The Dance department at Chipping Norton School aims to provide opportunities for students to use their creativity and passion for performance in a range of ways. All students will study Dance in Years 7,8, and 9  and students then have the opportunity to further their Dance experience at GCSE and A Level. Students in Years 10-13 are regularly provided with leadership opportunities through festivals and clubs for younger students, this includes the Dance pathway in the Sports Leaders Award for year 12 students.

Year 7

  • Intro to Dance: Grafitti Project
    – Learning new skills and putting them into practice using the theme of graffiti
  • Cartoon Creations
    – Learning how to use character and narrative in dance
  • Grease/Hairspray
    – Looking at Rock 'n' Roll and using a film as a stimulus

Year 8

  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    – An introduction to using contact work and partnering based on the popular film
  • Heroes and Villains
    – Character work and independent choreography
  • Dance Adverts
    – Looking at dance in the media and creating adverts using dance

Year 9

  • SwanSong
    – Using characterisation and narrative in choreography inspired by proffessional work.
  • Stomp/Tap Dog
    – Building complex rhythms and working without music, looking at using props in performance
  • You Got Served
    – Learning key features of Urban Dance styles and choreographing independently
  • Thriller
    – A short unit focusing on performance skills and characterisation

Key Stage 5 (AS and A2 Level)

Edexcel BTEC First Certificate in Performing Arts: Dance (Year 10 and 11)

This course combines previous knowledge, theoretical skills, choreography and performance, alongside an independent approach to learning and assessment. The BTEC course has a modular structure where students are assessed regularly and are able to track their own progress clearly over two years of study. Each unit is assessed when it is complete, meaning there are no big exams to study for at the end of year 11 – this takes a lot of pressure of students and allows them to achieve the best results possible. All students on the BTEC course will perform in two yearly shows, the Dance Showcase before Easter and the Dance Jam at the end of the school year. Students will choreograph in a range of dance styles, and will create solos, duets and group pieces for performance. There are also workshop and leadership opportunities where students can work with professional dance companies like Motionhouse and Being Frank, as well as having the opportunity to provide positive experiences for younger students in school.

Year 10 Units:

4: Dance Skills

2: Preparation, Performance and Production

8: The Performing Arts Industry

16: Developing Contemporary Dance Techniques

Year 11 Units:

10: Movement Skills

11: Devising Performance Work

1: Individual Showcase

Edexcel BTEC National Extended Certificate, 360 GLH (Year 12 and 13)

The Extended Certificate course is Dance specific and is equivalent to one A Level. Over two years of study students will broaden their Dance knowledge and experience and will have the independence and time to create advances choreographic works at an A Level standard. Students will study four units with a variety of internal and external assessment, allowing them to develop their ability in analysis, choreography and performance. Students on this course will perform in two yearly shows, the Dance Showcase before Easter and the Dance Jam at the end of the academic year. They will also have the opportunity to work with professional dance companies like Spilt Milk and Motionhouse to support their choreographic development and study of repertoire. The course allows dancers to use a variety of styles, with a good knowledge of Contemporary Dance underpinning all units – all students will take part in technique classes so prior knowledge of Contemporary Dance is not essential.


1: Investigating Practitioners’ Work

2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance

3: Group Performance Workshop

11: Street Dance Technique

CSLA – Sports Leadership Award with a Dance Pathway

We expect all year 12 students to take part in a leadership opportunity at Chipping Norton School, and for Dance students we offer the chance to complete the CSLA Sports Leaders Award. Students will take part in planning sessions leading up to delivering workshops to our feeder primary schools, often based on age appropriate literary stimuli. This award is a lot of fun and students who complete the course will receive a nationally recognised and respected award enabling them to lead their own clubs and after school activities independently, this often leads to employment opportunities for our students in our local area.

Family Focus Dance

Once a year we offer a family focus activity for young students and their family. In the past we have run sessions based on Bugsy Malone and Looney Tunes cartoons – these sessions are a lot of fun and are a valuable experience for young students who may be coming to us in year 7.

Dance Clubs and Performance Opportunities

We offer two Dance clubs, Dance Company for students interested in choreographing and performing their own work on a Monday, and Street Dance on a Thursday. All clubs are open to everyone and we welcome new members. Dance clubs will perform their work in either the Dance Showcase or Dance Jam performances.

Every other year we run a whole school musical where all students have the chance to sing, act and dance on stage for an extended run of performances. This year we are working on Return to the Forbidden Planet from September to December 2016. All students are welcome to be in the chorus for the musical and do not need to audition.