Curriculum rationale:

In Expressive Arts we aim to foster a love for the Arts by offering a broad and balanced experience across art, dance, drama and music.  We want to enthuse passion, creativity and a love for our subjects that you may not have previously experienced.

The KS3 curriculum is intended to adequately prepare students for and feed into AQA dance at KS4 but ultimately, should serve as an enjoyable, engaging and broad dance experience for all students. 

Our dance curriculum has been designed around the three core areas of dance; performance, choreography and appreciation. Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject. This curriculum recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and has been designed to inspire, challenge and motivate every student, no matter what their level of ability. Each areas of study is progressively built upon over time using a spaced-learning/interleaving approach. For example in year 7 they start learning about performance skills, moving onto learning about choreography in unit 2 and then in the third unit performance and choreography skills are combined. This structure is then applied in year 8 and 9 reviewing prior knowledge and introducing new skills and more challenge. We aim for all students to have developed functional performance skills by the end of KS3 that they can use beyond the classroom and continue to develop into adult life. 

Curriculum Design:

Aspects from the GCSE specification are incorporated into the KS3 curriculum in various topics e.g. choreographic skills, critical appreciation of professional set works and Duo/trio performance. Written elements are incorporated into each unit of work through summative quizzes, exam style questions and choreography programme notes to provide a springboard for the demands at GCSE. Assessment is regular and uses the Scholastic Steps model personalised to our curriculum allowing students to make rapid progress and take ownership of what is required from them to progress to the next step.

The curriculum is designed around securing deep understanding of key knowledge and developing academic literacy through exploratory talk and oracy. The 4Rs are at the core of the Dance curriculum and can be seen throughout curriculum planning and delivery.

Curriculum Plan:

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 dance is timetabled for one hour every other week. 


Year 7

Year 8

Term 1

Dance Through the Decades 

1920 - 2020 

Developing creative and performance skills 

Harry Potter Homecoming Dance 

Commercial Genre creating and performing narrative Dance and extending further knowledge of dance relationships 

Term 2

Matilda The Musical 

Looking at the genre of Musical Theatre and all it encompasses with particular focus of creative and expressive skills as well as features of production. 

Exploring Hip Hop Style 

Using the professional work Emancipation of Expressionism by Boy Blue Entertainment as a stimulus for choreography 


Term 3


Developing Dance Relationships 

Dancing with others in a duo/trio looking at the work of Christopher Bruce


The Contemporary Style and Performance Handbook  

Exploring the physical, expressive and mental skills for dance performance. Using the GCSE Set Phrase Breathe. 



GCSE Dance


Year 1

Year 2

Autumn 1st half term

Baseline technique incorporating the Set Phrases and mock paper 1

Introduction to anthology work 1


Set Phrases re-visited and rehearsed and final assessment

Introduce the Choreography exam paper

Research on chosen choreography stimulus

Autumn 2nd half term

Set Phrases mock assessment and mock paper 2

Introduction to anthology work 2

Creating and developing choreography

Explore in depth anthology works 1 and 2

Mock paper 5

Spring 1st half term


Introduction to choreography, exploring a past paper and programme note writing

Introduction to anthology work 3

Refining choreography and writing programme note

Learn Duo/Trio performance piece

Explore in depth anthology works 3 and 4

Spring 2nd half term


Choreography mock assessment and programme note

Introduction to anthology work 4

Choreography final assessment and programme note

Duo/Trio performance final assessment

Explore in depth anthology works 5 and 6

Summer 1st half term

Exploring group relationships and learning the performance piece and mock paper 3

Introduction to anthology work 5

Written paper preparation/revision

Mock paper 6

Written paper exam

Summer 2nd half term

Duo/Trio performance mock assessment and mock paper 4

Introduction to anthology work 6

Course completed



Curriculum Assessment:

Years 7 - 9 will have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and allow teachers to address misconceptions. They will also have an end of rotation practical and written assessment. These assessments allow teachers and students to identify areas of strengths and areas to improve.

Years 10 and 11 will also have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and various accumulative written tests every half term to check their understanding. These tests build each half term in length and complexity as they review previous topics as well as current ones. Alongside this they will be assessed in their practical work where they receive regular, personal verbal feedback and written feedback on areas of strengths and areas to improve.


Extra-curricular opportunities:

Dance offers a wide variety of opportunities outside of the classroom. We have visiting artists delivering professional practical workshops, we offer an after school dance club at key stage 3 which also leads to performance opportunities in our Summer Arts Festival and we support Moving Together in the Arts Award scheme. Alongside side this we plan in an annual theatre trip and we work collaboratively across the Expressive Arts Team to stage a whole school musical production.

Essential equipment:

All students must wear the college PE kit for their dance lessons.