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All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Dance 1

“Dance is a diverse discipline. It is more than movement and technique. It's inspiring, it’s enjoyable, it’s motivating; to an individual, a group, a class and a school.” (Alston, 2009)

The Dance department at Harris Boys’ Academy East Dulwich is committed to providing a challenging and engaging dance education that strives and supports students to achieve their personal best and encourages students to create, question and learn through Dance.

Dance is a powerful and empowering form of non-verbal communication and it is both physical and expressive, which makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities.

Dance develops creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities. The Dance department at HBAED is committed to providing a challenging and engaging dance education that strives and supports students to achieve their personal best and encourages students to create, question and learn through Dance.

For further information please contact  Ms Carla Price

Curriculum summary

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3, dance lessons are designed to engage students and begin to build specialist dance vocabulary and skills. Students are encouraged to choreograph, perform and appreciate their own and professional dance works.

In dance lessons there is a focus on students taking ownership of their learning and lessons take a collaborative approach between staff and students to reach high quality outcomes. Examples of units of work studied include:

  • Mission Impossible
  • Protest Dance
  • Magnetism
  • Technologic (types of stimuli)
  • The Car Man
  • Performance Piece

Key Stage 4 - AQA GCSE Dance

AQA have produced a specification for GCSE Dance, details of which are listed below. The specification is 60% practical and 40% theoretical. 

Component 1: Performance and choreography 60%

What's assessed


 • Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration) • Duet/trio performance (three and a half 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.


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks (15 marks for set phrases and 25 marks for duet/trio performance)


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks

Total component 60%

Non-exam assessment (NEA) marked by the centre and moderated by AQA

Component 2: Dance appreciation 40%

What's assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional work

How it's assessed

  • 40% of GCSE
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

80 marks


Based on students' own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance anthology.

Download a programme of study overview for Dance for 2017-18.

Key Stage 4 - BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts

Students in the BTEC award are assessed over three different components.

Component 1: Exploring the performing arts

Component 2: Developing skills and techniques in the performing arts

Component 3: Performing to a brief

Components 1 and 2 are internally assessed and students engage in a variety of practical and theoretical workshops exploring practitioners' creative processes and their professional works across a range of styles. Students evidence their progress and achievement through research log books, class discussions, workshops, filmed performance and classes.

Component 3 is externally assessed. In the January of each exam certification year the exam board will set a theme upon which students will base a performance piece. The whole process is evidenced - from initial ideas, development of material to rehearsal and the final performance. Students also engage in a three hour written assessment where they will evaluate the development process, performance outcome  and overall success of the performance.

Students will complete Component 1 and 2 over the course of Year 10 and Component 3 in Year 11. 


All three key stages have assessments every half-term. These assessments will always contain a formal performance. In Key Stage 3 students are assessed on their performance, choreographic and appreciation skills. In Key Stage 4, some assessments will focus on one particular area of the GCSE, for example performance, while others will cover all three strands.

Download an Assessment without Levels at Key Stage 3 document.

Further opportunities/enrichment

The Dance department recognises the importance of providing students with extra opportunities to experience and engage with different styles of dance in a range of different settings. Below are examples of our links within the department and also typical enrichment opportunities.

  • Trips to see professional dance performances
  • Workshops with professional dance companies
  • Workshops with other schools
  • Opportunities to access the CAT programme
  • Link with The Royal Ballet - workshop and performance opportunities
  • RAD PGCE Programme - students and department developing teachers of the future
  • Dance sharings- working with local and other schools on joint boys dance projects
  • Performance opportunities – in the academy and outside

Download our Dance - Extension and Development Timetable 2017.

How to revise and prepare for exams

As we head into a more challenging and demanding curriculum, assessment and examination system it is important that students in all year groups in the Academy understand how to prepare efficiently and successfully for exams.
All students sit externally set tests every half term which they must prepare for fully. These are cumulative tests which means they test more knowledge and skills as the year progresses. The end of year exam will test knowledge and skills across the whole year period, for all years groups. We believe in teaching our students how to prepare for exams as they are an important life skill.

GCSE revision support and intervention for Year 11 Dance begins in September and runs until the Summer examinations. See our exam preparation page for information about helpful revision guides and timetables, as well as details of additional interventions for each subject.

Revision resources


Dance develops creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities - transferable skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers. Listed below are some examples of specific careers in dance.

  • Professional choreographer
  • Professional dancer
  • Rehearsal director
  • Dance teacher- private dance sector
  • Dance teacher- within primary/secondary education
  • Dance lecturer
  • Dance education officer - community/professional company