Over the past 15 years, we have developed strong partnerships with SEN schools across Kent, working with over 2,250 children to raise aspirations, build confidence and promote the creative voices of children of all abilities.
Dance is essential for a full bodied learning experience. Through dance, we can: communicate ideas; engage in creative thinking; embody our learning and problem solving; express ourselves freely and easily. Dance unites all of us in a shared movement experience and elevates us through our performance of it. For physical, social, emotional and mental development, dance is key. This is particularly powerful in special education, as dance can offer a free flowing communication that does not require verbal or written language to be understood.
We work with children of all abilities and have recently developed our ‘Embodied Improvisation' method, specifically created with and for children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities. We have also developed a youth company called ConfiYouth, which takes place weekly at Wyvern school.
Through our education programme, we aim to:
Build a sustainable dance journey, where children in special education can experience dance at an early age, have opportunities to develop their skills throughout their school life and have progression routes which extend beyond education and into artistic careers.
Give all participants an experience of professional performance, including public performances in arts venues and workshops with representative artists such as ConfiCo.
Raise aspirations through exposure to high quality dance and giving participants practical experience of articulating their artistic voice through choreography and performance.
Continuously inform our methodology through practice as research; we work closely with the students and teachers - as well as speech and language, occupational, and play therapists - to ensure that our work evolves. We feed this back to schools through CPD.
Develop projects which are co-constructed and bespoke.
Design Mainstream-SEN ‘Link’ projects which give the opportunity for schools to come together and collaborate in dance work.
Our education work focuses primarily on deep engagement with partner schools. Through long-term engagement, we can share practice with a wide range of staff and students, allowing us to build a mutually beneficial relationship. This allows us to create high quality dance experiences, as well as building a sustainable model for schools to continue the work independently.
The Wyvern School, Ashford
Since 2015, Confidance have been working closely with staff at Wyvern School to develop new ways of working with children with a wide range of needs. Collaborating weekly with staff and students, facilitators work with ConfiYouth (Confidance’s Youth Company for students in years 12/13 &14), children on Sensory Pathways using the embodied improvisation method, and across the school to support the creative curriculum.
Wyvern has become a training hub for Confidance; as well as delivering CPD in-school, teachers and students from across the South East come to Wyvern to experience the Confidance partnership, including ATA students from Rose Bruford College.
"You can see from the children’s faces that they really enjoy the opportunity to be involved in dance from the youngest to the oldest students there is a sense of empowerment, participation and pride."
Gwyneth Tyrell, Beaconhill Academy
Whitfield Aspen School, Dover
Past projects with Whitfield Aspen School, an inclusive school which has both mainstream and SEN provisions, have focused on using dance to integrate students from across the school.
‘Listen Up! in 2015 saw students from six schools in the Samphire Learning Hub, including students with PMLD, working together towards a performance at The Gulbenkian; the project also aimed to develop the mainstream students’ ability to communicate through Touch Cue and Makaton, with the ambition that they go on to become inclusivity ambassadors in their own schools.