Head of Department: Mrs C Ward

Year 9 (KS3)

Dance is taught in an 8 week block to all Year 9 students within their PE timetable. Currently, the girls groups learn a set dance and create their own choreography to complete the performance piece. The boys groups have a one hour breakdancing workshop which is then developed into parkour / gymnastics style movement later in the course.

There are plenty of opportunities for students to experience a range of dance styles with Year 9 Dance Club (Monday after school) and Street / Breakdancing Club (on Friday lunchtimes). We regularly adapt sessions to the ability and interests of each group.


Year 10 & 11 (KS4)

Level and Exam Board:


Aims of the Course:

  • Allow students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject
  • Recognise the role of dance in young peoples’ lives and allow students to study a range of dance styles and style fusions
  • Allow students to develop their ability to critically appraise professional dance works and provide a springboard for engaging in practical tasks

Course Outline:

GCSE Dance is taught in three strands: Performance, Choreography and Appreciation. The Performance strand incorporates dancing as a soloist and performing as part of a group. The material for performance is set by the exam board and arranged into dances by the classroom teacher. Students will choreograph either a solo or group dance and have a choice of 5 stimuli on which to base their choreography. Students will study 6 professional dance works, specified by the exam board in preparation for the written paper. Students will also be required to reflect on their own performance and choreography experience.

Find out more...

Assessment Summary:

Component 1: Performance & Choreography (60%) Non Exam Assessment (NEA); internally marked and externally moderated (80 marks).

  • Performance (30%) of the set phrases in a solo (approximately 1 minute duration) and performance in a duo/trio (maximum of 5 minutes duration)
  • Choreography (30%) which may be a solo (two to two and a half minutes duration) or a group piece (three to three and a half minutes duration)

Component 2: Appreciation (40%) Assessed by an external exam; 1hr 30 written paper (80 marks).

Department Facilities

  • The Dance Studio and sound equipment will be available to students two lunchtimes per week for Years 10 and 11 but will also be accessible for after school rehearsals by arrangement.
  • Students are encouraged to attend lunchtime sessions to support the learning of class material or after school sessions if students require 1:1 support/catch up.
  • Recordings of the Set Works and interviews with the choreographers are available to students as required, and Recordings of the Set Phrases will also be accessible via the department.

Trips/ Visits:

  • The Dance Department aim to provide each student with an opportunity to see at least one live performance that relates to their course, normally at a cost of approximately £20.
  • We also host workshops run by outside agencies for students to experience different techniques and movement styles which aid them in performance and choreography.

Career Relevance:

AQA has bridged the gap between GCSE, AS and A-level, giving students the skills and experience to better prepare them for the demands of AS and A-level if they choose to progress with their study. The new GCSE in Dance is broad enough to inspire interest is many different career options such as lighting design, choreography, dance therapy, physiotherapy, and stage management, to name a few. GCSE Dance can also eventually lead to positions such as a dance historian, dance critic, community project manager, teacher and many more.

Student Successes:

We retain 25-30% of the Year 11 cohort to study Dance at A-Level. A number of students each year continue their Dance studies at local colleges and universities such as University of Surrey, Guildford. Currently an ex-student is performing for a company called Chrysalis, London and another is completing a BA (hons) Degree this year at ALRA – The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.

Sixth Form

A Level Dance