Department Information

We follow the AQA GCSE Specification in Dance.

Year 7:

This unit of work is designed to introduce pupils to dance by learning body awareness and the fundamental skills required to perform. Pupils will learn set technical exercises that develop posture, alignment, strength and flexibility.

In this unit of work the pupil’s apply the aforementioned skills and reproduce teacher taught movement material and short phrases. The pupil’s will also be required to develop motifs using their own ideas in small groups.

Finally, the pupil’s will work towards two short performances using a range of stimuli. They will understand how to use simple choreographic devices and structures. This will develop the expressive, creative and critical skills required to perform successfully.

Year 8:

This unit of work is designed to develop the pupil’s skills in composition, by allowing them to explore a number of different sources such as; text, images, historical events and music. Furthermore, the pupil’s will develop their knowledge and vocabulary specifically relating to choreography.

In this unit the pupil’s will explore the work of a professional choreographer. This involves understanding the choreographic style and themes that relate to the dance work. The pupil’s will have the opportunity to learn motifs from the work and develop these with their own ideas. This enables the pupil’s to build dance appreciation skills.

The final unit allows pupil’s to focus on a specific genre. This could include; Jazz, Street, Contemporary, Modern dance styles. This helps to build versatility in stylistic qualities and an understanding of the different skills involved.

Year 9:

Dance in Year 9 is offered as a pre-option subject. This means that students have the opportunity to experience the AQA GCSE dance qualification with a view to selecting it as an option for GCSE in year 10 or year 11.

As in previous years, the students continue to study all three aspects of the dance curriculum, performance, composition and appreciation.

Students will develop and utilise their physical and performance skills when learning and performing ‘Shift’, ‘Breath’, ‘Flux’ and ‘Scoop’, the four set phrases from the GCSE specification.

The composition element of the course will be delivered through the development of a group dance, using action content from the set phrases. This will be a joint project with both teacher and student taking responsibility for the creation of the piece. Students are assessed not only on their performance skills but also their ability to dance within a group

Students will also have the opportunity to study two professional dance pieces as part of the appreciation element of the course. In order for the students to develop and improve their analytical skills they will watch Rambert Dance’s ‘A Linha Curva’ and Christopher Bruce’s ‘Shadows’. Students will be tested through GCSE exam style questions in order to fully prepare themselves for the examination that will take place in the following year.

Year 10 or 11 GCSE (One Year Course):

As in the pre-option, the students continue to deepen their knowledge and understanding of all three aspects of the dance curriculum, performance, composition and appreciation.

Component One Performance and Choreography
In this unit of work the students are required to demonstrate the set phrases through a solo performance. Additionally, the pupils will learn and perform a teacher taught duet or trio. Furthermore, the students are required to respond to a set stimulus in order to explore movement possibilities and choreograph a solo or a group dance.

Component Two Dance Appreciation

Appreciation requires the students to answer questions that are related to their own work and the choreographic process. Moreover, the pupils will study and analyse 6 short professional dance works. For this, the students will learn about each choreographer, the movement content and design elements.

The pupils will also be given the opportunity to see live performances and perform their own work at regional platforms.

Departmental Staff

Stefani Doherty – [email protected]

Jessica Richardson – Teacher Of Dance


The school competes in several National Dance Competitions every year with after school dance clubs running every evening in preparation for these competitions.  The gifted and talented dance students are invited to participate in U.Dance – FRESH and The Great Big Dance Off National School Competition, both of which have regional heats and national finals at professional venues across the country. We also compete in Rock Challenge, an exciting opportunity for all students from across the school.  The students are involved in the creation of an eight-minute, performing arts extravaganza with fantastic costume, makeup and set design, which is then taken to professional venues to compete against other secondary schools from across the country.

Support Your Child – Useful links and advice

AQA GCSE Dance: Student’s Book Paperback – Available from Amazon

The Rodillian Academy