Mrs. A Jackson – Teacher of Dance and Drama
Dance at St John Fisher is a thriving subject which has been implemented and developed over the past five years. The overall aim to introduce Dance as a curriculum subject is to give pupils a sense of Choreography, Performance and Evaluation skills which enhance their team work and creative thinking skills across the school.
The introduction of Dance to the curriculum has been a great success in encouraging not only our budding Dance pupils who may be very talented at Dance through outside school Dance classes, but also those who may not have had an opportunity to try expressive movement as an art form. We have found that the integration of Dance has helped some of our SEN pupils significantly improve their attitude to the arts and their general social skills. The combination of energy, discipline and communication skills required allows pupils who possibly struggle to control their classroom energy or struggle to communicate with others verbally an outlet for their expression.
At Key Stage 3 it is taught as part of a carousel system with Drama, allowing pupils to have a taste of the subject and use their body and movement in an expressive and creative way.
Y7 – Musical Theatre; expressive story dance.
Y8 – Physical Theatre; stylised movement episodes.
Y9 – Introduction to GCSE; Creating from Stimulus.
GCSE Dance was first introduced in school for examination in June 2012 and has since grown in strength of numbers and its results. Within the first year the uptake more than doubled. The course is currently taught as an extra-curricular option allowing for pupils to gain an additional GCSE and add to their wealth of experience and diverse knowledge across the curriculum. The course itself looks at a range of skills and allows pupils to express and communicate through the medium of Dance.
GCSE Dance pupils have gained 100% A*-C for the past two examination years; a tremendous achievement considering this is completed in the pupils own time, over a period of 10 months.
Assessment is split into four units covering 3 assessment areas; Choreography, Performance and Theory.
Unit 1 – 20% – 1hr terminal examination
Dance Appreciation – Study of two professional Dance Works – Matthew Bourne’s “The Nutcracker” and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s “Rosas Dance Rosas”
Unit 2 – 20% – Solo Performance
A videoed solo performance of “Find It” – a Dance set by the AQA Exam board.
Unit 3 – 20% – Group Performance
A live performance of a group dance based on Anne Teresa De Keersmaekers “Rosas Dance Rosas” .
Unit 4 – 40% – Choreography
Two pieces of original dance created under controlled assessment conditions in lesson time. One based on phrases of movement from Matthew Bourne’s “The Nutcracker”; the second, inspired by a stimulus piece of the students choosing.
• The annual school production includes a dance chorus along with auditions for stand out dance solos and dance chorus leaders.
• Performance Projects for the Christmas, Easter and Summer concerts and whole school mass.
• Trips to the theatre to watch a variety of live and professional performance.
• Workshops with Dance professionals.
• ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ – annual choreography competition
· Gifted and Talented Dance Club to extend and challenge ready for GCSE.
· ‘Fisher’s Got Talent’ – Open Auditions for annual talent contest