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Plumstead Manor




Department profile

Dance is one of the great art forms of the world, and a thriving career option in the 21st century.  Our Dance department has three well-qualified members of staff, trained in a wide range of dance styles. We teach to the highest standard and achieve consistently strong results in all Key Stages.

We are also proud of the contribution that dance makes to students' transferable skills, providing structured and active opportunities to increase awareness, discipline and creative methods of accessing literacy, numeracy and organisational skills. Data is used to aid planning and delivery of high quality lessons and schemes of work, and also to provide consistent feedback, helping students to improve and become aware and independent learners. The department works with a range of resources, including established links with professional dancers, companies, theatres, and higher education institutions. We have successfully sent many Year 13 students on to B.A. degree courses in Dance; they often return to Plumstead Manor to share their experience of university life with our current 6th formers. Curriculum studies are complimented and expanded on through a wide variety of extra-curricular Dance Clubs, and trips to see professional dance in the theatre.


As part of our school's KS2 to KS3 transition we have regular links with local primary schools, teaching dance workshops and projects with several of our cluster group either at the primary school venue, or here in Plumstead Manor’s Dance Studio. We are also a lively and popular part of Year 7 induction days.


KS3 Curriculum

Dance is unique, and is one of the most physical of all the art forms. Not only does dance allow students to be creative and artistic, it allows students the opportunity to express themselves using the body as a medium. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have an hour Dance lesson every week, which is additional to their PE lessons, and formal assessments are regular.

 Objectives of course:

Students are to be open minded to creative tasks and ensure they are well organised for all lessons. Students will be encouraged to take creative risks, experimenting with their own ideas and embrace the different styles of dance explored in the lessons. Students will work within a positive learning environment and students are expected to support each other, working effectively on their own and as part of a team. The dance department will encourage students to use their initiative and work independently. There are opportunities for students to take part in performances, making a positive contribution to the life of the school.

Course content:

Year 7:

Term one: The Healthy Performer. This area of study will introduce students to the importance of developing their technical abilities and overall physical abilities, not just as dancers but benefiting future lifelong health. Students will develop an understanding of the benefits of leading a healthy life style, and develop and engage the whole body in Physical activity. Safe studio practice will enable students to create specialist warm up routines, develop strength, flexibility and stamina and increase co-ordination, self-esteem and confidence.

Term two: Introduction to Musicals and Performance work. All students will be working toward a finale performance, where they will be assessed on their developments. Students will use a chosen musical as inspiration and will be set short tasks to develop a performance piece. Learning key skills like focus, projection and expressions.

Term Three: Choreography process and craft. Students will develop understanding of how to create a routine; they will be guided through the process of choreography and given the opportunity to be creative, imaginative and responsive to developing their own movement phrases. The students will base their choreography’s on the professional work they are studying.

Year 8:

Term one: Evolution of dance. Students will have the opportunity to develop and understanding and appreciation to how dance has become what it is today. Exploring a range of dance styles through the ages, giving the students to learn key phrases and techniques of the styles.

Term Two: Emancipation of Expressionism. This is a professional dance work we study at GCSE dance; our year 8 students will develop an understanding of the approaches and processes of this particular dance work. Learning key phrases from the work and give the creative tools to develop and interpret the work themselves.

Term Three: Create your own musical. The finale project will lead to a finale performance to a live audience; students have the opportunity to take on a different job role associated with dance. Working as stage directors, choreographers and set designers students, will re-create or create their own mini musical.

Year 9:

Term one: Dance Anthology. Students will study six professional dance works and have opportunities to learn material from the works and create their own interpretations from the work. The idea is to introduce students to the dance anthology used in GCSE dance, and gives students an excellent appreciation for the range of dance styles in the industry.  

Term two: Choreography process and craft. Students will develop understanding of how to create a routine; they will be guided through the process of choreography and given the opportunity to be creative, imaginative and responsive to developing their own movement phrases. The students will base their choreography’s on stimulus set from the AQA examining body for GCSE dance.

Term three: Anthology and magazine. Our year 9 students have the opportunity to explore the professional dance works we look at in GCSE, this gives them an excellent stepping stone into the course. Aside this students create a dance magazine enabling them to take on different roles within the performing arts industry like an editor, publicity or costume designer.


KS4 CurriculumDance

Year 10 and 11 students can opt for the AQA GCSE Dance course, comprising learning/assessment in performance, choreography, dance appreciation and history. Studies connect to the wider professional dance world, providing students with a rich diversity of performance, choreographic and theoretical opportunities to expand their skills, knowledge and understanding. This will provide challenging and up to date experiences which will help them to achieve their full potential, and to make an informed choice about taking Dance studies in Plumstead Manor’s Sixth Form. 

Objectives of course:

Dance uses movement symbolically as a fundamental form of human expression. It is both empowering and powerful as a form of non-verbal communication. The intrinsic value of dance is the development of creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities. Dance is both physical and expressive – this is what makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

Exam board:  AQA

Course content:

  • Performance
  • Choreography
  • Dance appreciation

Component 1: Performance and choreography

Set phrases through a solo performance 30% of GCSE: Duet/trio performance

Choreography 30% of GCSE:  Solo or group choreography

 Component 2: Dance appreciation 40% of GCSE Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works

Questions Based on students' own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance Anthology.

Critical appreciation of professional set works

The GCSE Dance Anthology provides the focus for learning how to critically appreciate professional set works. The anthology contains the following professional set works:

Assessment scheme and structure:

Component 1:

Performance: 30% of GCSE (40 marks)

Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration)

  • Duet/trio performance (three minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration)

Choreography: 30% of GCSE (40 marks)

Component 2:

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works

 40% of GCSE, written exam (80 marks)

KS5 Curriculum

 Objectives of course:

Studying Performing Arts offers a variety of skills to students who have a genuine interest in areas of Drama, Dance, Music and/or theatre production. With an emphasis on practical skills and explorative work, the course is tailored to the strengths, skills and interests of its cohort, incorporating a variety of performance / production elements with the academic and theoretical components.

Exam board: Pearson

Course content:

Unit 1: Investigating a practitioner

Unit 2: Skills developments

Unit 3 Group choreography

Plus an additional unit which may cover contemporary, jazz, urban or improvisation

 Assessment scheme and structure:

The Extended Certificate is for learners who are interested in learning about the performing arts sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in performing arts. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels.

360 GLH (480 TQT)

Equivalent in size to one

A Level. 4 units, of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.

Mandatory content (83%).

External assessment (58%).


Extra-Curricular Activities

Outburst! is our annual dance show involving students from Years 7-13, in their own choreography plus that of teachers and Dance Club guest choreographers. Dance styles reflect the vibrant diversity of our school and its dancing community; Ballet, Bollywood, Dance Fever, Tap, Nigerian, Nepalese, Irish Dance, and Physical Theatre.

Dance Clubs

KS3 dance club taught by one of the members of staff developing students’ performance skills and creative ideas for dance. Working towards our annual production OUTBURST

 Advanced dance company; students attend a rigorous and challenging program of dance developing the more capable performer, developing dance skills further and striding for excellence. Again working towards OUTBURST and other performance opportunities. 

 Dance Anthology film club; KS4 students studying GCSE dance must attend this intervention to help develop knowledge for their written exam.

 Other mini projects open up throughout the year given students a breath and range of exciting events.

Theatre Trips

To see Contemporary, Ballet, Street, Hip Hop, South Asian and many other dance styles, at local and major international venues such as The Royal Opera House, The 02, and Sadler's Wells Theatre.