Subject Leader: Miss A White 

Subject Leader Email Address:


When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.  It's to enjoy each step along the way.


Subject overview

Dance at The Sittingbourne School is studied within the PE curriculum at Key Stage 3, then as an option at Key Stage 4 and 5 with a large extra-curricular programme available to all students throughout their time at the school.

Extracurricular activities are led by Miss White, Miss Newbury and selected sixth form students. Year 7 have their own club and from Year 8 we have mixed year-group dance companies, which allow students to work with and learn from each other. Dance styles range from contemporary and lyrical, to street and musical theatre, so there is something for everyone; the focus of the groups is for students to have fun and challenge themselves.

Students have opportunities to develop their performance skills and demonstrate the hard work they have put into lessons and extracurricular activities through our dance shows, assemblies and Swale Academies Trust events. Students are also given opportunities to attend professional workshops within school and live performances at local and West End theatres. 

Alongside dance-specific study, dance also develops a range of personal and life skills which will support students in further education and future employment, whether in the performing arts industry or something completely different. Students develop their confidence, organisation, communication, creativity, teamwork and leadership skills while developing their sense of responsibility and empathy.


Year 7

Dance Unit within PE

Year 7 students will explore the use of theme to create a unique performance based on the idea of spies. They will explore how to communicate this theme using actions and dynamics by taking part in guided tasks. Students will work creatively in groups to learn and apply key dance skills such as accuracy and movement memory.

Enquiry Questions: 

How can you use dance to communicate a theme?

Year 8

Dance Unit within PE

Students will be challenged to widen their technical and performance skills as they explore the styles of commercial dance and hip hop. Students will develop their analytical skills to give constructive feedback and make improvements to their own work.

Enquiry Questions: 

What makes a good street dance performance?

Year 9

Dance Unit within PE

In year 9, students will build on all previous learning to explore other roles in the performing arts and develop their own dances for camera. Students will explore and apply context, using key issues to inspire their performance.

Enquiry Questions: 

How can I use technology to enhance my choreography?

Year 10

During the first year of the BTEC Tech Award Performing Arts course, students will build on their learning from Key Stage 3 lessons to develop their technical dance skills through classes and workshops in a range of different dance styles. Students will also gain knowledge and appreciation of the features of a dance and have the opportunity to develop their creativity and choreographic skills by producing their own work. Around two thirds of the course is delivered practically, offering students a chance to be active, creative and move around, something which many students appreciate as a welcome balance with other subjects.

There are three components in the BTEC course and Year 10 will focus on Component 1. Within this component, students will develop their understanding of the performing arts by studying a range of professional dance works, from hip hop to musical theatre and contemporary. Students will gain an insight into how and why different productions are created; the people involved and their specific skills and responsibilities; and the steps that those people take to arrive at a final performance. This will be studied in a variety of ways, including theory lessons, practical technique classes and workshops where students will be able to experience what it would be like to be a dancer in a variety of productions. 


Term 1:

In term 1, students explore the responsibilities and skills of a dancer through first hand experience whilst reviewing and developing their knowledge of the features of dance (action, space, dynamics and relationships).

Enquiry Questions:

What skills do I need as a dancer? What are the main components of dance?


Terms 2 and 3:

Students will continue to explore the varied processes and roles involved in creating professional dance works, from their initial conception all the way to the final performance. Students will then apply their knowledge and understanding to experience the choreography process first hand.

Enquiry Questions:

How do professional choreographers create their dances? 


Term 4:

After the learning stages in terms 1-3, students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding to analyse a piece of professional dance, and create coursework for the completion of Component 1. 

Enquiry Questions:

How do professional choreographers create a dance in response to a theme?


Terms 5:

After the completion of Component 1, students turn their focus to preparing for Components 2 and 3 in year 11, exploring their own dance skills and evaluating their own strengths and weaknesses in order to make personal improvements. Students will also study choreography and take part in workshops to develop their own creative ideas.

Enquiry Questions:

How do I improve my dance skills? How can I create movement?


Terms 6:

Term 6 will amalgamate everything students have learnt this year, allowing students the opportunity to develop their own dance work in relation to a given theme, and perform the final piece to a live audience. 

Enquiry Questions:

How can I respond to a brief to create my own dance?


Year 11

In Year 11, students will build on and apply their knowledge and experience gained in Year 10 to complete Components 2 and 3 of the BTEC course. 

In Component 2, students will evaluate and analyse their own ability in order to improve their dance skills. Students will take part in technique classes and the rehearsal and performance of a piece of professional dance, which is selected to challenge and develop the skills and interests of the group. Students will develop their analytical and reflective skills to identify their own strengths and weaknesses in order to make individual improvements and reach their full potential.

