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I stamped and an island appeared: Let's Move at Chapeltown Community Nursery

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

"When adult musicians and dancers join children in their play, together we co-create something that neither could do alone."

In 2020 our nursery was working on a 'fresh start' after the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our families, past and present - alongside other community members - made many suggestions of ways that we could support people in our locality.... and an idea that kept coming up was to work more closely with Rachel Dean and Harehills Music and Movement.

Following meeting staff and parents and exploring ways to work together we found a common passion in reducing the impact that the pandemic (including lockdowns and related restrictions) was having on local children. We came up with playful ways to promote connection and communication, growth and development and were successful in an application for funding from the National Lottery Awards for All to commit to a 9 - month programme of activities.

Here you can find a video by Phil Moody giving a taster of what happened at our nursery in our Let's Move programme from Autumn 2021 to Summer 2022. The film shows local parent and dancer Rachel Dean with Emma Coleman (Cello), Henry McPherson (Bass Recorder, Hulusi), Thom McKeon, Ben Skinner and the children of Chapeltown Community Nursery.

We were able to bring in a wide range of additional musicians, dancers and project artists into our programme of sessions (Inari Hulkkonen, Zoe Katsilerou, Eilon Morris, Georgina Buchcanan, Chemaine Cooke, Bryony Pritchard, Aine Reynolds) alongside children and families from the wider area, our families and staff.

Although we were focused on the benefits for children, our staff and the artists we work with have gained so much. We have thought about new possibilities for how we approach our work and we are hoping to work with The National Lottery again to take our partnership with Harehills Movement and Music further. In the meantime please check out their local groups:

Harehills Music and Movement offer term-time parent-run groups at Harehills Lane Baptist Church Hall:

Tuesday Singing Group for 0-4 year olds 10 to 11am

Wednesday Movement and Story Group for 0-4 year olds 10 to 11.30am and

Thursday Move and Play Group for 4-8 year olds 3.45 to 4.45pm.

A donation of £2.50 is requested. Learn more at

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