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‘How?’ a dance project at Pond Meadow

Staff and pupils from Pond Meadow worked with a dance practitioner to develop skills and confidence in creative approaches to learning. The project included an emphasis on CPD for staff, as well as informal dance sharings within the school and at a local secondary school.

Who was involved

  • 14-19 year old students, including pupils from the severe end of the autistic spectrum and pupils with very complex needs from Pond Meadow School, Surrey, with their teachers and other support staff
  • Creative partner: Natasha Mansfield-Osborne

Enquiry

Can the engagement of pupils and staff become more innovative and fulfilling by learning from people who live and work creatively?

Objectives

  • To develop a growing sense of emotional well being amongst its’ pupils
  • To increase creative confidence amongst the staff
  • To explore new modes of non-verbal communication
  • To find new ways for staff and students to work together creatively
  • To provide opportunities for discussion and reflection on experiences

Outcomes  

The school interviewed a range of practitioners from a variety of artistic backgrounds.  The selection of a dance practitioner brought new skills to the school. Under Natasha’s guidance staff were able to enhance their non-verbal communication skills and work with the pupils in a practical way.

Young people were encouraged to share ideas visually verbally and physically. An opportunity to perform at the local college was a great experience for the students.

One of the main benefits that could be experienced by all the students was their ability to work with less verbal indicators and more non-verbal triggers. Some of the students found that dance gave them a sense of emotional well being that they might not experience in other classes/activities. Dance was found to be a very positive and therapeutic activity for many of the students.

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I liked listening and watching.

Student

I liked being with a partner.

Student

I loved it. We were doing things like what famous people do. Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. I love that.

Student