Content is structured as an introduction to and exploration of dance. The aim of each term is to introduce, build and develop knowledge of the wider world of dance. Learning is focused on the simple use of terminology and exploring familiar movements that are initially modelled by the teacher.

Assessment is termly for Year 7 and consistent in the following way:

  • Students are filmed performing
  • Written teacher feedback
  • Students watch their own performance
  • Written self-reflection and peer assessment in provided booklet
  • Reading/research homework

Term One Warm Up

Simple warm up routines are modelled allowing the student to become familiar and secure in their knowledge of safe practice and creating a warm up routine. They are then given the opportunity to explore and structure their own work in groups for performance. Simple terminology is introduced, and leaderships skills are encouraged when leading a dance warm up to the class. Mental skills in dance are introduced.

Term Two Introduce The Five Actions.

Workshop based lessons exploring the five actions with teacher modelling; students are initially encouraged to reproduce movements demonstrated by the teacher. Exploration of a set task allows students to build on their prior knowledge of structuring movements and choreographing in groups to create a short routine based upon The Boy in the Striped Pajamas influenced by the Northern Ballets production. Terminology and mental skills are reinforced.

Term Three Introduce Professional Work – Performance. Emancipation of Expressionism

This term aims to widen students’ appreciation of dance by viewing professional dance and allowing students to experience a new style of dance: Hip Hop and Commercial dance. Teacher models the style-Tutting and students reproduce action, space and dynamics in group work. The professional work Emancipation of Expressionism is viewed, and key movements are taught to the class. Terminology is retrieved, and further key words are introduced and reinforced in both written and verbal feedback. Students are encouraged to describe action and reflect on improvements.


Content continues the pathway of linking learning throughout KS3 dance. Fundamental skills and knowledge are utilised in the topics so that students can clearly recognise the links in their learning through repetition of terminology, task-based routines and the same assessment format that students are now familiar with. Expectations have been established in Year 7 and developing ideas are gaining momentum as learner confidence becomes secure. Each term draws upon knowledge gained in Year 7 but also challenges and develops thinking.

Term One Dance Styles

Students are given the opportunity to experience different dance styles by both seeing and doing. Ballet, Jazz and Bollywood styles are explored. Teacher modelling sets the climate and scaffolds learning to begin with. Students are then challenged by tasks to encourage the creation of their own work in the chosen style, promoting independent learning and creative skills. Knowledge of making and structuring movement into a dance routine is recalled from Year 7. Choreographic devices are introduced to build a foundation for choreographic skills.

Term Two Stimulus

Teacher set stimuli are introduced to encourage students to explore and create action, space and dynamics using art from Kandinsky, poems and historical events.  Animal Farm is looked at as an option for creating themes in dance choreography. Cross curricular links with Drama, Art and English are incorporated to widen the scope and create breadth of learning. Previous knowledge from term one is utilised as students once again reproduce actions and structure movement into longer and more complicated routines. Choreographic devices are encouraged and reinforced within the practical group work.

Term Three Reintroduce a Professional Work A Linha Curva

Exploring another style of dance to widen knowledge. Students explore Samba and Capoiera to create duets. They observe the professional dance A linha Curva and take inspiration from the energy and movements performed. Teacher models the style and students reproduce action, space and dynamics to create a group performance piece. Movement memory is developed continually as students learn action, space and dynamics and recall this in performance. The culture of Brazilian dance is investigated, and specific dance terminology continues to be a focus leading into Year 9. Expressive skills are developed as confidence builds in performance.

Assessment is termly for Year 8 and consistent in the following way:

  • Students are filmed performing
  • Written teacher feedback
  • Students watch their own performance
  • Written self-reflection and peer assessment in provided booklet
  • Reading/research homework


Year 9 continues to develop the students dance performance ability, confidence in choreography and breadth of knowledge in a wide range of professional works.

Dance terminology continues to build so that students can discuss their work and that of peers. Exploration is still a motivational force in Year 9  as students work in groups recalling skills from previous learning. A balance of exploration and excitement are clearly weighed out with a methodical approach to ensure that the students are ready to meet the expectations of the GCSE fundamentals. Students are inspired and knowledge continues to grow.

Term One-Cunningham Chance Dance

Recall Key Terminology from Year 7 and 8. Introduce key terminology from expressive, technical, physical and mental skills. Workshop based lessons introduce an exploration of choreographer Merce Cunningham and Chance technique. Students work in groups using a dice to create action and dynamics, they then structure the action into a routine to be assessed in a videoed performance.

Term Two Swansong Duets /Trio

Students are introduced to choreographer Christopher Bruce and his choreographic style. Ghost Dances is viewed and discussed briefly to give depth of knowledge and appreciation of his work. Amnesty International is discussed to allow for a greater understanding of the themes of the professional work Swansong. Practical work focuses initially on duets but is developed for assessment into trio work. Key terminology continues to be a focus, encouraging students to recall dance vocabulary to build their knowledge.

Term Three Choreography Stimuli-The Lord Of the Flies

Choreography skills are developed and reinforced in this term. Students look at The Lord of the Flies to investigate themes from the book. There is a focus on the New Adventures production and movement inspiration is taken from this. Students can select a theme that inspires them and recall skills using stimulus from Year 8 to create an assessment piece. Choreography skills are reinforced, and students can showcase their skills in their final performance.

