Dance is a popular and highly regarded subject at Sandringham. It is taught in years 7 and 8 and is offered as an optional subject in Year 9 and Key Stage 4 where students can follow a nationally recognised Dance Leaders course gaining a qualification on completion of the course. Students also have the opportunity to study dance as an examination subject at both GCSE and A Level. Furthermore, dance is an extremely popular extra-curricular activity for all years.

Dance helps students develop a number of skills:

  • Visual appreciation of dance and choreography
  • Balanced judgement
  • Information gathering and assessment
  • Ability to work on your own or as part of a team
  • Communication

Students study a range of units within Key Stage 3 aimed at developing their choreography, performance and appreciation skills. They are introduced to different dance styles including:

  • Street Dance
  • Contemporary Dance
  • Capoeira
  • Free running and Parkour

The units studied are based on a range of different stimuli including:

  • Looney Tunes Cartoons – students explore common features of cartoons and create and interpret various cartoon storylines through dance.
  • Games, Mario and Luigi – students explore common features of the characters in computer games and each lesson have to complete the required dance skills to progress to the next level.
  • Urban Living – students explore aspects of youth culture, focusing on the basic techniques of street dancing, locking and popping, breaking and hip hop.
  • Swansong, Christopher Bruce – students analyse this professional dance work creating a dance inspired by the movement material and starting point of the professional work
  • Site-Specific-Dance – students learn about alternative performance settings for dance and choreograph their own site-specific dances in various settings within the school grounds, incorporating parkour and free-running techniques.

Students follow the AQA GCSE Dance course. 60% of the course is practically assessed through three pieces of work, two assessing performance skills and one assessing choreography skills. The remaining 40% of the course is theory based and is assessed in a 1 hour and 30 minute written examination paper.

Through the GCSE course, students develop skills, knowledge and understanding of dance as a choreographer, performer and critic through:

  • Applying and adapting a wide range of skills and techniques effectively in performing and choreographing dance, including the ability to improve;
  • Creating dances for a range of purposes and in response to different stimuli;
  • Developing the ability to analyse, evaluate and appreciate dance;
  • Students also develop their appreciation of the contribution of dance to their personal and social health, fitness and wellbeing and develop awareness of the range of opportunities and pathways available in dance.

Theatre visits are an integral part of the course giving the students the opportunity to study live professional dance. Dance workshops with visiting artists and professional dance companies are also a key element.

Students follow the AQA A Level Dance course. Through the course students develop their creative and intellectual capacity, alongside transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving. Knowledge, understanding and skills will be developed and demonstrated within performance, choreography and critical engagement with the study of professional repertoire located within specific areas of study.

The course is divided into two components. In Component 1, there are three practical dance tasks (80 marks, 50%). Two tasks assess the subject content for Performance and the other task assesses the subject content for Choreography. Component 2 is the written exam and assesses the subject content for Critical engagement (100 marks, 50%).

Theatre visits are an integral part of the course giving the students the opportunity to study live professional dance. Dance workshops with visiting artists and professional dance companies are also a key element.

Extra-Curricular Dance

Extra-Curricular Dance is extremely popular within the school. Lunch time and after school dance clubs are available for all year groups from beginners through to advanced dancers offering a range of dance styles.

There is an annual school dance show ‘Velocity’ involving a large number of students from across the school and from our local primary schools in the Sandringham schools theatre, The Sandpit. This is an extremely popular event on the school calendar.

At Sandringham we have four resident dance companies.

  • Tuxedo Dance Company (Hip Hop)
  • SYCD – Sandringham Contemporary Dance Company
  • Limitless Boys Dance Company
  • TripleEdge Contemporary Dance Company (Key Stage 3)

Auditions are held twice a year for the two companies, SYCD and Tuxedo and this is opened up to students from other Hertfordshire schools.

All students have the opportunity to perform at many dance events throughout the year. Recent performances include:

  • Velocity
  • House Dance Choreography
  • Whole School Show
  • Summer Show
  • Mapdance Curtain raiser performance

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