Dance is a new subject to the Performing Arts department at Westfield, but it covers a wide range of styles and techniques that provide students with experience in both theory and practical.
Students are able to learn techniques taught by teachers, as well as choreograph their own dance pieces. They develop their understanding of professional works and how to appreciate their unique features.
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Key Stage 3
Years 7 & 8
This is the first year dance will be taught at KS3 here at Westfield. Therefore, all students will be learning the basics before they progress next year. Performing Arts is taught as a rotation, so all Year 7 & 8 students will spend a term in music, dance and drama.
Practically, we begin the term learning basic dance moves and liking them to emotions and feelings. In theory lessons, students will learn about health and safety in the dance studio as well as key terminology such as expressive skills, performance skills and technical skills. Students will also focus on street dance as their main style next year, learning some break dancing choreography and freezes.
Not only will students develop their skills in dance, but also develop their social skills and life skills when working as part of a group in both theory and practical lessons.
Key Stage 4
KS4 is where the students have chosen their GCSE options and can take GCSE Dance. The exam board we work with is AQA.
- Practical: 60%
- Written Exam: 40%
Component 1: Practical
In Component 1, students are assessed on both performance and their own choreography, each section is 30% of their overall GCSE grade. Students perform 2-set phrases as a solo and these are choreographed by the exam board.
The second part of their performance mark is a duet or trio performance that is choreographed by their class teacher. These two sections amount to 30% of their GCSE.
The choreography section, the last 30% of their practical grade, is where students independently choreograph a solo or group performance based on a stimulus provided by the exam board. All practical work is internally marked and then externally moderated.
Component 2: Written
This section of students' Dance GCSE is a 1-hour 30-minutes written exam that equates to 40% of their GCSE grade. It is 80 marks and it looks at students' knowledge and understanding of choreographic approaches and performing skills, their critical appreciation of their own work and critical appreciation of professional works.
Students spend most of their theory lessons in Year 10 analysing how the costume, lightly, set, props and aural setting of 6 different professional works link to the choreographer's intention for the piece. Within these 6 pieces, the dance styles are all different - they focus on street dance, contemporary, jazz, ballet and Latin American. Students also get to explore these styles practically to really get to grips with understanding the pieces.
Key Stage 5
At present, we do not have a dance A-Level course. However, it is planned for the future.
Exams & Assessment
Examination board: AQA
- Practical: 60%
- Written: 40%
Enrichment & Extracurricular
Currently, we have a Years 7 & 8 Dance Club running on a Tuesday lunchtime that is taught by Year 8 students who are partaking in the Level 1 Arts Award.
Year 9+ Dance Club runs on a Thursday lunchtime and is taught by the class teacher and Sixth Form students. Sixth Form students can use this as an enrichment activity.
Students who partake in dance extracurricular clubs get the opportunity to perform at local community events and primary schools. As well as this, KS4 students get to go to see shows at local theatres like Watford Palace Theatre.