Approach to Teaching
Dance is a practical based subject that is offered as part of the curriculum at KS3, with all pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 taking Dance lessons as part of their weekly timetable, as well as an option subject for pupils at KS4. Dance lessons at St Edmunds are practical and engaging, and are delivered in an environment where all pupils achieve, while feeling comfortable and developing in confidence. Dance lessons aim to provide students with a dance education that will not only assist them with further training at KS4 but provide students with key skills that will help them throughout their life outside of the classroom.
Students learn a variety of topics that assist them in key social communication skills, working within small and larger groups, as well as improving personal, learning and thinking skills throughout. This is achieved through creating an environment where students are able to creatively produce and perform work and in turn be able to appreciate the work of their peers.
Key Stage 3 (Year 7-9)
At KS3, lessons focus on teaching pupils the basic skills and techniques required for success at KS4, covering 3 key areas; choreography, performance and evaluation in Dance. This is taught through the study of basic body actions, choreographic devices, and looking at a variety of different stimuli in order to create movement from. Students will study themes such as the Olympics, video games, Musicals, and the use of props in dance. Throughout each unit students will be introduced to devices that they can apply to their choreography that will develop their movement further. This will allow students to experiment with; changes of levels, group formations and positions, pathways, unison and canon, dynamics and speeds, and relationships in dance through contact work and basic lifts.
In addition, students will also study Dance styles from around the world such as India, Spain, and the popular Free Running movement that has developed in France.
Key Stage 4 (Year 10-11)
Edexcel BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts; Dance.
At KS4 students study the Edexcel BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts; Dance, equivalent to 1 GCSE grade 9-4. This course comprises of three components, all of which have a strongly weighted practical element, with the addition of an element of written coursework that underpins all practical work completed. It aims to develop physical and performance skills through the process of rehearsal and performance, which offers a great opportunity for progression. Students also study a variety of different dance styles, professional dance works, and analyse the different roles on offer within the Performing Arts.
Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts
Develop understanding of the performing arts by examining professional dance work and the processes used to create performance.
Watch live and recorded performance material.
Identify how choreographers/performers communicate ideas to their audience. HOW do they choreograph? HOW do they perform?
Explore and develop practical ideas for a performance.
Consider the production elements e.g. set, costume, lighting and sound. Develop practical dance skills and techniques through the reproduction of professional dance repertoire.
Component 2: Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts
Assessed through attendance at and contribution to workshops and rehearsals, as well as your unit portfolio, and evaluation coursework.
Being a positive part of a company of dancers.
Take part in technique classes and workshops (high level of attendance necessary).
Demonstrate understanding of health and safety and personal management skills.
Develop physical skills and interpretive skills within set dance phrases and repertoire.
Study and perform in two different dance styles.
Respond to teacher instruction and feedback, and absorb/apply feedback and corrections.
Self-evaluation and identify areas for improvement setting targets, tracking own progress. Work as part of a group to create a workshop performance in response to a given brief and stimulus.
Component 3: Performing to a Brief
Assessed through continuous workshops and technique classes, 2x 2 minute performances in 2 different dance styles, as well as your unit portfolio and evaluation coursework.
Exam paper and brief/stimulus issued.
Completion of an ideas log.
Completion of a skills log.
Work and choreography in groups of 3-7 dancers.
Create a 10-15min performance based on a specific theme stated in the exam paper, performed to a target audience.
Apply physical and interpretive skills.
Communicate your group’s creative intentions.
Assessed by external examiner based 4 pieces of evidence: 1 – An ideas log, 2 – A skills log, 3 – A digital recording of a performance to an audience, 4 – An evaluation report.