OUR AIMS – KEY STAGE 3 DANCE
The dance department aims to engage and inspire young people to achieve their best in and out of the dance studio. Though this is a mostly practical subject, a strong link is created between theory and studio practice requiring students to utilise skills learned across the school. Students study the origins of dance and safe dance practice which they apply to their own development as a dancer. Our aim is to develop the potential for creative self-expression through imaginative movement. The study of dance contributes to students’ aesthetic and social development. It promotes fitness and wellbeing and supports learning across a range of subjects. As performers, students develop confidence, self-esteem, self- and body-awareness, teamwork and sensitivity to others.
“Dance is vital, an activity both exhilarating and liberating to watch or do. The instinct to dance is fundamentally joyous……it can change your life.”
Richard Alston CBE – Internationally renowned choreographer
Students will study two topics of dance in year 7: Dance from around the world and Musical Theatre. These topics introduce students to dance where they learn how to work in groups and how to choreograph. They experiment with various different movement styles and learn basic skills such as keeping rhythm and coordination. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the basic dance actions and choreographic devices. They will perform in front of their peers to build their confidence.
Students will study two styles of dance in year 8: Street Dance and the Charleston. Students will learn about how and where the different dance styles originated. Students have the opportunity to work as a whole class as well as working in small groups to promote team work and co-operation between one another. Students will incorporate various choreographic devices such as formations, dynamics, travelling patterns and contact work into their performance pieces. Students will work on the use of their focus and control when performing and study what makes a successful performance and dance artist. Students will continue to develop their confidence by performing in front of their peers and giving/receiving constructive feedback.
Students will study three styles of dance in year 9: West Side Story/Stage Combat, Rock and Roll and Independent Project Piece. Students will continue to study the performance and choreographic elements of the syllabus through these topics. Students will look at how the dancer’s body moves and the ways in which movement can be structured to create meaningful pieces of dance. Dance is physical and requires the determination to improve and succeed; students are able to be imaginative and creative and most of all enjoy dancing. Throughout lessons, students will explore a variety of aspects of dance, developing their movement vocabulary and knowledge/understanding of different styles. Students will critically analyse their own work and the work of others using dance terminology. Students will study choreographers that link to their stimulus’ helping them develop as artists. The modules also allow students to learn techniques directly linked to the AQA GCSE Dance course we offer.
Each student is baseline assessed early in the autumn term and all students are given a target to aim for by the time they have completed year 9. In line with this overarching target, we set interim targets at the end of year 8 to make sure that each student is doing whatever possible to reach his/her potential.
The dance department sets and marks two formal assessments per term. Homework tasks, rehearsals, out of school exams and research of other tasks also contribute to the assessments made in line with the levels of attainment reached.
We offer an exciting and comprehensive range of extended dance and drama activities which allow students of all abilities to develop existing or new skills, rehearse and create performance pieces. Students are able to use any of our studios to rehearse at lunchtimes or after school. Dance club runs weekly alongside rehearsals for our annual Musical. In addition to these, we aim to enter various competitions and produce a Christmas Show every year, as well as organising mini performances for our students to showcase their work throughout the year in assemblies, open evenings etc.
Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning in order to develop their independence. Parental co-operation however is valued. Homework in key stage 3 is set to consolidate practical work being undertaken in lessons and to allow students to continue to develop their own dance interests, applying what they have learned to a range of different styles and genres. Some homework links up with art and design or music.
Within all lessons, practical work is challenging yet differentiated for individual need. More able students are given challenge tasks to enable them to access higher level work in dance. In addition to the range of extracurricular activities on offer, we provide curriculum enrichment activities such as various dance workshops and trips to see live performances to stretch and challenge the more able.
Support is available within lessons through the Special Educational Needs department. Performing arts teachers liaise regularly with support assistants, ensuring a high standard of learning is accessible for all students.
In the classroom, students support one another through: demonstrating and modelling work, encouraging each other to perform creating a safe and stimulating environment, peer assessment and being responsible for the learning environment. Students are also encouraged to take a choreographer role in dance to increase their independence.