Dance Curriculum Intent Statement

“It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.”

Dance at Tiverton High School is a subject which engages and inspires students to develop a love of dance and their own talents as a dancer. Our aim is to develop a critical engagement with dance, to increase students’ self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. The dance curriculum has been broken in to eight ‘Key Constructs’ which are organised in to three areas of ‘performance’, ‘choreography’ and ‘knowledge’. These key constructs allow students to perform, choreograph and critically appreciate the work of professional dance practitioners, as well as their own. Students are provided with the opportunity to perform in a variety of different styles, in order to develop their versatility as a performer. The dance curriculum offers a rich challenging experience for all students, both in and outside of the classroom. Our expectations are high for all our students, whilst ensuring it’s accessible to all.

Through their dance education, students will develop many transferable skills including confidence, leadership, resilience and the ability to self-manage and collaborate effectively with their peers. We aim to equip our students to succeed in a career within the Performing Arts industry or with skills that can be applied to any career path.

In Year 7 dance is delivered within Physical Education and covers the National Curriculum requirements for KS3. Students receive one block of dance where dance is introduced as an aesthetic activity, with students developing skills and applying decisions within the art form. Students evaluate and improve their own and other performances. These are the key constructs from physical education. The focus is for students to become more competent, confident and expert in their techniques.

The Year 9 Curriculum continues to be delivered through physical education. This is an optional pathway for students and provides a transition from KS3 to GCSE dance. Students experience a practical focused curriculum which builds upon prior learning and develops their physical and technical skills to perform dance.

In Year 10 Dance moves from Physical Education and forms part of the Performing Arts faculty where students study for AQA GCSE Dance. The curriculum covers 6 anthology set works, dance key knowledge and an experience of both performing and choreographing. The set works provide a focus for both theory and practical work, alongside the development of techniques needed to succeed in ‘Component one’ of the exam.

During year 11 students develop 2 set phrases, a duet/trio performance and a solo or group choreography. This work is interleaved with the set works taught in year 10 to ensure that knowledge is not forgotten. Practical curriculum time is devoted to students preparing to complete their ‘Component 1’ practical exam in Performance and Choreography.

As well as the opportunity to gain a formal qualification, Dance also provides a wide range of physical and mental health benefits for students. The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise, but the participation in an art form, which is routed in technique, and provides an opportunity for a creative outlet. Dance encourages the bravery in students to take creative risks through devising imaginative choreography.
Beyond the curriculum there are many opportunities for our students to gain a greater ability in technique within many different dance styles by attending the many dance schools within the community.

  1. Perform dance techniques safely (To perform actions safely with personal care, respect for others and preparation and recovery from dancing)
  2. Performance skills (Be able to know and apply all 4 areas – physical, expressive, technical and mental. Understanding how to train them to improve).
  3. Perform with accuracy, fluency and artistry reflecting the choreographic intention (Display a high level of ability when performing technical, physical and expressive skills to make clear the choreographic intention behind the piece)
  4. Create dance using clear choreographic content (choreographic content such as – technical skills, structuring device and form, choreographic devices).
  5. Create dance which communicates a clear choreographic intention (selecting and applying choreographic content in order to communicate meaning or mood).
  6. Demonstrate and apply dance specific knowledge (Dance knowledge means understanding, demonstrating and applying dance component knowledge)
  7. Appraising skills (To critically appreciate through describing, analysing, interpreting, evaluating and reflecting).
  8. Make evaluative and critical judgements (evaluate the outcome, suggesting the impact of the choreographic process and the choice of production features on the overall piece).

Progress within key constructs above is achieved through the learner acquiring knowledge, understanding and skills in being able to manipulate and exploit Component Knowledge (shown below):

Dance Component knowledge

Safe practice in performance; safe execution’ appropriate dancewear, including: footwear, hairstyle, absence of jewellery
Safe practice in process; warming up, cooling down, nutrition, hydration
Physical skills; posture, alignment, balance, coordination, control, flexibility, mobility, strength, stamina, extension, isolation
Technical skills; action content, dynamic content, spatial content, relationship content, timing content, rhythmic content, movement in a stylistically accurate way
Mental skills; movement memory, commitment, concentration, confidence, systematic repetition, mental rehearsal, rehearsal discipline, planning of rehearsal, response to feedback, capacity to improve.
Expressive skills; projection, focus, spatial awareness, facial expression, phrasing, musicality, sensitivity to other dancers, communication of choreographic intent
Action content; travel, turn, elevation, gesture, stillness, use of different body parts, floor work, transfer of weight.
Dynamic content; fast/slow, sudden/sustained, acceleration/deceleration, strong/light, direct/indirect, flowing/abrupt
Spatial content; pathways, levels, directions, size of movement, patterns, spatial design
Relationship content; lead and follow, mirroring, action and reaction, accumulation, complement and contrast, counterpoint, contact, formations
Choreographic process; researching, improvising, generating, selecting, developing, structuring, refining and synthesising
Choreographic devices; motif and development, repetition, contrast, highlights, researching, climax, manipulation of number, unison, canon
Structure devices and form; binary, ternary, rondo, narrative, episodic, beginning/middle/end, unity, logical sequence, transitions
Features of production; staging/set, lighting, properties, costume, dancers, aural settings, dance for camera
Performance environments; proscenium arch, end stage, site-sensitive, in-the-round.
Choreographic content; movement content, structuring devices and form, choreographic devices
Choreographic intent; mood(s), meaning(s), idea(s), theme(s), style/style fusion(s).

Please download documents using the links below.

Ian Wright
Subject Leader
Joel Cordon
Head of Year 11
Nicola Lane
Assistant Head
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