provider that offers a safe environment where children can enter the space and are able to freely express themselves either through free play, improvisation, explorative exercises or choreography challenges for our older children can be amazing. It can help them feel joy and express things that they may not be able to verbally.


  • Relationships & Friendships

Toddler dance classes encourage relationship building between children, coaches and parents. From personal experience many lifelong friends can be found in such classes as you can really create a special bond especially in group tasks and creative tasks in dance.

Parents can also stay and watch their child dance and witness their learning and therefor build a stronger relationship through a shared experience with their child and other parents.

  • Dance isn’t just Tutus!

While many girls and boys like to pop on a tutu – most dance classes offer variety. Many are not style specific, which is highly beneficial so that the children can experience new ways of moving, new rhythms and beats. As the children advance, more emphasis will be put upon technique and skills and new dance terms will be introduced to reflect the style and to expand their dance vocabulary. Body alignment and foot placements follow the basics of ballet technique, which will guide them in executing movements safely and effectively. However, a lot of the tricks and floor skills in the older classes are breakdance based and are actually moves they would learn in gymnastics.


  • Creative Expression
    Finding a children’s dance class that starts from toddler age can offer a creative platform for child development. Of course introducing a creative activity such as dance at any stage during childhood can assist with creativity too! We want to help build the imagination and creativity in your young ones, allowing them to have a creative input in the dancing process as they progress through a dancing curriculum. This will in turn encourage communication and confidence.
  • New Cultures

Dance can introduce new cultures through style, music, costume and props that are not encountered in every day life. From Bollywood India to Flamenco Spain and African Bhangra to Brazilian Samba – there is so much to learn!

  • Life Skills

Aside from providing boys with snake hips, any dance class worth its salt that hosts children and toddlers will also teach valuable skills in their sessions; skills that can be transferable to any future educational or career paths such as communication, listening skills and team work.

Introducing toddlers to dance at a young age and encouraging pre-school children and primary age kids to get involved is a great way to keep healthy and encourage an active lifestyle from an early age. Music is everywhere and therefore dance can be everywhere too – just switch on the radio in your car and watch your little ones boogie away – there is nothing better!

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 13.52.25Marie Willoughby is Head of Dance at Sport4Kids. She first began performing as an athlete and rhythmic gymnast but later found her true passion in dance. Her background in dance steers towards Musical Theatre and Contemporary Dance.  A garaduate of Kingston University with a degree in Dance and Social Sciences, Marie has trained in a vast range of styles including Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Street Dance, Break Dance, Indian, African, Wushu and even Sword.


Discover more about Sports4Kids and the classes they offer at Sport4Kids.