Meet the department

  • Mrs Knight



Dance allows pupils to work collaboratively in order to imaginatively develop and challenge their own knowledge and understanding and that of others. We do this by listening to, and discussing, all their ideas before exploring them in a practical setting. Thus participation in dance lessons promotes social inclusion as well as allowing pupils to acquire a diverse range of skills. The true value of dance can be seen in its ability, as a physical medium, to break down the boundaries that constrain almost all other areas of the curriculum and allow everyone to become involved through its diverse scope for individual expression.


Aims: Our aims in teaching Dance are that the pupils will:

  • Enjoy the subject and study it with a sense of achievement. 
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of a range of dance skills and styles.
  • Develop and extend their own interests and abilities. 
  • Develop the confidence to express ideas and communicate them through dance.
  • Have opportunities for presenting performances, both individually and in groups.
  • Evaluate their own and others’ contributions to dance and suggest improvements.


The KS3 through to KS4 is a  curriculum programme that includes choreography, improvisation, performance, dance technique and analysis of professional works. 

Pupils have regular opportunities to participate in theatre trips and workshops with professional practitioners. One of the key aspects of the department is that we believe that feedback and refinement is a key to pupils’ success and pupils are asked to push themselves to reach goals and to exceed their own expectations. 



Career opportunities are wide ranging and not limited to becoming a professional dancer (which is not only difficult but can be very short lived). Some careers involved in the field of dance include:

  • Choreographer
  • Dance Teacher
  • Dance Critic
  • Costume Designer
  • Set Designer
  • Arts Administrator
  • Yoga or Pilates instructor
  • Dance photographer
  • Physical Therapist/Dance Medicine Specialist


BTEC Performing Arts EXAM RESULTS 

BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts Level 1/2.

June 2020 (CAG):

Distinction * = 22%

Distinction = 55%

Merit = 55%

Level 2 Pass = 100%

Key Stage 3

KS3 pupils’ enjoy a practical experience of dance giving them a solid foundation of key skills. The KS3 dance curriculum allows pupils to explore many different styles of dance, as well as developing skills in choreography and performance, building on technique. It is taught in mixed ability classes, both working in small groups and individually, alternating on a termly rota with Drama.  


Pupils in Year 9 opt for subjects of interest and, as part of this mini-option process, are offered a Performing Arts Course which includes music, dance and drama. The work involves creating their own musical which culminates in a showcase at the end of Year 9. This course also provides the opportunity to achieve the Bronze Arts Award and therefore a qualification for this year of study.

Key Stage 4

The Key Stage Four curriculum follows the BTEC Level 1 and 2 Technical Award Dance Pathway. The Technical Award in Performing Arts aims to give pupils the chance to acquire technical skills through studying dance. Additionally, the course enables learners to develop attributes that are considered important in the commercial world, such as communication and personal management, whilst embedding a knowledge around roles, responsibilities, performance disciplines, the creative process and performance styles.


Assessment takes place over the two years of study both practically by the teacher and through the compilation of evidence in a portfolio. Assessment is 100% coursework, with no written exam, and includes a unit which is externally set and assessed.


The course is divided into 3 components:


Component 1: Exploring the Arts – studying the industry, engaging in activities and events, meeting practitioners and taking part in and leading workshops (30% and assessed by teacher)


Component 2: Developing skills and techniques in the Performing Arts – creating and performing an original piece within the context of DANCE (30% and assessed by teacher)


Component 3: Set task – performing to a brief/stimulus set by Pearson under supervised conditions over an allotted period of time (40% and externally assessed)


At KS3 pupils are practically assessed on performance, knowledge and understanding, choreography, safe dance practice along with their evaluating skills. In KS3, all pupils are set an aspirational target level that is based on their KS2 average point score and other relevant data. Pupils are expected to achieve this grade and will be supported to do so.

At KS4, pupils are set an aspirational target grade based on Fischer Family Trust and our own internal assessment data. Pupils are expected to achieve this grade and will be supported to do so. Work is marked using grades at KS3 and BTEC grades at KS4. Coursework is marked according to exam board mark schemes.

Dance Company

The Dance Companies have over 90 members with both a Dance Company and Boys’ Dance Company and who continue to be successful at local, county and national level. As a company they annually take part in The Great Big Dance Off, Time to Dance and the school productions, which are a collaboration of the performing arts subjects, and at many local charity and schools events. Each year they work with professional providers such as Ascension,  Hofesh Shechter Company, Trinity Laban and Move It. As well as attending workshops, pupils have opportunities to attend professional company performances. The liturgical life of the college is an integral part of the Dance Company, who enhance services and Masses throughout the academic year both in the school and in the wider community. 


The Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at Trinity Laban is an innovative scheme offering young people with  exceptional talent and potential in dance the opportunity to access high quality dance training. The programme  of classes provides intensive and rigorous dance training taught by a highly experienced team of professional  dance teachers and artists. CAT is part of a national programme funded and developed by the Department for Education, Music and Dance  Scheme. More information on the scheme can be found via the following link:

We currently have 6 pupils attending the CAT scheme 


Extra-Curricular Activities in Dance

Extra Curricular 

The dance department run a number of extra-curricular activities after school. A timetable of clubs is available on the website and is updated each term.


The Dance Company hold rehearsals every night after school with the option to also engage in work towards qualifications provided by the Imperial Society for Teachers of Dance Syllabus in Ballet and Modern.

Dance Qualifications

Dance qualifications with the Imperial Society for Teachers of Dance (ISTD)

The ISTD is recognised by the QCF as is one of the world’s leading dance examinations boards.


The Graded Examinations in Dance are accredited on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

St Richard’s also delivers the Arts Award at Bronze and Silver levels to all pupils. The Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification supported by Arts Council England (more information can be found here
Arts Award).