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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School


The Department

Curriculum Leader: Mrs R Wheatley


What will be studied?

In Key Stage 3, dance is taught within the PE curriculum.  In Years 7, 8 and 9, all students have the opportunity to learn the skills requires to perform, evaluate and refine dance performance and choreography.

Year 7

Dancers will learn some basic dance skills and then study a professional work which focuses on Characterisation.

Year 8

Dancers will learn about dance relationships in terms of pattern and shape of small and large groups. Again the work will be linked to professional dance works, such as Bird Song by the Siobhan Davies Dance Company.

Year 9

Dancers in preparation for option choices will study one of the GCSE dance set professional works: A Linha Curva, Izik Galili. Students will learn technique and analysis skills that would be vital for studying GCSE Dance.


Exam Board: AQA

Specification No: 8236

What support is needed?

Students can be supported through the study of dance by encouraging participation, exam classes with outside agencies are best but not necessarily vital. Dance should be fun and is also excellent exercise.

How will they be assessed?

  • Tests at the end of each module
  • Through Unit Assessment projects
  • End of year examination

What will my child study?

  • Students will study a range of Dance styles
  • They will develop physical, technical and expressive skills
  • They will develop skill, knowledge and understanding of choreography
  • They will develop a critical appreciation of Dance
  • Theatre visits to see live dance performance will form part of the learning process

We are very excited to be able to offer GCSE Dance at STAGS. This is a great opportunity for students to use skills which they may have been developing outside of school for years to gain a valuable qualification. However, it is not necessary for students to dance outside school as long as they are prepared to work hard when they get to the lessons. Although other styles of dance will be studied, the course uses a modern contemporary style of dance as its basis.

Learning Methods

The vast majority of the content of this course will be delivered in a practical setting, although there is theoretical work relating to the appreciation of professional dance works over the 2 years.

The students work on performance tasks:

  • performing to an invited audience
  • choreographic tasks: where they take an idea and choreograph their own solo or group dance
  • technical tasks: where they learn a piece of dance and work to improve aspects of the dance

These tasks may be done individually or in small groups in order to develop the skills needed to create the assessed pieces of work nearer the end of the course.

How is the course assessed?

Component 1 : Performance and Choreography

  • Performance - 30% of GCSE
  • Set Phrases through a solo performance =15marks
  • Duet/Trio performance (3 ½ mins duration) = 25 marks
  • Choreography - 30% of GCSE
  • SOLO or group choreography – solo (2-2 ½ mins) Group dance (3-3 ½ mins)= 40 marks

Total Component 1 = 60%, Non- exam assessment marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Component 2 : Dance Appreciation

  • Written paper - 40% of the total GCSE (1 ½ hour) = 80 marks
  • Students answer questions on 8 professional works.
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works
  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills

What websites would you recommend?

BBC Bitesize and AQA for past papers

What equipment should my child have?

School PE kit, dance wear, or other appropriate leotard and leggings in plain black. 

Get in touch

HR Department

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134