The Dance Department at Wath Comprehensive School is focused on ensuring that all students have the opportunity to explore their passion and talent for dance through curricular courses and extra-curricular activities.
Dance offers students the chance to explore their creative skills through choreography, performance and technique underpinned by theoretical practice. Other skills such as team work, communication skills and improving self-confidence are also developed throughout dance education. Furthermore, dance inspires and facilitates a student’s love for the performing arts and where necessary, prepares a student for further study at University or working within the Performing Arts industry.
Dance is offered in the curriculum at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 in addition to many extra-curricular activities and trips.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 GCSE Dance is offered to all students across two different courses; AQA GCSE Dance and BTEC Level 2 TECH Award in Performing Arts: Dance. Students study both courses over 3 years with between 2 or 3 lesson per week. Both courses are centred around Technique, Performance and Choreography.
AQA GCSE Dance is assessed through a practical exam and a theory exam. The practical exams include one piece of student choreography and three performance pieces, all performed at moderation under exam conditions. The theory paper analyses six professional dance works and also discusses choreographic, technical and performance skills drawing from a student’s own experiences.
TEC Tech Award in Performing Arts Dance is assessed through practical exam and controlled assessment coursework. The practical exam consists of solo performances and students creating and performing in a showcase based around a theme given by the exam board. The controlled assessment consists of three tasks; the application of skills and technical assessment, an improvement log and analysis of own and others work to bring about improvement. There is no theory exam paper for this qualification although student do complete timed written tasks under exam conditions.
At Key Stage 5 there are two options within the dance curriculum: BTEC National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts: Dance (equivalent to 1 A Level) and the BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Performing Arts: Dance (equivalent to 1.5 A levels).
Both courses are again centred around technique, performance and choreography but they broaden the horizons in both styles and types of dance construction and allow students to develop their dance education further in order to prepare for further study at university and/or work within the industry. Students complete 3 compulsory untis set bythe exam board and 4 additional units including Contemporary Dance Technique, Classical Ballet Technique, Choreographing Dance, Urban Dance and Healthy Dancer.
Students can choose from a large number of extra-curricular opportunities within Dance. There are weekly dance clubs available to all students including Y7 and Y8 Dance Club, Key Stage 4 Dance Company, Boys Only Breakdance Crew, Cheerleading, Ballet Club and Contemporary Technique. In addition to the regular clubs we create 3 whole school performances each year; Panto, Movement Evening and the End of Year Performance, which provide further dance and performing arts opportunities for students.
As Dance Educators we feel it is vital that all students have the opportunity to experience live dance in a variety of theatres and settings. Therefore students have the opportunity to attend Theatre Dance Trips, on average, every half term including a two day residential to London. Previous Theatre trips include Phoenix Dance Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Moscow City Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Jungle Book, Billy Elliot, Les Miserables and Wicked.
The Dance Department have a dedicated studio classroom with interactive whiteboard, walled mirrors and ballet bars. We have ICT equipment in the classroom but also have access to the faculty iPads, video cameras, ‘flip’ cameras, movie greenscreen technology and video editing equipment. We also have a large library of DVDs of Professional Works and specialist computer software for use in specific units. In addition we have use of the school hall for all rehearsals, performances and exams and also use the Gym in PE which has walled mirrors and a sprung floor.