The Dance department is a stimulating and creative environment. Through dance lessons, students develop their creativity, communication, team-work and problem solving skills. The study of dance also helps students to build up their confidence and self-esteem to excel in their future lives. Throughout Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 a range of dance styles, practitioners and professional works are explored and appreciated. To support the practical elements of the curriculum, students research, analyse and evaluate aspects of dance through written booklets, projects, coursework and homework. Our vision is that every student will discover her individual talents, whilst developing technical skills and a creative mind-set.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3, students receive 1 lesson a week of 50 minutes. These lessons are practically based with written homework and tasks linked to learning. In those lessons, students explore 3 components: Performance, Choreography and Appreciation of their own and professional dance works.
In Year 7, students explore a variety of topics such as: Creating Movement, Contemporary Dance Technique, Musical Theatre, Professional Work ‘Artificial Things’, Choreographing from Stimulus.
In Year 8, students start studying dance practitioners by analysing their professional works. The units include: the professional Work ‘Emancipation of Expressionism’ and ‘A Linha Curva’, Gumboot Dance, Capoeira, Choreographing from Stimulus. An important element of the dance lessons is written work as students have to research, analyse, and evaluate dance works and artists of practical work and development of technical skills. They are also assessed on their performance and choreographic skills.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4, students undertake the BTEC Technical Award in Performing Arts (Dance pathway). Throughout the course, students complete 3 core components which aim to strengthen their skills, knowledge and performance discipline. Component 1 is internally assessed with 36 guided learning hours where students develop an understanding of the performing arts through a study of a variety of practitioners. This leads to the creation of a performance. Assessment for this component includes: log books, process sheets, evaluative assessment, practitioner research and application of skills.
Component 2 is internally assessed with 36 guided learning hours where students study a repertoire and analyse its style, analysis of skills development, development, rehearsal and performance of repertoire. This leads to the creation of a performance. Assessment for this component includes: log books, process sheets, evaluative assessment, practitioner research and application of skills.
For Component 3, students are externally assessed with an external assessment brief set by Pearson which encompasses knowledge gained on the course overall. Students’ assessment is based on the performance students develop, as well as the written work that evidences their process and rehearsals.
Key Stage 5
In Key Stage 5, students undertake the BTEC Extended Certificate Award in Performing Arts. Throughout the course, students complete 3 core units and 1 optional unit which will build on their prior learning and allow them to develop their skillset, practical understanding and theoretical ability. Unit 1 is externally assessed with a set assessment brief by Pearson which instructs students to study 4 key practitioners, their work and their theories and how these can be applied to a social, political, historical or cultural context. Students are assessed on practitioner research, analysis and selection of appropriate research material, in a written 3-hour examination.
Unit 2 is internally assessed where students explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing skills and techniques in at least two performance styles of a specific repertoire. Assessment is based on log books, process sheets, evaluative assessment, practitioner research and application of skills, performance of repertoire and evaluation.
In Unit 3, students explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus. Assessment is based on log books, process sheets, evaluative assessment, response to a stimulus and development of ideas, personal management and collaborative skills, performance and evaluation.