Dance GCSE

Course Summary

The GCSE Dance course is assessed both practically and theoretically in order to provide students with the necessary skills to springboard progression into A Level study.

Why choose GCSE Dance?

  • You are a student who enjoys the subject and you are prepared to progress your knowledge and realisation of performance and choreography.
  • Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity.
  • This course recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and students will study a range of dance styles. They can choose any style to perform and choreograph in, providing it meets the assessment criteria.
  • The study of the anthology of professional works will develop students’ ability to critically appraise dances of different styles and cultural influences and provides a springboard for engaging practical tasks.


The practical area of the course assesses students’ performance as both a soloist and as part of ensemble equating to 30% of the final GCSE marks. In addition students will study the craft of choreography (30% of the final marks) which will be realised through the composition of either a solo or group piece.

The theoretical element of the course involves critical appreciation of students’ own work and professional dance works prescribed by the AQA. This will culminate in a written paper totalling 40% of the GCSE qualification.

Drama GCSE

Course Summary

Drama GCSE is a predominantly practical course. The course is divided into two elements, Drama Coursework and Drama Performance.

Throughout the course students will:

  • Further their understanding of improvisation and relevant dramatic and theatrical skills
  • Experience improvisation and scripted drama tasks in a range of different group compositions
  • Develop a theatrical vocabulary and learn to use this in written responses to their own practical work and the work of others (including live theatre)
  • Be expected to demonstrate an enjoyment of Drama and Theatre and to contribute actively to all aspects of the course.


The course is divided into two elements these are:

  1. Drama Coursework (60% – two practical investigations supported by a portfolio of evidence)
  2. Drama Performance (40%)

Music GCSE

Course Summary

Music GCSE is a practical course. Students who enjoy playing an instrument or singing in any style, including classical, pop, rock, jazz, music theatre and many more and would like to perform, compose and learn more about music will find this course suitable for them. An ability to read music is not essential.

Throughout the course students will:

  • develop a greater understanding of different styles of music
  • perform as a soloist and in ensembles, ranging from duets to bands, pieces of music and songs of their own choice on an instrument or voice of their choice, which will be recorded onto CD
  • compose a piece of music or song in a style of their own choice, using instruments and voices of their own choice, which will be recorded onto CD compose a piece of music or song to a set brief, which will be recorded onto CD


The course consists of three units:

  • Performing (30%)
  • Composing (30%)
  • Listening (40%)

The first three units are assessed practically, while the listening unit is also assessed by examination.

KS4 Performing Arts Curriculum Maps