The aim of the Dance curriculum is to develop students’ understanding of dance as an art form, how it enables us to express our emotions and connect to the world around us. We want students to discover how dance can make you think, react and most importantly broaden your mind. At Mounts Bay we want everyone to have access to high quality cultural experiences and dance provision throughout the curriculum. We want to equip students with the knowledge and skills to develop not only as performers, but also choreographers and dance analysts. Students develop critical thinking skills as well as their ability to communicate, problem solve and collaborate. They also build their self-discipline, confidence, resilience and physical and mental wellbeing. These attributes and the holistic approach we take, encourages learners to become risk-taking, creative thinkers who are well equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Being passionate about and inspired by dance is key to the success of the subject and the curriculum delivery. All lessons are planned with this in mind and it is modelled through high quality practical demonstrations. Students develop their performance skills by learning technique phrases, working collaboratively on group dances and performing extracts from professional repertoire. They have the opportunity to explore a range of dance styles, develop their creative thinking skills and choreograph their own pieces. We encourage students to develop their analytical, critical thinking and communication skills, through class discussions, debate and analysing the choreographic process. The three key strands of performing, creating and appreciating are woven throughout the planning across year groups. Dance was introduced into year 7 and 8 last year as part of Creative Industries and students have the opportunity to explore a range of dance genres and how dance is used as a creative tool in a wide range of industries. Embedding High Performance Learning (HPL) skills and making cross-curricular connections is central to planning and delivery. As part of this spiral curriculum students begin to build the knowledge and skills they will need as a foundation for KS4. From year 9 students work towards the BTEC TECH award in Performing Arts: Dance which involves them studying professional works in detail, honing their analytical skills and their own choreographic practice. They create digital dance portfolios that track their progress and enable them to reflect on their learning journey. They are encouraged to utilise technology to present their work creatively using a mixture of embedded videos with voice recordings, photographs and text in an innovative and adventurous way. The dance department has close relationships with the professional dance community and this enriches our curriculum and links to real world experiences. Our Dance students regularly perform at venues such as Hall for Cornwall, the Regal, Acorn and Minack theatres and Falmouth University’s venue AMATA. We also provide numerous opportunities to collaborate with visiting professionals, internationally renowned choreographers, film makers and dance companies, both within lessons and as part of our outstanding extra-curricular provision through the MBA Dance Company.
In 2022, Dance was successfully awarded MBA’s Area of Excellence through the Challenge Partners review. The impact of our curriculum can be seen not only in this accolade but in the outstanding results achieved by our students. However, we feel the impact that studying Dance at MBA goes further than this and helps contribute to students’ enjoyment of learning across the curriculum and brings a sense of belonging within their education. Our extremely high expectations and commitment to supporting every student in reaching their full potential has paid off. In recent years the profile of Dance and its presence within the curriculum has grown significantly as a result of these factors. The curriculum is working in Dance as we have consistently achieved outstanding results in KS4, considerably higher than national averages with a 100% pass rate. Students clearly engage with and enjoy the subject and this is reflected in the positive feedback we receive, the outstanding relationships developed and the students’ willingness to go above and beyond to be successful in the subject. A number of our students have gone on to study performing Arts at A Level, BTEC and successfully auditioned for professional training programmes in Dance.