Introduction
 

Overley Hall School is an independent, co-educational, residential special school offering education and care for children from 9 to 19 years old with autism, epilepsy, severe learning difficulties and associated challenging behaviours.

Peter Smith, a Teacher at Overley Hall School with a specialism in music, and Dee Marshall, a Tutor of a class of 16-19 year olds, came across Boogie Mites by chance whilst searching the internet for educational ‘action’ songs and found Boogie Mites’ videos on YouTube.

Resources
 

Overley Hall uses a variety of Boogie Mites resources across the school.

“In my class, we use Boogie Mites once a week for an hour as a literacy lesson,” explains Dee, who has over 30 years’ experience of working in Special Educational Needs. “We watch the videos on YouTube as a group and carry out their instructions, use the sticks and music CDs, and have created a wide range of creative resources from the programmes such as fish that we use for counting.”

“Boogie Mites is used by different classes in a variety of ways,” continues Peter who has worked in the field since 1998. “In my Key Stage 2/3 class, I have used songs like ‘Clap Clap Clap’ to start each day. They help the pupils warm up, focus, concentrate and also establish a familiar routine.”

“We use Boogie Mites in music lessons, for topics such as the Environment and songs can be useful for specific subjects; for example, ‘Jungles of Brazil’ in Geography. Boogie Mites is very adaptable resource and we look forward to more and more material in the future that moves into new areas such as History.”

Training

Overley Hall School had Boogie Mites visit their team of staff for a training session in how to best use its resources. “It was a really good session,” recalls Dee. “The instructor was full of enthusiasm, ideas and created a great energy for the eight staff we had in attendance.”

Benefits
 

“There’s no doubt that Boogie Mites enhances general skills specified in our curriculum such as speaking, listening, responding to gestures and can be used to support subjects such Maths,” says Dee. “A lot of our pupils are non-verbal and the programme is an excellent platform to encourage social communication and interaction.”

“Boogie Mites is a great ‘leveller’ as it allows the pupils of all abilities to engage and take part in the class. It’s also beneficial for teachers and staff, because it is an upbeat, entertaining and enjoyable action activity.”

Results
 

“One member of my class, a young man of 17 years old, is usually very solitary individual, preferring to sit by himself and be alone, but when it’s time for the Boogie Mites session, he will dance round the room with happy and relaxed facial expressions.”

Recommendations
 

“I would personally recommend Boogie Mites to colleagues in this field because the songs are more grown up than nursery rhymes and, for my pupils, using themcombined with simple equipment to beat out rhythms makes it a lot more age appropriate.” Dee Marshall

“I think Boogie Mites is a wonderful tool for teachers who work within SEN, SLD and PMLD. It combines audio, visual and physical stimulation as well as catering for any type of sensory led pupil.” Peter Smith

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