Dance uses movement symbolically as a fundamental form of human expression. It is both empowering and powerful as a form of non-verbal communication. The intrinsic value of dance is the development of creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities. Dance is both physical and expressive – this is what makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities.

Richard Alston CBE


The study of dance as an art form contributes to pupils’ aesthetic and social development. As a physical activity it promotes fitness and well-being. Dance also supports learning across a range of subjects.

As performers, pupils develop confidence and self-esteem. They develop self and body awareness as well as sensitivity to others and team-working skills. Effective performance requires physical effort and the determination to succeed and improve.

As choreographers, pupils employ the skills of problem-solving and creativity. Effective choreography requires imagination and the ability to combine a number of elements. In directing others, pupils develop their interpersonal and communication skills.

As critics, pupils make informed decisions about the dances they see. They articulate their knowledge, opinions and preferences. Viewing professional dances fulfils pupils’ cultural entitlement and broadens their artistic experience.


Through studying a range of different Dance styles pupils are able to develop their knowledge of a range of actions, space, dynamics and relationships as well as cross curricular links with English, History, Science, Physical Education and Geography.

At the start of each new module pupils will be taught a selection of repertoire exploring different movement vocabulary that will help support and enable their choreographic process and motif development.  They will spend much of their time on the practical activities of composing and refining their own creative ideas as part of a small group.  Pupils will learn to present their work to an audience and to accept and use verbal feedback as a means of improving their work.  At the end of each module pupils will be recorded performing their classwork on video, which they may use as the basis for a discussion based evaluation of their own knowledge and progress.

GCSE Dance

Year 10

GCSE Dance is for all; we pride ourselves on giving all pupils the opportunity to shine and to fulfil their potential, whether it be performing, choreographing or analysing dance.

GCSE Dance comprises Performing, Choreographing and Appreciating. Pupils are encouraged to work in a professional manner; performing to their best ability, creating original and well thought out choreography and producing detailed analyses of professional dance works.

Year 10 Dance pupils are encouraged to be as active in co-curricular projects as possible as this will give them the vital performance opportunities needed to make them confident young performers.

Year 11

GCSE Dance in Year 11 is all about coursework and long-term independent project work. Pupils are assessed for performance in two pieces of dance: a duo/group and a highly technical solo designated by the exam board (AQA). Pupils will also be expected to create their own full choreographic work for a length of time stated by the exam board. This will require organisation, exceptional time management and creative intelligence. There is also a written exam paper in May that will test their critical appreciation for professional dance.


Students will demonstrate their ability to draw together their knowledge, skills and understanding to provide original practical responses and provide short and extended written responses. The course requires students to develop a broad and deep understanding of the connections between the knowledge, understanding and skills. Students are required to demonstrate their understanding of the relationships between theory and practice and the ways in which dancers and choreographers make and implement artistic decisions.

The A Level Dance course encourages students to develop:

  • their knowledge, understanding and experience of performance, choreography and appreciation of dance as an art form. This will be achieved through exploring and making connections between theory and practice, critically engaging in the analysis of their own work and that of professional repertoire, leading to a holistic approach to the study of the subject. 
  • the necessary skills as a performer through the areas of technical training and performance development.
  • the necessary skills as a choreographer through further experimentation and application of choreographic and structuring devices.
  • the necessary skills to engage in critical enquiry about the art form through the areas of written communication, reflection, analysis and evaluation.
  • the necessary awareness of safe practice.
  • their artistic and historical knowledge of dance in the wider cultural context.

Course breakdown:

Component 1 – Performance and Choreography 

Assessment method: Live examiner  80 marks, 50% of A Level

Component 1(a) – Performance

  • Students will perform a solo dance of between two to three minutes.
  • Students will perform another dance as a group between three to four minutes.

Component 1(b) – Choreography

  • Each student will choreograph a dance based on a stimulus given by the exam board. 
  • The dance will be between three and four minutes. Students will be asked to create a group dance (3 -5 dancers) of between three and four minutes.

Component 2 – Critical engagement 

Assessment method: 2.5 hour written exam, 100 marks,  50% of A Level 

A Level Dance requires students to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of two set works and their corresponding areas of study. The areas of study cover the genres of modern dance, ballet and jazz dance, offering a breadth of study. 

Critical engagement with areas of study will enable students to develop and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of dance through time and location relating to features of genre, including: style, technique, influences, key practitioners, professional repertoire and communication of dance ideas.


Co-Curricular and Professional Links

Co-curricular projects are at the heart of the Dance Department, ranging from weekly dance clubs for KS3, to Hampshire School’s Dance Festival, to performance evenings to the general public. Co-curricular dance is for all. Pupils and students are encouraged to participate and to sometimes lead projects. All Co-curricular projects lead to performance opportunities, either in school or in the wider community.

Links with local colleges, theatres, universities and dance companies allow students the opportunity to experience careers, performance and education opportunities in the wider world of Dance. We have strong links with the University of Winchester and The University of Chichester and attend taster days and practical workshops with D@win Dance Company and 3Fall Dance Company.

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