St Michael's
We believe that a three way partnership between the school, its students and their parents is vital to success


A downloadable version of this information can be found here.


‘Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body’

Martha Graham

The dance curriculum is a combination of choreography, performance and critical appreciation taught both practically and theoretically. Students at St Michael’s have the opportunity to perform in annual showcases, school and community events as well as participate professional workshops.

What skills will pupils develop?

Self-confidence, communication, collaboration, teamwork, problem-solving, performance skills, expression, delegation, leadership, listening, speaking, creative thinking, dedication, commitment, self-discipline, adaptability, independent thinking, time management, using one's initiative, co-operation, co-ordination, strength, stamina and flexibility.

What will help pupils to learn?

  • Meeting deadlines
  • Completing practical and theory homework set
  • Commitment and dedication to rehearsals and technique classes
  • Watching dance pieces to increase creativity and knowledge
  • Correct dance uniform to enable freedom of movement
  • Attending after-school classes
  • Attending professional masterclass and dance trips
  • Independent research
  • Investigating the AQA GCSE dance website

KS3 Course Structure

Dance at St Michael’s is currently taught during core PE time.

Students will have the opportunity to work with dance specialists for five weeks per year.  Our KS3 schemes of work are created in line with the AQA GCSE dance specification.

Year 7

Students study modern theatre technique and develop choreography using choreographic devices.  Students learn a range of vocabulary steps and their meanings. They also study the importance of warming up and cooling down and the effects.

Year 8

Students study contemporary technique and devise their own motifs in groups and independently.  Students learn performance skills, the categories and definitions.

Year 9

Students study release technique contemporary in preparation for GCSE dance. They work on devising choreography using a range of stimuli. Students learn the categories of stimuli and explore choreography ideas from this.

KS3 Assessment

Students are assessed practically throughout the five-week period.  During their final double lesson of dance, students will complete a practical performance made up of technical sequences and choreography.  Critical appreciation skills are assessed through key facts tests and homework tasks.

KS4 Course Structure

Year 10

Performance -

  • Contemporary Technique
  • Performance Skills
  • Genres of Dance

Set phrases – 15%

Choreography -

  • Exploring Stimuli
  • Developing Choreography
  • Structure and Form
  • Choreographic Process

Critical Appreciation -

  • 4 Set Works
  • Warm up/Cool Down
  • Performance Skills

Year 11

Performance –

  • Duet / Trio Dance 15%

Choreography –

  • Solo/Group Dance 30%

Critical Appreciation –

  • Choreographic process
  • Analysing own work
  • 2 Set works
  • Revision

KS4 Assessment

Students are informally assessed throughout the course. Formal assessments in exam conditions take place at the end of each unit.  Students are given feedback on how to make progress every lesson in both theory and practical lessons.

Component 1


  • Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration).
  • Duet/trio performance (minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration).


  • Solo or group choreography – a solo (two to two and a half minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (three to three and a half minutes).

How it's assessed?

Internally marked and externally moderated Performance

  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks Choreography

 • 30% of GCSE

 • 40 marks

Total component 60%

Component 2

Dance Appreciation

 • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills.

 • Critical appreciation of own work.

 • Critical appreciation of professional works.

How it's assessed?

 • 40% of GCSE

 • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

 • 80 marks


Ms N Hayes – GCSE Dance Teacher 

Opportunities out of lessons

  • After school extracurricular timetable
  • Annual dance shows, school and community performances.
  • Professional workshops take place once a term with industry specialists
  • Dance Ambassador programme for Aspire students
  • Pineapple Studios trips
  • Move it Convention Trips
  • Can You Dance Trips
  • Theatre Trips
  • Holiday workshops

Career Pathways in this subject

BTEC Dance / Performing Arts

A level Dance / Performing Arts

Performing Arts School

University – BA Hons in a range of dance courses

  • Professional dancer
  • Choreographer
  • Dance critic
  • Dance teacher/lecturer
  • Dance examiner
  • Dance photographer
  • Costume designer
  • Physical therapist
  • Dance medicine specialist
  • Dance journalist
  • Dance filmmaker
  • Dance project co-ordinator/dance producer