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Dance Curriculum 2023/24

KS3 Year 7


Introduction to Dance

This unit in an introduction to dance at Purbrook, covering some basic performance and choreographic skills including unison, direction and simple canon.

Musical Theatre

Pupils study 3 different well known musicals, exploring how character plays a significant role in musical theatre. They learn how dance links with drama and music.



This creative begins with pupil understanding how to work to a brief. They start to explore floorwork and develop a basic understanding of dynamics.

African dance.

Pupils Watch a variety of African dance and practically explore the key features. They learn the history of African dance and gumboot, practically exploring it. Pupils begin to look at the importance of rhythm.



This unit examines the use of words in dance. Pupils study nouns and verbs and how they can be used in an abstract way to develop a dance. They learn how to create and develop a motif.

Pop videos

Understanding the term ‘dance for film’ is the main focus for this unit. Pupils explore the main differences between live dance and dance for film. They recreate their own film version of Thriller or Rhythm Nation using videostar.

KS3 Year 8


Abstract and Narrative

Pupils develop understanding of counterbalance, counter tension, support and lifts. They learn how to use interpret a narrative using dance.

Musical Theatre

Pupils Study 2 different well known musicals exploring how different dance eras play a significant role in musical theatre. They develop performance skills including characterisation.


Using an object as a stimulus

Pupils learn technically challenging sequences of dance developing an understanding of more complex choreographic devices including retrograde.

They explore how to incorporate props into dance.

Indian Dance

A vibrant unit which includes watching a variety of Indian dances and practically explore the key features. Pupils study the use of hand gestures within Indian choreography including Khatak.



The professional work Swansong is the focus of this unit, exploring the important role that Christopher Bruce has had contemporary choreography.  Pupils begin to learn how to analyse and evaluate a piece of professional work to include lighting, accompaniment and movement.

Street Dance

Our final KS3 unit looks at different umbrellas of styles within street dance.

Pupils enjoy exploring various styles practically to include; locking, breakdance, popping, old school and krumping.


KS4 Year 9


Dance skills

This unit focuses on dance technique and progression. Pupils set themselves SMART targets to improve as dancer.  The development of physical and technical skills is at the heart of this SOW.

Performing Dance

Pupils learn set choreography for school production. They develop understanding and use of performance skills including confidence, projection and facial expression. Pupils review and complete SMART targets set in Dance Skills unit.


Exploring Choreography

Throughout this unit the pupils use a choreography booklet to explore different stimuli including poetry, paintings, props and music. They create group pieces using more complex devices such as fragmentation, complex canons, question and answer, inversion. They learn the basic structures of dance including binary, ternary, rondo, narrative and episodic.

Exploring professional work

Pupils will watch Emancipation of Expressionism and analyse its key components. They learn how Kenrick Sandy has fused Urban dance with Contemporary dance and practically explore this. Perform pieces to younger year groups.


Working to A Brief

This unit is a preparation towards component 3.  Pupils learn how to respond to a brief including target audience, demands of brief, budget. They study basic roles of a production company and how they interrelate. They create a piece of dance in response to the brief, recording their developments along the way. They perform their work and then evaluate its success.

KS4 Year 10


Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts

Pupils begin their first BTEC unit, examining professional practitioners work including the work of Fosse, Bruce and James Cousins. They explore the interrelationships between constituent features of existing performance material.


Component 3: Responding to a Brief

Pupils do a mock of the external exam. Pupils select and develop skills and techniques in response to the brief. They then apply these skills to create a final performance piece of 8 minutes. Pupils evaluate the success of the performance.


Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts

Pupils complete their final project for Component 1. They write up all their findings of the 3 practitioners and their works, making comparisons and drawing conclusions on the dances.  

KS4 Year 11


Component 2: Developing skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts

This is a predominantly practical unit in which pupils develop their skills and techniques through the reproductions of professional repertoire.  They apply these skills in a performance for an invited audience.  Pupils review their own development and contribution to the performance.


Component 3: Responding to a Brief

Pupils sit the external exam, including 3 written controlled tests. Pupils select and develop skills and techniques in response to the brief. They apply these skills to create a final performance piece of 8 minutes which they perform to an invited audience Pupils evaluate the success of the performance.


Completion of Component 3

Pupils review their dance and write an essay on its success in a controlled test.