Dance is a valuable part of a student’s curriculum. Through years 7-13 they can gain more knowledge and understanding of the professional world of Performing Arts and extend their understanding of dance technique. The physical activity promotes healthy lifestyle and well-being, and many important life skills are acquired in study including creative thinking, determination, confidence and self-esteem. We also create opportunities for students to develop dances with different subject matters linking current affairs. Dance follows the national curriculum at Key Stage 3.
In Year 7 Students are given an introduction to Dance and the popular styles within the subject. Styles include Street, Jazz, lyrical/contemporary and Irish. References to different cultures enable them to understand why different countries have a specific and unique dance style. In Years 8 and 9, contemporary dance is studied more in depth and the use of contact work is introduced. Musical Theatre, a Christmas piece, popular dance and creative choreography units of work are also present in both years. Technique is consistent throughout all Key Stage 3 lessons as it is the most important factor in becoming a successful performer.
AQA Topics covered Choreography, Performance and Technique, Written paper and Set Dance
Assessment: Carried out by external examination for the written paper and Set Dance units. Both Choreography and Performance and Technique units are moderated in March.
The theory aspect of the course includes critical appreciation of professional works, and your own work. The practical aspect of the course includes learning two set phrasing, choreographing a duet/trio and choreographing a dance based on a question from the exam board.
AQA Topics covered: Performance and Technique, Choreography, Professional work and Contextual areas of study.
Assessment: Year 12 students have an internal practical and theory in preparation for Year 13. Year 13 work is externally examined, and a 2.5 hour written paper taken in June of Year 13.
There are four units of work we look at these are, Singin’ in the Rain, American Jazz Dance, Rambert Dance Company and Rooster. These are for the written exam. For the practical exam you create a solo based on a practitioner from the works, learn a quartet and then choreography a dance based on a question from the exam board.
Dance provides many extra-curricular activities which seek to foster imagination and creativity, promoting personal, social, spiritual, moral and cultural development.
There are 2 extra-curricular clubs for Keys Stage 3 which include many different styles of dance such as street, tap and contemporary. Joining these extra-curricular activities gives you the opportunity to take part in dance shows and musicals within school. These allow you to improve your performance skills. Various high-profile performances are produced throughout the year, in order for students to gain as much large audience performance exposure as possible. Venues have included Silverstone for ‘Formula one’, Twickenham for ‘Aviva Premiership Final’ and at The Millennium Stadium for ‘Opening Ceremony of the Rugby League World Cup.’
All students have an opportunity to take part in these activities and we encourage them to perform in at least one. Another part of the extra-curricular opportunities is the workshops we run for GCSE and A Level students. These include workshops from universities that run dance courses.