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At Jacqui Ison School of Dance & Theatre Arts students are given the opportunity to start their GCSE Dance coursework in Year 8, thereby taking their final GCSE Dance examination before their main core subjects in Year 11.
The course is predominantly a two year course although a number of students have taken the examination within a year. All students are regularly assessed and each student is given the opportunity of 1:1 tutorials. The youngest student within the school to ever take the GCSE Dance examination was a Year 8 student who passed with an A grade.
AS Level Dance is generally taught to students in Year 12 although the subject can be taught earlier depending on experience, maturity and the student having gained GCSE Dance with either an A* or A grade. Students wishing to study AS level at Year 12 should have attained either an A*, A or B grade at GCSE level.
The course is led by Jacqui Ison who created the Dance Department and devised the course curriculum for GCSE and AS/A2 Dance at St. Mary's Catholic School, Bishop's Stortford in 2003, teaching there until 2006 and again in 2010 and 2011. She was awarded a Grade 1 by OFSTED for her teaching and pupils under her guidance all achieved their personal best, many with A* grades together with a 100% A-C grades. She has taught boys as well as girls, many of whom have gone on to take AS and A2 level Dance and other performance related subjects again with 100% A-C grades.
Both GCSE and A Level are for those students who enjoy dance, have a creative mind and are prepared to think outside "the box". Although the course is demanding, there are plenty of theatre trips and performance opportunities which add to the enjoyment and excitement of the courses.
Our GCSE and A Level Dance courses provide a valuable springboard into further dance studies and students attending the school benefit from its strong links with the dance industry.
Former students have gone on to study Dance, performance and theatre arts at University or have pursued careers in dance related areas such as teaching, dance administration and performance.
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