Head of Department: Mrs S Hawkins-Brown
Faculty Staff: Mrs S Hawkins-Brown, Mrs Richards
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 at The New Sixth

As a Specialist School for the Performing Arts, our primary aim in the Dance Department is the promotion of the human person. We believe that each student is uniquely gifted and intelligent, with the dignity of a child of God.  Our purpose as a department is to unfold and nurture the gifts and intelligence of each student, enabling them to flourish as rounded individuals.

In studying Dance, students gain a variety of practical and creative thinking skills which will help to prepare them for life-long learning. Students are challenged to constantly integrate the doing, the thinking, and the feeling, and to grow in confidence and self-esteem.

Dance helps students to have a good attitude to health and fitness, and encourages them to take personal responsibility for their own learning.

We are committed to making our lessons relevant, interesting and imbued with enthusiasm in order to inspire students and strive for excellence. The quality of teaching and learning in Dance will develop students’ sense of personal fulfilment and help them to achieve a positive sense of self.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

The KS3 curriculum in Dance aims to develop performance and choreographic skills by studying a broad range of stimuli, including visual, cultural and kinaesthetic. Every student in Key Stage 3 studies dance once a fortnight as part of the whole school curriculum, under the umbrella of the Performing Arts Faculty.

Lessons are skills based and approached with fun and innovation. They are designed to develop students’ choreographic, artistic, physical and performance skills as well as build personal skills such as confidence and the ability work in a team.

Year 7

Terms 1 & 2
Topic: Five Basic Dance Actions: An introduction to choreography

Terms 3 & 4
Topic: Bollywood: A study of a specific dance genre

Terms 5 & 6
Topic: Swansong: A study of a professional dance work

Year 8

Terms 1 & 2
Topic: Breakdance: A study of a specific dance genre

Terms 3 & 4
Topic: Dancing with Props

Terms 5 & 6
Topic: Dance and Science

Year 9

Terms 1 & 2
Topic: Using Art as a Stimulus for choreography

Terms 3 & 4
Topic: Narrative Dance: telling a story through dance

Terms 5 & 6
Topic: Performing Arts Project

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course Code: GCSE Dance AQA 8236
Exam Board Specification:

Dance is a rewarding option, though not an easy one. It requires commitment and dedication, as well as an open and creative mind. GCSE Dance is not just about learning and copying routines, but the study of dance as a whole art form. Dance is a distinct art form, which has its own history, body of knowledge, aesthetic values, cultural contexts, and artistic products.

Component 1: Performance and Choreography (60%)


  • 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). The stimulus for this is set by AQA and changes from year to year.

Component 2: Dance Appreciation (40%)

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works: Dance Anthology of six professional works

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level Dance AQA 7237
Exam Board Specification:

Students will be dedicated to learning more about all aspects of dance. They will have chances to choreograph, analyse and perform dances. It is advantageous to have previous experience of dance such as GCSE or BTEC Performing Arts. Extra-curricular experience of dance, particularly Contemporary Dance, will also benefit students.

This is an exciting course which will deepen and extend knowledge of all aspects of dance study. It is suitable for students who have a thriving enthusiasm for the subject and/or who may be interested in a career involving dance.

A Level Dance: 

Component 1: Performance and Choreography
  • Solo performance linked to a specific practitioner within an area of study
  • Performance in a quartet
  • Group choreography
  • Practical exam
  • 50% of A-level

Component 2: Critical Engagement
  • Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of a compulsory set work and its location within a corresponding area of study.
  • Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of one optional set work and its location within a corresponding area of study.
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 50% of A-level

For more information on A Level Dance, click here.

Enrichment and Links:

The Dance Department is an integral part of the increasingly cross-collaborative nature of the Performing Arts Faculty, including recent projects with Science, Music, Drama and Dance students. These culminate in large-scale productions performed in venues across Bath. Core dance groups, chosen by audition, perform in all school productions.

Opportunities for students to perform also include assemblies, annual dance showcases, and Dance Umbrella and we have thriving dance clubs.

Dance is a valuable part of the outreach to the community, having led projects recently with The Goldies, Threeways School and our partner primary schools.

Dance News