Dance is essential to promoting a healthy lifestyle, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential. Students have the opportunity to gain technical skill, composition and appreciation. Dance develops student’s communication and team skills. Students will develop a deep understanding of the past and recent cultures/people. Dancers are encouraged to be self-disciplined, independent learners who build strong leadership skills through the Key Stages. Dance encourages creativity and imagination, with a clear focus on refining work to aspire to high quality standards.

Key Stage 3:


How are students assessed at Key Stage 3?

Year 7 & 8 – Students will be tested weekly on spellings, terminology and understanding of the course content. Every half term they will have a formal practical assessment in groups and an individual evaluative written task.
Year 9 – Students will be tested verbally and through written work on a variety of spellings, terminology and course content every lesson. There is a formal written andpractical assessment every half term. They will also receive an end of year written examination.

Students will be given a minimum expected grade for GCSE and they will be assessed half-termly to establish whether they are on track, above, below or significantly below.
Students are assessed on the three strands performance, composition and appreciation. Students will have the opportunity to develop technical skill in a range of dance styles and will study a number of professional works. Students are given regular verbal feedback and when assessed (half-termly) are given targeted areas for improvement. Students sit a practical and written end of Key stage examination in the summer of Year 9. The development of skill in performance, composition and appreciation prepares students for GCSE Dance examination.


Due to the practical nature of the subject students will be expected to work in mixed ability groupings and become independent learners.

Dance Homework

In year 9 students will be issued homework once a fortnight. The homework is centeredaround achieving the Arts Award Bronze, building a portfolio, reviewing live performances, researching current artists, preparing to deliver a practical dance session and evaluation.

Key Stage 4:


How are students assessed at Key Stage 4?

Students will develop skills under the three strands of Performing, Composing and Appreciation. Students are assessed 60% Practical work 40% written paper. They will study in detail six professional dance works, which explore different genres. These can be viewed on the exam board website or on the school VLE. Students are regularly assessed on their performance, composition and written work. Following assessments students are given strengths and feedback on how to further improve their work. In year 11 students will complete two controlled assessments where, they are given set hours to create their final piece. Final assessment is by; examination, students’ performance work is recorded and sent away to an external examiner, moderation where an AQA representative comes into school to assess creative work and a final written paper.
In year 10 and 11 students will get homework every week. Some homework will form part of assessments and others will be compulsory group rehearsals and practical skill based tasks.

Enrichment/Extension Activities

• School Musical
• Arts Award
• Dance Leader Award
• School Winter/Spring performances in the main hall.
• London overnight theatre experience.
• Performance at local theatres.
• Careers day at Derby Theatre.
• Theatre visits Derby, Birmingham, Leicester and London.
• West End Musicals.
• Dance at local stately home Kedleston Hall
• Dance workshops with professional companies and artists.
• Links with local University providers.
• Watch Dance performances in a variety of styles
• Performance group KS3 and KS4
• Choreography Club
• Tap Dance
• Boys Dance Group
• Workshops with professional dance companies
• Theatre visits
• Leadership opportunities with local primary schools

Careers information/next step information

After GCSE Dance…
BTEC, A-Levels, Undergraduate Degrees, Master Degrees, PHD’S.
Examples of Dance Careers
Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Arts Administrator, Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, Rehearsal Director, Dance Therapist, Education, Dance Photographer, Costume Designer, Dance Critic

Contact Information

Hannah Davies
Learning Director for Expressive and Performing Arts
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Rachael Morton Riley
Deputy Learning Director for Expressive and Performing Arts
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