Date: Thursday 7 January 2021

Code: 8230


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 in- depth insight into the structure and assessment of the 25mark essay response. You will gain a practical understanding of how these are assessed in terms of marking and AQA’s assessment objectives, and progressive teaching approaches to build students confidence, skillset and understanding of essay writing in an exam situation. This course focuses on Section B of the paper, and in particular Option 4 from the optional set works and areas of study list; covering the compulsory set work of Sutra (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, 2008) as well as the corresponding area of study; the Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain 2000 – current. Nationally, this is the most popular optional unit, and we will explore in detail the benefits of choosing this for most student cohorts to maximise success, alongside practical approaches to planning and teaching.


  • Heads of Dance
  • Teachers of AQA A-level Dance
  • NQTs would also benefit from this course


  • Explore the AQA specification requirements of component 2, and have an understanding of how best to build a scheme of work that facilitates student success
  • Take away teaching approaches and activities to apply to your own teaching of the compulsory set work of Sutra (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, 2008) and the corresponding area of study; the Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain 2000 – current
  • Develop your understanding of the assessment methods on component 2, and build confidence in your ability to accurately assess student work


4:30 – 4:45pm: Building a Successful 2-year Programme

  • Knowing the requirements of the specification, including assessment objectives and weightings
  • 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 complement 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

4:45 – 5:15pm: Optional Area of Study: Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain 2000 – current

  • Concepts on how to choose the optional named practitioners and optional works that you cover to maximise student success
  • Context to the Independent Contemporary Dance Scene: How to open the topic with an understanding of the changing artistic movements, and build a timeline from the early origin of Rambert (compulsory set study) to the point of 2000+
  • 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 opening of their own companies
  • Teaching ideas to engage and excite students, whilst also developing A*-B skills and knowledge

5:15 – 5.45pm: Compulsory Set Work of Sutra (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, 2008)

  • 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
  • Teaching and revision resource ideas to engage and excite students, and to improve student retention and understanding

5:45 – 6:00pm: Understanding Exam Technique and Marking

  • Overview of the essay question response, including structure and 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

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.