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The Marlborough Science Academy


Dance Key Stage 4

Students who choose to study Dance at Key Stage 4 will follow the AQA GCSE Dance course.

The areas covered in the course include:

  • Component 1: Performance and choreography
  • Component 2: Dance appreciation

The course enables students to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of dance as choreographer, performer and critic through:

  • Applying and adapting a wide range of skills and techniques effectively in performing and choreographing dance, including the ability to improve
  • Creating dances for a range of purposes and in response to different stimuli
  • Developing the ability to analyse, evaluate and appreciate dance.

Students also appreciate the contribution of dance to their personal and social health, fitness and wellbeing and be aware of the range of opportunities and pathways available in dance.

Students will take part in numerous practical workshops, performances and classes and through these sessions will explore a variety of skills through the medium of contemporary dance and choreography. Students will:

  • Learn set phrases as a soloist working on technical skills
  • Develop the set phrases into a duet/trio performance and further enhance their performance skills
  • Develop their skills of dance analysis, evaluating different professional set works and drawing their own conclusions and opinions in a critical way

The course is assessed through:

  • Controlled Assessment

60% of the work on the course is controlled assessment and this is split into two components, Performance and Choreography. It is assessed in the following ways:


  • Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately 1 minute in duration)
  • Duet/trio performance (3 ½ minutes)
  • 30% of the final grade
  • 40 marks (15 marks for set phrases and 25 marks for duet/trio performance)


  • Solo or group choreography – a solo (2-2 ½ minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (3-3 ½ minutes)
  • 30% of the final grade
  • 40 marks
  • Examination

A 1 hour and 30 minute examination worth 40% of the final grade

Students who study Dance can go on to gain employment in the Performing Arts sector as a dancer or dance teacher, or progress on to further education or a vocational qualification.

Dance Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Dance at Key Stage 5 follow the AQA Dance A level course.

There are opportunities for candidates to take part in performance and choreography workshops from different dance companies/choreographers to support and enhance learning. A brand new dance/drama studio has recently been built which provides candidates with a sprung floor, mirrors and bars to practise technique. We have partnerships with Hertfordshire Schools that teach GCSE Dance and A Level Dance.

Course Content:

Students develop, demonstrate and articulate practical and theoretical knowledge, understanding and experience of:

  • Technical and performance skills, the process and art of choreography.
  • The interrelationship between the creation, the presentation and the viewing/appreciation of dance works. The development of dance placed within an artistic and cultural context.
  • Professional dance works and the significance of these, subject specific terminology and its use.

In Year 1, we focus on the development and performance of the student’s own choreography and performance within a solo and a duet/trio.

  • Students receive training on technique and the health and safety of the dancer
  • They critically engage with areas of study developing an understanding of dance through time and location, covering the genres of modern dance, ballet and jazz dance.

In Year 2, students develop skills and extend and apply the knowledge gained during Year 1.

  • Students are required to perform as a soloist in the style of a practitioner from a prescribed list.
  • Performance skills are developed and progressed from a duet/trio into a quartet.
  • Choreography will be developed with students choreographing a group dance in response to an externally set task.
  • Students will also critically engage with two set works and areas of study.


Dance A level is a linear course which means that students will sit all the exams and submit all non-exam assessment at the end of the course:

  • Non-Examination Assessment - Component 1: Performance and Choreography, will be marked by an external assessor who will come into school between March and May of Year 13 and is worth 50% of the final grade.  

Students will be assessed on:

  • A solo performance linked to a specific practioner within an area of study
  • Perfomance in a quartet
  • Group Choreography
  • Written Examination - Component 2: Critical Engagement, a 2 hour 30 minute examination worth 50% of the final grade. Students will be assess on their knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of two set works:
    • One compulsory set work within the compulsory area of study
    • One optional set work within the corresponding area of study, from a choice of four.

Students who take A level Dance can go on to study Higher National Diplomas or University Dance Degrees in either dance performance, dance science, dance choreography or dance studies/industry. It would also complement any CV for the performing arts/creative arts and is helpful in giving students confidence for future careers as dance teachers/instructors or choreographers.


Curriculum Implementation 

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Curriculum Learning Journey 

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