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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential



Welcome to Dance at Blackfen School for Girls

As an evolving subject Dance is becoming increasingly popular within the school. The subject aims to focus on building students confidence through performance and creativity whilst allowing students to express their leadership and communication skills.

The subject places a strong emphasis on group work, building students team working skills. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in Dance including; Performance Showcases, Musicals, Competitions, Blackfen Dance Company and Extra-curricular Dance Clubs. These opportunities collaborate with other subjects such as Music, Drama and PPE.

Students will learn a range of physical and technical dance skills within their first year at the school, this will progress throughout Key Stage 3 and is further presented as an option at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

Key Stage 3 Dance

Dance is currently working as part of a carousel system at KS3 along with Drama. Students in Years 7, 8 & 9 will spend half a term studying Dance and the second half term studying Drama. They will have 3 half terms of each subject during the full academic year. In Years 7 & 8 students have 3 lessons of Dance over the 2 week timetable. In Year 9 students have 2 lessons of Dance over the 2 week timetable.


Year 7

Term Unit of work Summary

Autumn Term 1 or 2

An Introduction to Dance using Films and Fairy tales

This unit focuses on introducing students to the 4 main principles of Dance; Action, Space, Dynamics and Relationships. The focus is supported by the idea of creating movement using Films and Fairy tales. This unit not only develops the learners’ creativity but also their confidence due to students performing their work to an in-class audience.

Spring Term 1 or 2

Dance Cultures and Styles Now the students have an understanding of the 4 main Dance Principles they can use these skills to create movement. This Unit looks at different styles of Dance through the different decades and from different cultures. Throughout the unit students will be looking at the historical context of the styles and how to embody the stylistic quality of the movement content. Such styles include The Charleston, Bollywood and Disco Dance and Capoeira.
Summer Term 1 or 2 Dreams and Nightmares The students now have a range of choreographic and performance skills in Dance and can use these skills to independently choreograph using a theme or stimulus. This unit also requires the characterisation and performance skills the students will have learnt in Drama so they can add it to their final dance piece. Looking at the theme of Dreams and Nightmares students will use a work booklet to help them throughout the unit.


Year 8

Term Unit of work Summary

Autumn Term 1 or 2

Professional Works and their Choreographers

This unit focuses on 2 professional Dance choreographers and their works. The students will study and research the choreographers and their styles of dance in detail and go on to study one of their professional dance works. Using video students will learn the movement and develop this further to create short group Dance pieces. The unit aims to help students progress in their Dance technique and their creative abilities.

The 2 professional works we look at are:

  • The Nutcracker- Matthew Bourne
  • Emancipation of Expressionism- Kenrick H20 Sandy

Spring Term 1 or 2

Using a stimulus in Dance This unit introduces students to the use of a stimulus. We focus on our senses and how we can use these to feel and imagine movement. The unit culminates in students choosing a stimulus and creating a short piece in relation to this.
Summer Term 1 or 2 Cheerleading This unit combines physical and technical dance skills such as strength, flexibility and spatial content with the movements and discipline of cheerleading. This unit requires students to work in large groups building up their trust and teamwork. The unit covers stunt work, lifts and rhythmic movement. The students also learn how to use props such as rhythmic ribbons and pom-poms in a safe manner.


Year 9

Term Unit of work Summary

Autumn Term 1 or 2

A Linha Curva In this unit students will focus on one of the GCSE works; A Linha Curva. Students will explore the work and the skills and techniques involved in the piece. The scheme is an introduction of the professional work and will set students up if they opt to take Dance at GCSE level. Students will be working as a full dance company and exploring the style of samba/carnival dance.

Spring Term 1 or 2

Manipulation and Control

In this unit students will create a piece based on the stimulus manipulation and control.

Students will be tasked to research and pick apart the stimulus and use these ideas to create movement. They will be working in a pair and the unit will highly focus on students choreography skills.

Summer Term 1 or 2

Choreography and Motif Development This unit focuses on introducing students to the creation of choreography using motif’s and motif development. This is something they will take further if they opt to take GCSE Dance in Year 10.  Students can use a stimulus to influence their work and they will be choosing their own music for this unit. Students will learn how to write down linear motifs and also gain an understanding of how we can development movement using choreographic devices such as repetition, retrograde, levels, fragmentation and direction.


Key Stage 4 Dance

Blackfen School for Girls currently offers the AQA GCSE Dance Specification in Years 10 & 11.

Dance students will strengthen their technical and expressive skills, as well as their knowledge and understanding of dance through three key areas of assessment; Performance, Choreography and Critical Appreciation of Dance.  During the two year course, students’ will learn set phrases of movement that will be performed for assessment and they will choreograph their own ideas in relation to a chosen stimulus that is released by the exam board. In addition, they will study 6 professional dance works focussing on the Choreography, Set design, Lighting and Costume which will further enhance and broaden their theoretical understanding of dance as a creative art form.  They will also gain an understanding of Physical, Technical, Expressive and Mental Skills in Dance which will form part of the written exam at the end of Year 11. Dance students will also have various opportunities to perform at dance events both at school and within the local community. Studying Dance at KS4 can lead to further study and pathways within the performing arts. Moreover, it enhances lifelong creative and expressive skills, raises self-esteem and can have a positive impact on overall health and well-being.


GCSE Dance

Component 1- Performance and Choreography 60%

Performance 30%
                        -Set phrases in a solo performance of 1 minute
                       -Duet/Trio Performance of 3 minutes

Choreography 30%
                        -Solo or Group Choreography

Component 2: Dance Appreciation 40%     (Written Exam 1hr 30min)

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


Extra-Curricular Dance

At Blackfen School for Girls we offer a wide range of performance opportunities through extra-curricular classes and clubs. Currently the Dance department runs a Year 7, 8 & 9 Musical Theatre Club after school on Thursday’s. This club is very popular and gives the students the opportunity to work and network with new people. The club explores a range of different Musical Theatre styles and productions and allows students to create work for performance showcases and collaborations with subjects such as music and drama.

At Blackfen we also run ‘Blackfen Dance Company’. The auditions for company take place in September and every year we take on approximately 20 students. The company consists of a range of Year 7, 8 and 9 students and meets every Monday night 3.00- 4.00. The students show commitment and build up their technical abilities in Dance. The company takes part in competitions that run throughout the academic year and also assemblies and performance showcases in school. The company has won the London Youth Games Dance competition twice and has represented the Borough of Bexley at the Copper Box Arena.


Bexley Borough London youth games competition, hosted by Blackfen School For Girls. A collection of schools in the Bexley Borough came to complete in the competition. Our Year 10 class won the KS4 round and went on to represent Bexley Borough at The London Youth Games.



Winning Year 10 class representing Bexley Borough at the London Youth Games.