Sharing Camden Practice

Wake up, Shake up! An active start to the school day

Key Points

  • Improve punctuality in your school;
  • Enable children to start the day feeling energised and ready to learn;
  • Increase the amount of physical activity in your school without impacting curriculum time.


What were your reasons for doing this development work?

The senior leadership team wanted to find a way to improve punctuality by finding a reason for children to be in school on time (aside from the fact that punctuality is important!). We hoped that by introducing a dance routine to start the day, children would be motivated to get to school on time and, as a secondary outcome, they would feel energised as they start the school day.

Who were the identified target learners?

This case study will also be helpful to school leaders and PE co-ordinators looking to increase the amount of physical activity or introduce daily activity in the school timetable.  It describes our school’s experiences of introducing a morning dance routine that energises children and encourages good punctuality.

We wanted to target the children that came to school late and who, as a result, were not yet ready to engage with classroom learning. We hoped that introducing ‘Wake up, Shake up!’ would support these children in managing the transition into school and kick start their day with a burst of energy.

What were your success criteria?

The activity had to be practical, fun and sustainable.

What did you do? (What success criteria did you use?)

Two members of staff took responsibility for choosing routines and teaching them to the whole school. The same two members of staff led the routine each morning until older children were able to take over and lead the school each morning.

What specific teaching resources did you use?

We chose to use resources provided by ‘Wake up, Shakeup’ available:

We have also developed our own routines, with the help of older students in the school.

Outcomes and Impact

What has been the impact on pupil learning and teaching?

Children have an energetic start to the school day which helps focus in the classroom.  Teachers also have the opportunity to observe their class and pick up on children’s moods before heading into the classroom.

There is a palpable buzz around school in the morning and children feel like they are part of something as soon as they walk into the playground. When the bell rings and music kicks in, there is a clear message that we are ready to start the day.

Evidence of impact on pupil learning and teaching/leadership

Energised, happy and motivated children who want to be in school on time.

In our most recent Ofsted report stated that:

‘Pupils are enthusiastic learners and are very motivated to do their best. They enjoy school as their above average attendance shows. They are punctual and join in the early morning exercise with enthusiasm with their parents and carers before registration.’