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Department Staff and Responsibilities 

Mrs A. Duffy – Teacher of Dance
Miss A Thorpe – Teacher of Dance

Linked Governor – D Liggett

I cannot scream praise high enough for the teachers within Bedford Arts. It is their natural talent for nurturing and growth of self-esteem that has quite literally been life changing for my daughter’. Mrs Downs, (parent of an Arts student at Bedford High School).

Bedford High School is a Gold Artsmark School, Lead Artsmark School, Music Mark and National Theatre Flagship School.  The Arts Faculty is composed of Art, Dance, Drama and Music and our united vision is to ‘Bring out the best in everyone through creative thinking and expression’. This statement is at the forefront of everything we do to ensure our students have as many high quality Arts opportunities as possible.

The Dance Department is a newly developing department at Bedford. We are excited to provide excellent dance provision at all key stages, within the curriculum and through extra-curricular opportunities. The Dance Department revolves around the 3 key principles of performance, choreography and appreciation of dance as an art form.

Our Vision: Dance Matters

It is our aim for all students to have access to Dance lessons within the School curriculum. This is through PE lessons at key stage 3 and as a GCSE option at key stage 4.  Lessons aim to be lively and engaging, with an emphasis on developing creative thinking through physical activity. Students will have the opportunity to experience a number of different genres and styles of dance, as well as taking part in choreography and appreciation of dance. Students will learn to work both independently and in groups to create and perform to the best of their ability, becoming confident individuals. The vision is to nurture students to be thinking dancers; where creativity and physical development come hand in hand.

Key Stage 3:

In Year 7 and 8 students participate in dance as part of their PE lessons. This takes place one half term of the year, for one hour a week. Students then move on to other sporting activities. Students can also take part in dance as an extra-curricular activity- with a weekly dance club that leads to performing at various events within School and the local community, including our own Bedford Dance Show.

Key Stage 4:

(AQA GCSE Dance)  

Students can chose GCSE Dance as an option from Year 9. The course is 40% written exam, and 60% practical.

What’s assessed


  • Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration)
  • Duet/trio performance (three minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration)


Solo or group choreography – a solo (two to two and a half minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (three to three and a half minutes)

How it’s assessed

Internally marked and externally moderated


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks

Total component 60%

Non-exam assessment (NEA) marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

What’s assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work

Critical appreciation of professional works

How it’s assessed

  • 40% of GCSE
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

80 marks


Based on students’ own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance anthology.

How can parents help:

  • Ensure that your child is practising at home for the practical element of the course.
  • Encourage excellent attendance to school and to after school activities, events and trips.
  • Ensure that your child has a dance kit (leggings and black t-shirt/Bedford Dance Dance t-shirt) and they have all equipment needed for a theory lesson.
  • Encourage your child to work on creating revision resources for all of the work they have done in class so far.
  • To ensure your child is completing homework to the best of their ability.
  • If you have any problems or queries please contact us!