Dance Curriculum

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Dance Curriculum

Dance at St Ives School

Dance is thriving at St Ives and we are currently enhancing our existing facilities – including a new moveable dance floor – to accommodate the growing number of students opting to study this subject.

The current Year 10s and Year 11s study the AQA Dance syllabus; Year 9 students are preparing to study the updated specification, due to be taught for the first time in September 2016.

We continually assess our dance work using peer, teacher and video feedback. This gives students the ability to watch their and others’ work critically and recognise areas for improvement through constructive teacher and peer feedback.

We use a variety of stimuli for choreographic work so that students can excel in their choreographic tasks for GCSE with many students achieving an A* for these tasks.

We aim to teach at the highest possible level and our dance teacher is also a ballet teacher, so technical performing skills are inherent in all lessons, and many students achieve A* in their performance units.

Dance is part of the Faculty of English and the Performing Arts, which means we often work collaboratively with the English, Music and Drama Departments. This creates performance opportunities for our dancers to experience working in a multi-disciplinary way, as well as also enabling the reinforcement of students’ knowledge in these other subjects.


The Dance Curriculum

Year 11 Curriculum:


The students study a range of stimuli, in preparation for Unit 4: Choreography Task B. They then select a stimulus and prepare to devise and perform their final choreography. In the Spring Term, students will revisit and polish their solo compositions: Choreography Task A, in preparation for their practical exam.



In the Autumn Term, we work on improvements and refinements to the set dances, focusing on performance skills. We also begin Unit 3: Performance in a duo or group, in which the students perform and contribute to a performance piece to devised by the teacher/dance artist.



We study our second professional dance work in the Autumn Term, in preparation for Unit 1: Written Examination.


In the Spring Term, we begin to compare and contrast both the professional works, our choreographic processes, and the experience of being a student of dance, for the final written examination in the summer term.


Year 10 Curriculum


In the Autumn Term, students are introduced to the two set dances, which they will learn and then decide which they will perform. We also study the necessary physical and expressive skills needed to perform these dances safely and effectively.



In the Spring Term, the students are given three motifs- short movement phrases – taken from a professional dance work, and develop these into 1-1:30 minute solo for Unit 4: Task A: Solo Composition.



We study our first professional dance work and learn try necessary analytical and critical appreciation skills, in preparation for the Unit 1: Written Examination.


Year 9 Curriculum

In the Autumn Term, the students are introduced to contemporary dance and we study the necessary techniques required for the performance work, on which they will be examined. We also study the basics elements of dance: action, space, dynamics and relationships.

In the Spring Term, we begin to investigate choreography and use a range of creative tasks to choreograph solos, duos, trios and group dances, using taught choreographic devices, form and structure.

In the Summer Term, we begin to study some of the six professional dance works, in preparation for the analytical skills needed for the written examination in year 11.