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The Dance Department
Head of Department = Mrs Healey-Wilde
The Longdendale dance department is a rapidly expanding and popular department. Dance is split across two subject areas, in years 7 and 8 dance is within PE and is offered as one of the rotation of activities alongside other areas of the PE curriculum. Units of learning at KS3 are constantly updated offering students a broad range of genres and experience of contrasting dance styles. Units of learning include Lindy Hop, Bollywood, Jive, Urban Dance and Parkour as one of the boy’s dance options.
The dance department consists of one full time dance specialist Mrs Healey –Wilde and also Miss Harrisson who also specialises in dance within her role as PE teacher.
For year 9 students can opt to choose dance as a subject and take either a GCSE or BTEC in dance depending on the cohort and current specifications. The department offers an excellent opportunity for students to experience dance both academically and vocationally as part of the performing arts.
The vision of the dance department is to provide outstanding teaching and learning accessible to all students to ensure all make excellent progress in the technical, appreciation and performance aspects of dance.
From year 9 students can work towards GCSE dance exams with the AQA exam board. These students will be assessed on the number grade 1-9 system. The GCSE dance specification includes an anthology of dance and a 1 ½ hour written paper in year 11 as well as technical and composition practical assessments
Students also have the opportunity to study Level 1/2 Tech Award in Performing Arts Dance BTEC and study Components 1/ 2 researching and analysing professional dance works and exploring and performing dance styles. As well as component 3 which is a set external exam brief from the board where students have to plan the ideas and skills needed of a performance piece and also evaluate their finished 7- 15 min group performance.
Students will complete a practical assessment at the end of each half term to assess their progress against the assessment objectives. From year 9 onwards students also have written theory tests each half term.
The expectation for home learning is that students will complete a minimum of one home learning activity per fortnight. Students are expected to rehearse and improve practical elements after each lesson and the use of the VLE and online learning hub is used for students to view practical work and assessments.
We offer a broad range of enrichment in dance including after school dance clubs for years 7 and 8, which in turn offers leadership responsibilities for year 10 and year 11 students as part of their BTEC and GCSE dance courses.
Year 7 and 8 clubs run on a Wednesday and Thursday after school each week and culminate in performances in our annual whole school dance production.
The dance department has strong connections with local colleges, giving students an insight into career possibilities and further education through annual college workshops based at school.
The dance department is also keen to support the development of dance within Tameside and has competed with success in Secondary Dance Festivals.
“Dance is vital, an activity both exhilarating and liberating to watch or do. The instinct to dance is fundamentally joyous and no matter how hard you try you can’t get away from that for long. It can also be a huge force for good, effectively drawing people together and levelling everyone through sheer hard work. It can speed up your heart rate, it can enliven your being, it can change your life” Richard Alston CBE.