About Dance

MFL Curriculum Intent: Understanding Dance’s Curriculum DREAM 

Purpose: This document sets out how the Dance Department approaches Curriculum Intent at Eaton Bank Academy. 

Design  How have you designed your curriculum to be broad, balanced and ambitious? 
The KS3 Curriculum follows the National Curriculum for PE and engages and challenges all pupils’ imagination, logic, creativity and physicality. It encourages and aids the development of confidence, cooperation and participation; guidance and preparation for life both within and beyond Eaton Bank Academy. It focuses on the skills of creating, performing and appreciating dance.  


The dance curriculum is both broad and ambitious and equips students with skills, practice and knowledge, allowing them to develop confidence, cooperation, leadership and communication skills alongside physical and creative skills experienced.  In year 7 the curriculum focuses on the basic actions of jump, turn, travel, gesture and stillness; the fundamentals for all movement. Pupils learn the choreographic devices of canon & unison, repetition and transitions and consider how their use of space affects performance and choreography, including levels, direction and formation.  


Pupils learn how to lift and support each other safely, challenging themselves with complex contact work to enhance performance and choreography.  In year 8 pupils build upon those skills learned in year 7 and experience a range of new dance styles including 80s pop, musical theatre and hip-hop. In year 9 pupils further explore the art of choreography, developing a use of motif and development and contrast and explore more physically demanding action involved in circus skills and Parkour.  

Rationale  What is the rationale behind your curriculum design and ordering of content over time? 
The Dance Curriculum is designed to expose students to a wide variety of dance genres, creative stimuli, professional work and performance opportunities and enable them to see the purpose and use of dance in their wider life situations.  The curriculum design promotes creativity and a sense of developing confidence throughout. In performance the structure allows for demonstration and development of basic action and growth in physical, expressive, technical and mental skills. There is appreciation of professional work as the pupils explore a range of genres and dance works.  


Further rationale behind our curriculum design includes the revisiting and building on existing knowledge. The unit areas and skill development which are introduced at KS3, are seen as building blocks for more in-depth learning at KS4 (& KS5) following the Dance AQA specification. At KS4 balance and breadth are maintained through the study of a selection of professional works in a variety of genres, choreography and performance relating to a range of stimuli and themes.  At KS5 the curriculum expands further with a focus on British and American dance history through both theory and practical work and more complex and challenging choreographic skill and performance.  


The three-year KS3 course allows for preparation of the skills required at KS4 in the AQA GCSE Dance course. Pupils enter GCSE dance with knowledge and understanding of choreographic form and performance skill. This is further enhanced through the A Level AQA course, with new knowledge, understanding and practical experience of specific practitioners in British and American dance history.  

Equality  How is your curriculum accessible and purposeful for all students, including SEND, Disadvantaged and Higher Ability Learners? 
Throughout all Key Stages, the Dance curriculum allows for a range of pupils to be successful and show progression. All pupils can access the full curriculum and the freedom, expression and practical engagement within the subject allows for all learners to express themselves openly and without academic barriers.  


Pupils have the freedom of verbal feedback, opportunity to see and evaluate other’s work and work as part of a group to create and perform. There is a strong emphasis on positivity and with constant teacher and peer feedback and support, pupils can achieve and make progress with a sense of confidence. Practical work is easily differentiated to promote progression and achievement at all levels, including the more able, those who feel less confident in terms of performing and pupils with SEND.  


The curriculum is designed to include a range of creative and performance assessments to ensure that all learners can show their strengths and develop their weaker areas; some may be more confident when performing, others have a more creative mind but less confident dancing.  

Aims, Vision & Values  What is the aim of your curriculum and how does this support the aims and values of the school? 
The curriculum aims to expose all pupils to dance as a performing arts subject. By doing this, we aim to develop a passion and love for dance for many and engage all Eaton Bank students in the physical and creative experiences dance brings to all. 


Dance aims to involve all pupils in physical activity beyond their PE lessons and engage their minds in the creative processes and decision making that dance requires. As a subject, pupils will think, debate, communicate ideas and reason with each other as well as working as part of a team to cooperate and build success for all. They will learn about their own strengths and weaknesses and push themselves out of their comfort zones to challenge themselves.  

There is an aim to encourage a greater uptake at KS4, KS5 and in extra-curricular dance and performing arts opportunities. 


Dance aims to encourage development of self-assurance, commitment and confidence helping to build well-rounded and personable individuals for the wider world. Through this, the subject will further reiterate the school’s values, embedding a sense of respect, honesty and ambition. 

Misconceptions  How do you address misconceptions in your subject to support students’ learning? 
Misconceptions are clearly preidentified in planning, allowing these to be clearly addressed within the delivery of the lesson. Common misconceptions at Key Stage 3 are often the confusion between some of the specialist terms / skills. For example, canon and unison – within lessons these are constantly addressed, and the correct definitions and examples given often to support pupil learning.  


During questioning and whole class discussion, common misconceptions are spoken about and the more able, or those who demonstrate a correct understanding, are encouraged to share the correct content to aid everyone’s learning.  


Modelling in practical work helps to avoid misconceptions with particular movements. The teacher may demonstrate or use a good example from within the class to gain clarity and reinforce the correct methods. This is backed up with clear instruction and technique from the teacher.  


Dance Curriculum Map

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Mrs Sheard