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 nine 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. After any years being taught after school as an enrichment, in 2017 GCSE Dance was officially added to the options list as a timetabled subject.
GCSE Dance upholds an outstanding attainment figure, with over 80% of students achieving a higher-grade pass in 2019.
Assessment is split into 3 assessment areas; Choreography, Performance and Theory.
Performance – 30%
Teacher taught and performed to a camera for external examination.
- Two 30 second solo performances – a set dance by the exam board.
- One duet OR trio performance – any dance style.
Choreography – 30%
Pupil led – teacher support – performed to a camera for external examination
- One piece of choreography – any dance style – any number of dancers. (Pupils DO NOT have to dance their own choreography – they can use additional dancers from other year groups.)
Dance Appreciation – 40%
- 1hr 30 Written examination
- Hypothetical choreography – response to stimulus and creatively planning a dance on paper.
- Self-reflection – writing about the performance and choreography you have completed in class.
- Analysis of professional dance – study 6 pieces of professional dance, analysing and evaluating their meaning in order to answer long essay style questions.
• 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.
• Gifted and Talented Dance Club to extend and challenge ready for GCSE.
• ‘Fisher’s Got Talent’ – Open Auditions for annual talent contest
• Dance leader qualifications for KS4 students wishing to lead small groups of Y7 Dance.
• Liaison with Edgehill and Chester University Dance departments for widening aspirations.
• Performance at Dance festivals, competitions and community events.