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Achieving Well in A-Level Dance

Course Code:


This is an advanced course offering in-depth training for teachers looking for ideas which will help their students achieve at the highest levels. Sessions will target the skills needed for the different A-Level Dance component and offer practical advice as to how to implement these ideas within the classroom progressively during the two year course. The day includes workshop sessions, designed to help turn theory into practice, exploring exemplar materials to identify characteristics of outstanding work, and a Q&A session in order to trouble-shoot explanations for the trickiest areas of Component 2. Teachers will take away key approaches and practical strategies for maximising students’ ability to access the top grades in each of the practical and written components.


  • Gain fresh approaches to creative teaching ideas that push A and A* students
  • Explore exemplar materials to identify characteristics of outstanding work
  • Consider lessons learnt from the examination series in 2023 and how to apply these to your teaching
  • Take away key methods for ensuring students get A and A* in each of the practical and written components
  • Build into your teaching top grade assessment criteria for successful outcomes.


What is Needed to Succeed in Both the Written and the Practical Components

10.00 – 10.45am
  • What do the examiners want to see? Develop a greater understanding of the precision and details that examiners are looking for in A/A8 students
  • Issues raised by examiners Solo Performance, Performance in a Quartet
  • The barriers to progression in the written paper and ways to support them Map of the two year teaching course: how to build the essential knowledge and skills throughout Yr12 and Yr13

Discussion: coffee break

10.45 – 11.00am

Component 2: Focus on the Pedagogy: how can it unlock the potential of A/A* students?

11.00 – 12.00pm
  • Review characteristics of A and A* A-Level students in the written paper
  • The key topics A/A* students find most challenging
  • How to scaffold techniques for retrieval and recall and application to examination questions
  • Professional learning – advanced methods and practical approaches to enable your able students to excel in questions on Rambert’s practitioners and its history
  • A look at some of the challenging areas of the 25 mark questions

Component 2: Exam Techniques and Tactics

12.00pm– 12.45pm
  • Predicting the paper: familiarise your students with the characteristics of previous exam questions and knowing how to answer them
  • The key topics A/A* students find most challenging and how to scaffold techniques for memory retrieval and recall and application to examination questions
  • Dissecting examination questions- vocabulary & command words
  • Examining top grade exemplar responses – how to embed the academic rigour required to

Lunch and informal discussion

12.45 – 1.45pm

The key challenges for A/A* students in Component 1: Performance and Choreography

1.45 – 2.45pm
  • Developing a deep understanding of core Performance and Choreography excellence
  • Giving top level feedback to ensure rapid progress and drive forward high quality performances and choreography
  • Using advanced pedagogical tools to stretch and challenge your students in the lead up to the practical exam
  • Exemplar solo and quartet work, and of group choreography of A/A*students with a focus on understanding the grading and learning from the examiner’s report
  • Characteristics of the most successful candidates in the choreography component

Discussion: afternoon tea

2.45 – 2.55m

Stretching and Challenging the most able students

2.55 – 3.30pm
  • Developing an understanding of the influences, importance and context to American jazz dance from 1940–1975
  • How to build student understanding between the contextual background of the practitioner and the area of study

Approaches to Teaching Singin’ In The Rain & Jazz

3.00 – 3.30pm
  • PStarting from the beginning of Year 12 – establishing moving on from GCSE approaches – highlighting the teaching differences from the start ofthe A-Level course
  • Dance resources and materials – using a range of different resources and various questions over and above that required to answer A-Level Dance exam questions
  • Creating an inspired space in dance lessons for inspired learning
  • Creating an environment where creativity, imagination, intellectual curiosity can flourish to stretch the most able students in Dance
  • Strategies for stretching A/A* students in a mixed-ability classroom and challenging complacent high-achievers




London | Monday 27 November 2023

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This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Claire Noonan is an experienced Head of Dance, and has been teaching GCSE and A-Level Dance for over twenty years. GCSE Results for 2022 for her students were 39% grades 8 – 9, 50% grades 7 – 9 and 100% grades 5 – 9. Progress 8 score 1.45. At A Level her students attained 35% A*, 64% A*/A grades and 100 A* – C grades. She continually receives outstanding grade 1s on lesson observations. She is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) and has improved the quality of dance provision in a number of schools. She also has a wealth of experience in working with a range of professionals to ensure her students feel inspired for dance theory and prepared for their future dance training.


  • Teacher of A-Level Dance
  • Head of Dance
  • Head of Faculties of Performing Arts
  • New Teachers of AQA A-Level Dance


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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