For the final component, students will draw on everything they have learnt, from the varied approaches to choreography and the ability to be self critical, to the technical and performance skills required to bring a dance to life. Working independently from their teacher, students will collaborate in small groups to respond to a task set by the exam board and create an extended piece of dance. The two year course culminates in a final performance of these dance works in a celebratory showcase of dance with friends and family.

Following on from this course, many students choose to continue their dance study at TSS sixth form or dance colleges. Students who do not continue their dance studies academically often continue to dance through extracurricular routes and often comment on how taking dance helped them to gain confidence and other life skills which they take with them into their further education and employment. 


Terms 1 and 2:

Students will begin year 11 by completing Component 2 of the BTEC course, improving their technical and performance skills in the studio and in rehearsal. They will demonstrate their dance ability in their performance as well as their ability to evaluate their progress and achievements throughout the process. 

Enquiry Questions:

How do dancers improve their technical and performance skills in class?

How do dancers improve their technical and performance skills in rehearsal? 

How do performers prepare for a performance?


Term 3:

Term 3 focuses on choreographic techniques. Students will develop their creativity through workshops and lessons, improving their choreographic style and complexity of their ideas and communication.

Enquiry Questions: 

How can you make a dance more complex and interesting to watch?


Terms 4 and 5:

The final part of the course, Component 3, offers students the opportunity to showcase their creative ideas and group working skills as they work in small groups to respond to a brief set by the exam board. Students will keep track of their progress in milestone logs and evaluate their final choreography and performance.

Enquiry Questions:

How can you communicate a theme or idea to an audience?


Sixth Form

At The Sittingbourne School sixth form, students study the BTEC National Performing Arts course (with a dance approach). This course aims to provide students with a practical and theoretical understanding of professional performances and the working environment. Students will have the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge in a variety of styles including contemporary and jazz, and will study a range of choreographers and dance works across the course. This will develop their understanding of the context behind performances, key practitioners and the development of dance over time. Many of the projects undertaken will enable students to work together to apply their learning and create and develop performance material. To support students’ growth as performers, we provide opportunities to see live dance performances by renowned dance companies, as well as master classes provided by visiting professionals. 

The course gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of career progressions and the life of a dancer and also allows them to focus on the essential techniques and disciplines needed to prepare them for work in a variety of roles in the performing arts industry, for example on stage, in television or as a teacher. It will also help students to develop a range of analytical, creative thinking, evaluative and life skills to assist them in whichever path they choose in the future. 

Year 12 and 13 students are taught together on a rolling timetable - this year students are completing ‘Year A’ as outlined below. 

Year A - Unit 1 (Investigating Practitioners’ Work) and Unit 2 (Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance)

Year B - Unit 12 (Contemporary Dance Techniques) and Unit 3 (Group Performance Workshop)


Term 1:

During term 1 students will develop their research and analytical skills to explore the performance and production elements of professional works and how these are used to communicate varied themes within a performance. Alongside this, students will develop their practical skills and techniques through participating in technique classes and workshops. They will reflect regularly on their progress and use this information to set targets to address personal weaknesses. 

Enquiry Questions:

Unit 1 - How are features of performance and production used to communicate meaning and style in professional works? 

Unit 2 - How can I develop my skills and techniques? 


Term 2:

Students will continue to explore professional works by looking into the contextual factors behind performances, including social, historical, geographical, and cultural context. In unit 2, students will begin developing and applying their skills in rehearsal of a professional piece of repertoire.

Enquiry Questions:

Unit 1 - What are the contextual factors that influenced practitioners' work? 

Unit 2 - How can I develop my skills and techniques for live performance?  


Term 3:

Using all their research and findings from the past two terms, students will move to critically analyse the information and its application to varied themes. Students will also continue to reflect on their own practical progress in preparation for their final performances.

Enquiry Questions:

Unit 1 - How do I critically analyse the work of dance practitioners? 

Unit 2 - How can I apply skills and techniques for live performance?


Term 4:

Students will focus on their skills in drawing conclusions in their writing, using all their research to come to well informed judgements, explaining this clearly and in detail. Unit 2 will culminate in students making a final evaluation of their performance and overall progress since the beginning of the unit. Students will also apply their practical experience and research skills to demonstrate their understanding of the life of a dancer, including their role, skills, training and employment.

Enquiry Questions:

Unit 1 - How do I present effective conclusions and independent judgements? 

Unit 2 - What are the roles and skills of a performer? How can I develop my skills and techniques?


Term 5:

Students will use pre-release material to hone their research and understanding in preparation for the final unit 1 exam.

Enquiry Questions:

Unit 1 - How do I present effective conclusions and independent judgements? (Exam preparation and exam).