The aims of the Foundation Diploma in Dance is to ensure students have the skills in performance and technique to progress onto a wider range of
Dance, Movement and performance based courses at Higher Education.
What are lessons like?
Lessons are heavily influenced by practical workshops and rehearsals.
Theory work is embedded through the practical elements and there is
opportunity to consolidate new information through specialised theory-
based classes as required.
A lot of the work is done individually or as part of smaller performance
groups so there must be a strong focus on your own personal
What are exams like?
On this course, there are two externally assessed units. The first is an
unseen written essay style which has 4 weeks preparation and 3 hours to
complete. The second is a practical performance that has a guided
learning hour of 60. Both of these assessments are sent to the exam board
The other units are completed in-house. They are marked by the
department and sent off to the examination board for standards
All units are supported by a research task, in the form of an essay, as well
as a comprehensive reflective journal.
Recommended prior learning /entry requirements:
A strong English GCSE grade is desired for this course due to the nature of the written elements. As well as this, some form of prior experience in the Art form is
essential. If you have not taken a Performing Arts/Dance course at GCSE level,
we advise that you take some technique classes (ballet or Contemporary) in
your own time prior to commencement at SM6. All students who wish to study
with us are asked to attend our open workshop day later in the year.
Recommended additional reading:
An understanding or knowledge of how plays are written and stage directions. We recommend ‘An Actor Prepares’ by Konstantine
Stanislavski as a good basis.
Where can this course lead to?
This course can lead on too many Universities, and not just ones with a sole focus on the performing arts. If a Performing Arts/Dance based
career is a certainty for you then it is worth pointing out that our previous
students have gone on to study Dance movement, Choreography,
Acting, Theatre Directing, European Theatre and Community Theatre at
higher education level. Other students on this course have gained places
at Universities to study subjects such as study Law and Psychology,
Why study the Foundation Diploma in Dance at St Mary’s College Sixth Form?
Our highly qualified faculty of staff have both academia and professional
performance experience who bring a wealth of knowledge to your
education. We are a hugely passionate team of staff who work hard to
bring you an education than spans more than the pages of the
We are one of the only 6th form courses in the country to be recognised
by the CDMT (The Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre)
Our links with the RSC and top UK Vocational colleges are celebrated
throughout the year. We invite certain Higher Educational colleges to us
for audition purposes. We are also passionate about bringing in current