Year 9 (Block 3)

In Block 3 students take part in dance within the curriculum, which acts as a taster for them to opt to take the BAC.

They will be involved in a wide range of dance styles as an introduction to and preparation for the BAC course. Choreographing, performing and evaluating are the key areas of learning - the aim is to introduce these elements through a lively, fun and stimulating programme.

Years 10 & 11 (Blocks 4 & 5)

“To dance well is to be well educated” Plato 428 -348 BC

Dance today is a vital art form and a wonderful medium for self-expression and personal development. Students do not have to be dancers to take Dance BAC, the curriculum is both an academic and practical pursuit for the students, developing an enquiring mind and preparing them for A Level arts subjects by:

  • Analysing and discussing theatre works looking at meaning, intention, narrative and design
  • Developing research skills by working on an independent research project, be it looking into a choreographer or theatre company
  • Developing IT skills through presentation, film making, music editing and designing
  • Involving those who may wish to work in the creative industries in this vital, modern, progressive art form
  • Introducing students to boundary-breaking theatre companies and artists such as DV8, Akram Khan and Rambert

Students on the Bedales Assessed Course will learn to perform, understand and appreciate dance in a wide variety of styles. Set topics include an in-depth study of a professional British dance work post-1950 and an extended specialist study resulting in a substantial written and practical response. Students are also offered the chance to work with professional dancers in workshops and are invited to attend theatre performances - opportunities that are not on offer through independent dance classes. Recently students have visited Sadler’s Wells, The Point Art Centre and The Minerva Theatre.

Throughout the two year course, students work as critics, dancers, choreographers and directors studying dance within theatre, film and modern media. Students of the BAC are also given the opportunity of performing in the Youth Platform, Bedales Dance Performs and Parents Day events. Students get the chance to form a Dance Company, a project that takes place in the spring term, and perform at the Youth Dance Platform.

Sixth Form

This dynamic linear qualification in Dance encourages students to develop their creative responses and intellectual capacity, together with a variety of transferable skills, for instance; leadership, communication and team work. All of these skills regarded as essential by all higher education establishments and will follow through to into the workplace in whatever career choice a student makes.

This new specification (first year 2016) looks at both historical and current dance practices, both of these areas are significant to develop a dance students’ knowledge of past, present and future practices. These two areas aim to inspire a lifelong passion and appreciations of dance. 

The course is predominately taught in the style of contemporary dance, however, there are opportunities for students to work to their strengths in other styles, providing it meets the assessment criteria.

During class time students will learn how to perform, create and appreciate dance. There will be regular technique classes throughout the course to help develop technique and performance skills, creative class to help understand the craft of choreography and theory classes to develop the students' analytical eye. All three of these areas are just as important as each other and can be seen the assessment objectives, as follows:

  1. To perform dance through the application of physical, technical, interpretative and performance skills.
  2. To create dance by applying choreographic skills to communicate artistic intention.
  3. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of performance and choreography from different periods and genres.
  4. To critically appreciate and assess performance and choreography through making analytical, interpretative and evaluative judgements.

The assessment objectives reflect the practical/written split, which is 50% for each. Both practical and written exam will take place at the end of the course.

Students who take Dance at Sixth Form are expected to attend other Dance opportunities outside lessons to help support their personal development. For example;                           

  • their own rehearsals to develop their technical and performance skills further
  • three main dance shows of the year (Youth Dance Platform, Bedales Dance Performs and Parents’ Day Dance Display)
  • variety of dance workshops and residencies led by leading practitioners of dance today
  • regular trips to the theatre to watch dance performances
  • perform as a dancer in the higher years exam work
  • extra dance classes on offer (Ballet, tap, modern, street and contemporary)

Dance at Sixth Form is for students who have a keen interest in developing their theoretical knowledge and understanding of Dance and interested in making links to improve both creative and technical skills in their practical work which in turn will lead to inspire a lifelong passion for Dance.

Dance within the curriculum is both an academic and practical pursuit for the students. For an example of a recent workshop, with Alvin Alley American Dance Theatre, see here.

All students have the opportunity to participate in the Bedales Dance Company. A group which meet regularly to create and perform exciting and challenging pieces both within our own programme and beyond.

ISTD Ballet, Tap and Modern can all be taken as extra curricular activities with visiting peripatetic teachers.

Examining Board: AQA

Teacher in Charge of Dance: Liz Wood