I wrote the following proposal to support Higher Dance in St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats. As a result of this and previous SWOT analysis, Dance has been allowed to run as an Extracurricular subject for                    6 students and one student observer. 


Dance was introduced as an independent subject by the SQA as a result of the success of Dance as a required element in Scottish Primaries and English curriculum, Links to the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ (CfE) and the increasing participation in dance due to health benefits and media promotion.

Nationally, Dance in the Secondary Curriculum has been restricted by the lack of trained professionals with GTCS approved qualification. PE teachers have reported a lack the depth of training needed to deliver creative elements of dance and community dance organisations lack the teaching qualifications appropriate to delivery. PE departments lack the funding to employ professional dance artists despite student interest in Dance.


The key benefit of Dance in Secondary Education is its links with the essence of CfE, including encouraging active lifestyles and confidence, working responsibly and collaboratively. Within lessons students develop technical movement and creative skills in a manner that develops awareness and appreciation of others.

Dance has attracted particular attention as it provides a route for candidates who underperform in literacy and numeracy to regularly participate in developing the lifeskills promoted by the CfE as well as providing more academic students with expressive output. Dance examinations do not interfere with other Academic study as final exam is set as the end of March/start of April.

I am currently one of a few professionals in Scotland who have GTCS registration needed to teach dance as part of the Secondary Curriculum. If I work out with my allocated teaching commitment on a dance project there will be no cost on resources or teaching implementation. I have links with Trinity Laban, London and the Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow where I develop CPD in training dancers and who I can approach to provide positive detonations for learners.

Linking with other professionals in the community allows dancers to progress their technique and skills and workshops run by higher educational institutions fosters pathways for students who are less likely to proceed into further education. I have set up workshops where learners will work with other Higher Dancers from Glasgow schools to participate in dance technical elements and enjoy learning from a range of accredited teachers. This can continue even if Dance is not part of St Matthew’s PE programme.

With schools asked to provide positive destinations for leavers, dance can also open new career pathways. The entertainment industry is vast, employing an estimated 30,000 in dance related roles in the UK alone. Increase in participation in dance education feeds employment opportunities. The skills developed in dance can also be valuable transferable skills that can be applied to any career path. Higher dance generates SQF points which will support any further education application.


Suitability of myself as a deliverer of Higher Dance:

I have DDTAL certification from Trinity Laban and provisional GTCS accreditation to implement dance in the curriculum. I will continue CPD from the Royal Conservatoire, which will include observed lessons, peer reviews, practitioner enquiry and dance teacher training workshops. I attend annual CPD from Trinity Laban in the summer and weekly professional classes. I have delivered dance at Greenwood Academy for two years in collaboration with another practitioner. This included marking, workshops in different Dance styles and responsibility for all written work and resource preparation.

Verification of standards:

Students work will be assessed by video recordings for Unit 1 and 2 NAB’s. The final assessment of Units 1-3 and the written assignment will be completed and verified by an external SQA assessor. Verification of Unit NAR’s will be completed between myself, the PE department and teachers at comparator schools in Glasgow.

Students interested in Higher Dance:

All students interested in Higher Dance are currently in the cohort S4-S5. There are six S4 dancers and six S5 dancers. They have already shown commitment to the course by attending lunchtime and a Friday dance session which informed and raised interest by introducing and teaching provisional Higher dance movement. Five primary students are willing to help with choreography performance for Unit 3.

Dance in the curriculum 2016-2017

  • Students are already assigned into curricular classes which limits delivery. However, six S4 candidates currently have two weekly dance lessons without formal tuition. There is one hour timetabled PE lesson which would fit my own off timetable without setting me beyond the EiS weekly teaching commitment. A similar time can be found for the S5 dancers. These are appropriate time slots and could be supplemented by lunch or after school dance to provide a solid foundation in the curriculum.


  • S1-S3 students could complete Dance at a general level in PE time but are not at Higher level or age.


  • S6 students were contacted, but currently do not wish to commit to dance due to their current interests.

Dance in the curriculum 2017-2018

  • Placing dance on the curriculum for 2017-2018 is simpler. S5 students would have free time in their timetable and I would use my off-timetable time to fulfil the requirements of Higher Dance.


Extracurricular Dance 2016-2017

Students in S5 have already attended a meeting to identify suitable times for extracurricular dance. Sufficient time is available if two hours are completed on a Monday and Friday, supported by additional lunch practice. The candidates have agreed to the times and understand the time commitment.

Pilot classes:

On Friday 09.09.16, we ran one class to identify the level of the girls and the viability of commitment to regular practice. The course runs in a similar manner to dance classes so it is easy to structure. I suggested to them that we try the Contemporary Unit as a pilot. This would allow us to map out the time needed and provide proof of the viability of the course as an extracurricular subject before committing to registering candidates on an SQA accredited course. If the first unit was completed within a time that would allow completion of the Jazz Unit close to or just after Christmas, we would have evidence to request to complete the Higher with the SQA.


Unit 1: Contemporary Dance                                 Till November latest

Unit 2: Jazz Dance                                                     Till January latest

Unit 3: Choreography and Assignment              Run in parallel to Unit 1/2 & exam prep.

Exam Preparation                                                      February until April

Dance in the curriculum 2017-2018

The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise, but the participation in an art form, which is routed in technique, and giving the opportunity for a creative outlet.


This proposal to date can fully support dance as an extracurricular subject, with comparator schools in the Glasgow area. Dance could be effectively run in the curriculum but only if supported by PE timetables and extracurricular time. I am meeting this weekend with dance teachers who deliver both curricular and extra-curricular Higher Dance to identify how their programmes run and to identify how they prevent EiS workload infringement. The dance sequences and routine is ready for students for the first NAB. Higher Dance will complement and provide progression for Dance Leader courses run by Bruce in collaboration with Y-Dance by allowing Higher Dancers to teach primary students with supervision.
















Boys in Dance

Walker, I.J., Nordin-Bates, S.M., & Redding, E. (2012).  A mixed methods investigation of dropout among young talented dancers: Findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 16(2), 65-73.


Curriculum for Excellence

Scottish Government (2009). Curriculum for Excellence: Building the curriculum 4-Skills for learning, skills for life. Pages 1-44. Crown, Edinburgh

URL:   Last accessed: 13.06.14



Effect of Workload

Angioi, M; Metsios, D; Twitchett, E; Koutedakis, Y; Wyon, M (2009). Journal of Dance Medicine and Dance. 13 (4) 116-123.


Twitchett, E; Angioi, M; Koutedakis, Y; Wyon, M (2009). Do Increases in Selected Fitness Parameters Affect the Aesthetic Aspects of Classical Ballet Performance? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23(9) 2732-2735.


Wyon, M (2010). Preparing to Perform: Periodization and Dance. Journal of Dance Medicine and Dance. 14 (2) 67-72.


Teaching styles and Strategies

Cohen, L, Manion, L & Morrison, K (2004). A Guide to Teaching Practice.  pg 323-363 RoutledgeFalmer.


Cone, T & Cone, S (2005). Teaching Children Dance. Human Kinetics. pg 67 -77.


Kassing, G  &  May, D (2003). Dance Teaching Methods & Curriculum Design pg 33-45 Sheridan Book, USA


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