Achieving outstanding grades in A-level Dance is extremely challenging; particularly given the varied students who join the course with usually limited to no experience in written dance theory, but an affinity for practical dance. Minimum expected grades are generally higher than other a-level subjects, and component 2 poses many challenges; not only due to the sheer volume of content required to be covered on the specification and the complex open range of practitioner options to teach from, but the high level written and analytical skills required of students to do well on the examined paper. The aim of this course is to give both Heads of Dance and Teachers of Dance not only guidance in successful planning and teaching approaches, but an understanding of the exam board assessment requirements; including an insight into the different types of questions, how these are assessed in terms of marking and AQA’s assessment objectives, and practical teaching approaches to build students confidence, knowledge and understanding of this in an exam. This course focuses on Section A of the paper, covering the compulsory set work of Rooster (Christopher Bruce, 1991) as well as the corresponding compulsory area of study; Rambert Dance Company (formerly Ballet Rambert) 1966–2002.


  • Explore the AQA specification requirements of Component 2 in depth, and have an understanding of how best to build a scheme of work that facilitates student success
  • Take away practical teaching approaches and activities to apply to your own teaching of the compulsory set work of Rooster (Christopher Bruce, 1991) and the compulsory area of study; Rambert Dance Company 1966–2002
  • Develop your understanding of the assessment methods on component, and build confidence in your ability to accurately assess student work
  • Find out more about the different approaches to support students to gain an A*-B success
  • Have the opportunity to discuss the challenges of implementing the course at your centre, and the time to explore how to apply new approaches to your centre
COURSE DATE Online | Wednesday 03 February 2021
Online | Wednesday 01 June 2021
  • Heads of Dance
  • Teachers of AQA A-level Dance
  • NQTs would also benefit from this course
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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


10.00 – 10:45am: Building a Successful 2-year Programme

  • Knowing the requirements of the specification, including assessment objectives and weightings
  • Structure and timing of the assessments, and how best to plan schemes of work around this
  • Basic concepts of building a 2-year scheme of work to ensure maximum success of student outcomes, and building skills and concepts in a logical and linear manner
  • Consideration of how Component 1 and Component 2 (section A and B) optional choices can compliment success in both units
  • Using examiner reports and e-AQA data to understand nationally recognised strengths and weaknesses of current teaching, and plan for change
  • Sharing of practice: opportunity to discuss current 2-year teaching models, and map out possible models moving forwards

10.45 – 11.45am: Compulsory Area of Study: Rambert

  • Understanding the teaching and assessment requirements from the specification
  • Concepts on how to choose the optional named practitioners and optional works that you cover to maximise student success
  • Timeline of the changing artistic policy, and thus stylistic features, of Rambert, and ensuring students have clear distinction between a practitioners artistic direction, compared to a practitioners movement and choreographic style
  • Factfiles on Robert North and Richard Alston, and how to build student understanding between the contextual background of the practitioner and the area of study, and how this impacts their movement style, choreographic style and artistic policy
  • Student challenges in the compulsory area of study and how to overcome these
  • Teaching ideas to engage and excite students, whilst also developing A*-B skills and knowledge

11.45 – 12.00am: Break

12.00 – 1.00pm: Compulsory Set Work of Rooster (Christopher Bruce, 1991)

  • Understanding the teaching and assessment requirements from the specification
  • Introducing the set study to your students through context and background
  • Guided structure and resources for students to complete sectional analysis
  • How to improve the quality and detail in students description of examples
  • The importance of Rooster in relation to Christopher Bruce and Rambert
  • Incorporating practical: crossover with solo work alongside engaging revision techniques to improve student retention and understanding

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch  

2:00 – 3:00pm: Understanding Exam Technique and Marking

  • Understanding AQA exam board assessment objectives and weightings across the full a-level qualification
  • Overview of different types of smaller mark questions, including how to approach different command words, length of student responses and common student pitfalls
  • Progressive teaching practice methods to teach the 25mark essay response
  • Understanding mark schemes and how to accurately assess student responses
  • Example responses and marking tasks with feedback

3:00 – 3:15: afternoon break

3:15 – 3:45pm:   Student and staff support strategies to maximise A*-B rates

  • Dealing with linearity; teaching strategies of metacognition, creating appropriate assessment strategies and ideas for revision
  • Successful intervention and support strategies, including how to build an extra-curricular provision to boost your cohorts A*-B rate
  • Resources to help both teacher planning and student independent study
  • Challenges of both small and large cohort sizes
  • Maintaining recruitment on a-level Dance
  • AQA and Rambert support mechanisms, as well as wider teacher network support

3.45 / 4.00pm: Networking, Questions and Depart

Toni Knight

Toni Knight has been teaching at a highly successful 6th Form College for 7 years, covering A-level Dance, BTEC Dance, A-level PE and BTEC Sport. For 4years, she has held the position of Head of PE, Sport and Dance, and led the department to gaining ‘National Teaching Team of the Year’ in Oct. 2019 at the Pearson National Teaching Awards hosted on the BBC. On taking on the leadership of the Dance provision, it has not only grown in size with the cohort being one of the largest in the country for A-level, but most notably the course attainment has drastically improved under her leadership; highlighted in 2019 by a 100% A*-B rate and a high ALPs grade 2 on A-level Dance with students from very mixed background. Toni has experience of examining in both Dance and PE, and has worked with several exam boards over the years.