Assessment is termly for Year 9 and consistent in the following way:

  • Students are filmed performing
  • Written teacher feedback
  • Students watch their own performance
  • Written self-reflection and peer assessment in provided booklet
  • Continuous verbal/video feedback for practical work
  • Reading/research homework

Year 10 GCSE Dance Expertise

Course Aims: The course seeks to develop:

  • Understanding and appreciation of a number of dance styles
  • Knowledge, skills and understanding needed to perform, choreograph and appreciate dance
  • Life skills and attributes including decision making, critical and creative thinking and the ability to co-operate with others

Assessment Objectives: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Dance Appreciation
  • Technical and Expressive skills
  • Performance skills
  • Choreography
  • Evaluating and Improving Performance/Choreography
  • Assessment: The course consists of 60% practical units in performance and choreography.
  • Performance Students are required to perform a set phrase in a solo and the development of the phrase in a duet or trio, which is worth 30% of their final grade.
  • Choreography Students must choreograph a solo or group dance which is worth 30%.
  • Dance appreciation A theory unit which is worth 40%. Students critically appreciate their own work as well as professional pieces. Knowledge and understanding of the choreographic processes and performing skills will be assessed.

Year 10 Dance will encourage the students to continue their learning journey by gaining further knowledge, building enthusiasm and an appreciation for the subject. Self-reflection and identifying new skills in performance and choreography will continue to be a focus.

Regular Techniques classes will develop physical abilities and improve movement memory. Theory lessons are weekly and students begin to explore and analyse six professional works on the AQA anthology list.

The GCSE Dance Anthology

The GCSE Dance Anthology underpins learning across each of the three core areas.

The anthology’s mix of artistic, cultural and aesthetically diverse works, has been selected to broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of the wide range of dance choreographed and performed in the United Kingdom today. The anthology consists of six short professional dance works each between 12 and 30 minutes duration. There is a filmed interview with the choreographer or company associate, which explores the choreographic approach of the choreographer and the defining characteristics of each work. Students must study all six works.

Together the six works include:

  • different dance styles and fusions of style
  • a selection of established and emerging choreographers
  • different numbers and combinations of dancers
  • a variety of choreographic approaches
  • different choreographic structures
  • a variety of types of performance environment
  • a variety of aural settings
  • inclusive dance
  • dance influenced by other cultures.

All students taking GCSE dance are expected to:

  • Work in small groups in a positive and collaborative manner
  • Take part in all the practical activities, tasks and explorative workshops with interest and enthusiasm
  • Try out new dance techniques and strategies enabling students to stretch and challenge themselves
  • Attend all lessons with a positive attitude and a willingness to participate
  • Perform solo/group work in front of class peers in a positive and safe working environment
  • Have the correct kit for every lesson
  • Meet all homework deadlines and arrange extra-curricular rehearsals when required

Assessments in year 10 cover practical work in the following:

  • Set solo mocks-Breathe and Flux
  • Choreography
  • Group performance duets/trio
  • Dance Appreciation written paper

Year 11 GCSE Dance Expertise

Year 11 consolidates the learning in Year 10 as the students develop their expertise in this subject. The focus is on encouraging the students to build on their skills and demonstrate a high level of knowledge that they can apply to both practical tasks and theoretical analysis. There is a continued practical focus on ensuring student choreography skills are continuing to develop, are creative and meet the criteria for exam. Performance in a group is rehearsed to allow for a confident demonstration of expressive and technical skills.

The students’ dance appreciation and analytical ability is fostered as they gain further insight into the six professional dance works (anthology) that continue to be investigated both practically and theoretically. Study of these works is designed to inspire students to develop their own performance, creative and choreographic practice, at the same time as the knowledge, understanding and analytical skills required for critical appreciation.

Assessments in Year 11 cover practical work in the following components:

Component One

Set Solo Mocks Breathe and Flux 15%

Students must learn how to perform as a solo dancer for approximately one minute.

Assessment of the solo performance will focus on the student’s ability to demonstrate application of:

  • physical skills and attributes safely during performance
  • technical skills accurately and safely during performance
  • expressive skills
  • mental skills and attributes during performance.

Choreography 25%

Students must learn how to respond creatively to an externally set stimulus, to choreograph their own complete dance. The dance created must be either:

  • a solo dance of a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of two and a half minutes


  • a group dance of a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of three and a half minutes for two to five dancers.


  • includes a chosen aural setting
  • can be in any style or style fusion(s) (as long as it meets the assessment criteria)
  • communicates their own chosen choreographic intention.

The student is not required to perform in their choreographed dance but may do so if they wish.

Group performance duets/trio 20%

Students must learn how to perform as part of a duet/trio dance. Each student must perform for a minimum of three minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration.

The duet/trio dance may be choreographed by teacher(s), dance artist(s) or by collaboration between teacher(s) and/or dance artist(s) and students.

The duet/trio performance must have a clearly identified choreographic intent, which relates to mood(s), meaning(s), idea(s), theme(s) and/or style/style fusion(s) or a combination of these.

Component Two

Dance Appreciation written paper 40%

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works