Welcome to the Dance Department

At Poole High School, we believe the study of performing arts will encourage students to grow as individuals and members of a community.

They will develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity through both practical and analytical activities, allowing students the opportunities to critically appraise themselves, peers and professional works. We encourage creative thinking and strive to build confident, self-reflective and empathetic young people who are able to work with a wide range of personalities. These transferable skills support not only careers within the performing arts, but industry-wide: locally, nationally and internationally. All students have the opportunity to study dance at both key stage 3 and 4 plus engage in extra-curricular activities.  We are also very proud to be an associate school of Pavilion Dance South West and a partner school with The Lighthouse.

Departmental Courses

  • Dance GCSE  (AQA)

Who do I contact for more information?

Mrs B Ellicott (DirectorofPerformingArts@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

At KS3, students will partake in a 6 lesson unit in dance as part of their core PE lessons.  Although part of PE and so based on practical work, the units use the dance as an art model, incorporating the three strands of performance skills, creating dance and appreciation. This provides students with a grounding in preparation for further study at KS4 should they wish to follow this path. In year 7, we use traditional dance as a basis for study; in year 8, we move on to look at social dance, and in year 9, we think about dance as a way of communicating ideas to an audience. Each unit encourages students to use their own creativity as well as learning the building blocks of dance. Students need have no prior experience of dance to participate fully in each unit.

Performing Arts – GCSE Dance

Why study Dance?

Dance is a powerful and empowering form of non-verbal communication and it is both physical and expressive, which makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities. Dance develops creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities.

This course will allow you to develop both your performance and choreography skills and refine your creative ideas through experimenting with movement, observation and by learning about professional dance works.

Units include:

  • Performance
  • Choreography
  • Appreciation of set dance works (a variety of styles including street and contemporary)


  • Performance of solo set phrases and in a duet/trio – 30% of total (internally marked and externally moderated)
  • Choreography – 30% of total (internally marked and externally moderated)
  • Written paper – 40% of total (externally marked - 1 hour 30 minutes)

Which students do well at Dance?

  • …those who enjoy performing
  • …those who enjoy expressing themselves through movement
  • …those who participate in dance or other aesthetic activities outside school
  • …those who enjoy working with others


Students who study dance often go on to university degrees, apprenticeships or conservatoires specialising in performing arts. Dance can offer careers as a performer, teacher, choreographer, therapist, journalist or community practitioner.   Roles that also benefit from the study of dance include arts administrator, physiotherapist, filmmaker, producer, backstage technician and designer, scientist or in the fitness industry. 

Check out One Dance UK’s guide to careers in Dance here:  https://tinyurl.com/onedanceuk

If you attend Poole High School, you can access our Creative Careers Google Classroom for lots of opportunities and information.