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Billy Elliot

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A rich multimedia resource exploring the story of Billy Elliot – with a story synopsis, audio and text extract, background notes and details of the London stage show.

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Shared learning and teaching

Before using the resource

  • Introduce the concept of a stereotype, focusing on gender roles in work and hobbies. Establish opinions/preconceptions held in the class. Make statements such as ‘Girls shouldn’t play rugby/football’, ‘It’s important for men to show that they are strong’. Support with pictures. Invite children to stand along an imaginary line with Agree at one end/Disagree at the other and to justify positions taken. Emphasise good listening skills. Invite children to shift position as a result of what they hear, and explain why.
  • Draw up a list of hobbies/activities, categorising them as Boys’, Girls’ or Both. Discuss why traditionally held stereotypes exist and why people would want to challenge them.
  • List dance forms – ballroom, ballet, street, breakdancing, tap, tribal, etc. In groups, discuss whether all forms are equal, or whether some are more suitable for boys/girls. Ask spokespeople to feed back. Emphasise that there are no simple right/wrong opinions but opinions should be respected and can change.
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