Churchfields is very proud of its Dance achievements. We have worked hard to develop an exciting and vibrant subject and strongly believe that all students can achieve and find enjoyment through dance, through academic success as well as personal, social and emotional development. A specialist Dance Department, the department is well led by Ms Jarvis who is supported by Miss Dixon, who also teaches the Churchfields Academy Dance Company.
A successful and thriving subject, results at GCSE are some of the highest in the school, with many students achieving top grades. Dance is taught throughout Years 7-11 and is a popular subject at KS4 with both boys and girls.
In Year 7, Dance is taught within PE and in Yr 8, students receive 1 hour of dance per week. Students then have the option of studying KS4 Dance in Years 9, 10 and 11 with a minimum of 3 hours a week. Students study a range of units per year in a range of dance styles, including contemporary, street, musical theatre and cultural dance with a practical assessment every term that is performed on the stage. The units cover the 3 elements of dance: choreography, performance and appreciation. All students have numerous opportunities to perform to an audience, whether their peers, to other classes, in assemblies or public performances. At KS4 the course also includes theory; the study of professional dance works, along with an understanding of performance and choreography skills.
There are 2 designated teaching spaces; a specially designed studio, with specialist soft dance flooring and large mirrors, and also the theatre, where students can benefit from the large space as well as being able to use the generously sized stage. In addition, the department is fully resourced with an interactive board, lighting and IPADs.
The Dance Department offers an extensive extra-curricular programme to students of all ages and abilities, to promote enjoyment and achievement. These include: dance clubs, Churchfields Academy Dance Company that runs on Wednesday after schools, external performances, theatre visits and projects with professional artists. In addition, students have numerous opportunities to perform throughout the year which such as: Yr 7 Arts Day, Christmas Concert, Open Evening, Arts Events, GCSE Exam evenings, Awards evenings and Assemblies. We also provide opportunities to perform at the Wyvern Theatre and New College in the Swindon Schools Festival, Wiltshire Schools Festival, Secondary Schools Platform and Great Big Dance Off; last year we came 3rd in the South of England Heat, narrowly missing out on a place in the final in London. Visiting Yr 5 and 6 students also take part in dance activities during their transition days which are enthusiastically led by Yr 9 dance students, to develop the students’ teaching skills.
Furthermore, the dance rooms are also available lunchtimes and after schools for students to rehearse and work independently.
One highlight in the Academy Calender is the Annual Dance Showcase, an evening that displays the talent and the dedication of approximately 100 students, performing a wide range of dance styles. A popular event, the show includes a primary and an evening performance and showcases a range of work form all year groups in a variety of dance styles.
Our dance provision is enhanced by strong community links and partnerships with dance establishments have been developed over recent years which include the Swindon Schools Dance Network, close links with New College and Swindon Dance and the Swindon GCSE Choreography Competition; which Churchfields won last year. A number of students have also gained places in the South- West Youth Dance Academy and many of our GCSE students continue to study dance at New College, our local KS5 provider.