Child Protection Policy

This document was compiled by Katrin Neue in September 2019

What we do in class

A contemporary dance class for children provides an artistic frame work for movement within the context of theatre dance, improvisation and choreography / dance making.

The children learn different ways of creating dances, both as a group as well as on their own. The goal of the class is appreciation of movement and contemporary forms of dance in particular, fostering a confident body image based on the creative process, respectful interaction amongst the group and joyful exploration of dance making.

Dance offers an alternative, creative form of physical exercise. The dance group or class can also facilitate a new social setting for participants to engage in. Engaging in the arts increases cultural awareness and understanding. It exposes young people to other cultural practices and facilitates dialogue within diverse communities. Participating in the arts can lead to a greater appreciation of the value of arts within society.

Creativity and Artistry:

Dance facilitates, and encourages creative and artistic expression. Participants develop their own skills, and learn to value the artistic endeavour of others. By engaging with the art form directly and with professional support, young people can discover their potential as dance artists.

Life Skills:

The development of transferable Life Skills through Dance can encourage the young person to broaden their experiences and have the confidence to try new things. For example; creative and technical activities can promote literacy and numeracy. Other skills, such as problem-solving and decision-making, can also be acquired and applied in wider contexts.

Policies regarding health and safety, Safe Touch and Training

Health and Safety / Risk assessment

The teacher Katrin Neue will ensure the hall (St Kevin’s Community Centre, 46 Bloomfield Avenue, Dublin 8, rented from Dublin City Council) is free of hazards like loose cables, spills, objects etc., before every class and if necessary, will remove any hazards before children are allowed to enter the hall. Emergency exits will be clear of objects and will be checked before each class.

The rented space is large enough to accommodate a large group of people. This ensures children can place their belongings in the hall and out of the way without interfering with class.

Participation will be recorded (on a list) every class to maintain proper records.

A buddy system for using the bathroom will be established. Children are encouraged to use the toilet before or after class, while parent is present.

Class size is at the discretion of the teacher.

Appropriate footwear, like socks (non-slip) or gymnastic shoes, warm, comfortable clothing are to be worn to minimise accidents. No jewellery, wristwatches, necklaces or similar are allowed in class.

Age appropriate rules of behaviour will be established with the children on day 1, and adherence to this will be discussed if necessary.

Persons not involved in bringing or collecting the children to/from class will not be admitted to the hall/building at any time. To be able to enforce this, the teacher will require notice, if the child is collected by someone else than known parent/guardian or minder.

The teacher is trained in administering first aid and carries a first aid kit for the class. An incident report will be written in case of injury. If children run into each other or fall without further discomfort or similar casual incidents, the parents will be notified.

Parents are responsible to notify the teacher of any medical health concerns or conditions prior to starting class.

Child Protection / Safe Touch

Communication in class is positive and respectful.

The dance class is provided free from religious or political views.

Music selection is varied (classical, traditional music from different world cultures, occasional pop music and different contemporary genres) and always checked to avoid explicit, stereotyping or otherwise inappropriate content.

It is customary in a traditional dance setting to give tactile ‘corrections’ or feedback in movement. As the class offered is not a traditional dance class, I work with visualisation, imagery or demonstration in my class rather than touch in teaching movement.

While form is important to avoid injuries when moving within a certain technique framework, my focus is on the creative development of movement, which allows for different expressions without them being ‘correct’ or ‘wrong’.

The students will be encouraged to respectfully interact with their peers and develop appreciation for everyone’s personal space. The class will allow for small choreographic physical contact like holding on to each other hands, leaning against each other, small lifts as examples of supportive physical touch. These physical interactions will be taught in an age appropriate manner and carefully supervised. Children are able to opt out of this and move on their own instead at any stage of the classes.

Training and Vetting

The teacher is qualified, experienced and insured to work with children in a dance context (3 year vocational studies in dance and dance education at Erika Kluetz School for Theatre Dance and Dance Pedagogy) and holds additional artistic and educational degrees and certifications. Appropriate continued education is sought out on a regular basis.

Garda Vetting is not available for self-employed individuals in the Republic of Ireland. The teacher Katrin Neue is currently garda vetted in a different teaching context (through a Pilates studio) and has been vetted in the past (between 2005 and 2018) by German police, Criminal Record Bureau (UK) and the Garda Central Vetting Unit.

Communication with parents / guardians, Documentation of class

Communications with parents is established via email.

Documentation of class, via photographs or video will be shared with parents only. There will be no photographs or videos posted on any social media as a general rule. If the teacher would like to take a photo, written permission to use it for marketing purposes etc is required from parents. Photos will be sent for approval before use.

Katrin Neue, September 2019