Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11

Step-by-Step is a dance resource for all those planning, delivering and supporting dance in a school setting to pupils aged 7 - 11: classroom teachers, school leaders and support staff. Whether you are completely new to teaching dance or you are just looking for new ideas Step-by-Step is here to help: it is aimed at the non-specialist teacher and requires no previous knowledge or skill in dance.

The range of content includes video for both teachers and pupils, audio downloads, dance frameworks to download and a comprehensive set of Teachers' Notes, which is the ideal starting point for gaining the skills and confidence for delivering dance to KS2 pupils. The content has been arranged to explore three popular topics: 'The Blitz', 'The Firebird' - a traditional Aboriginal story from Australia - and 'Alfred the Great'.

Unit 1: The Blitz
Unit 2: The Firebird
Unit 3: Alfred the Great

How to use Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11

If you want to start from the basics we recommend you read through the Teachers' Notes from the start. As you proceed you may wish to relate what you read to one of the three topics - 'The Blitz', 'The Firebird' and 'Alfred the Great' - and view the CPD films for each one.

In the films our two dance experts Laura Nicholson and Claire Pring work with classroom teachers - who have little or no experience of teaching dance - to deliver an inspiring dance session based one of the frameworks provided for each topic. The films have been made with a range of KS2 year groups, in a typical lesson context and without coaching. The responses you see in the films are the ones you may expect from your pupils.

As you gather confidence you may wish to begin one of the units of content with your pupils. At this point you could share both the Dance Challenge and Final Performance films with your pupils - as examples of high-quality outcomes. The audio downloads enable you to share a dance session with your group that will closely match the sessions of the CPD films - by providing the music sequences and spoken prompts to the pupils. There are five frameworks for each topic - ensuring there is sufficient breadth and range to make the dance experience a significant part of delivering curriculum aims.

The ultimate aim of Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11 is to provide you with the tools and confidence to:

  • plan your own dance frameworks - inspired by your own classroom topics
  • deliver these with your group, allowing for a performance element where appropriate
  • assess what has been achieved and reflect on the outcomes

Teachers with some dance experience may choose to go straight to the dance frameworks for each unit - or, indeed, take inspiration from the Notes provided for our companion series KS2 Dance Workshop.


Teachers' Notes for Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11
Framework template
Blank framework template

Dance in the UK primary curriculum

In England dance sits within PE. The National Curriculum states that Pupils should be taught to...perform dances using a range of movement patterns. Dance clearly also supports the PE curriculum's aim to:

  • develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance
  • allow pupils to compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best

Education Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, published in September 2019, places dance as a discrete subject in its comprehensive Expressive Arts curriculum area: Through dance, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. Creating and performing will be the core activities for all learners, and taking part in dance contributes to their physical education and physical activity.

Dance forms part of the current PE curriculum in Wales, which highlights the need for pupils to be given opportunities to be creative and imaginative in gymnastic and dance activities, while participating in dance also contributes to 'Health, Fitness and Well-being' and the 'Creative activities' skill area.

In Northern Ireland dance sits within the PE curriculum as well, though acknowledgement is made of the clear links with The Arts curriculum area, such as Drama and Music. In addition to being able to demonstrate a range of movement skills, pupils are required to: listen to, and move in response to, different stimuli and accompaniments, for example, verbal...

How is Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11 different from other BBC Teach dance resources?

You may already be familiar with other dance resources from BBC Teach, including Let's Move and Time to Move for KS1 and Dance Workshop for KS2. These audio series are intended to provide off-the-shelf dance resources that are simple to use and offer a complete dance session from warm up to cool down. You simply browse the available units, download the audio from the links provided and deliver the session with your group, making use of the Teacher Notes as you go. The format is didactic in that the activities are pre-determined.

Step-by-Step: Dance 7 - 11 aims to offer a more flexible resource that will equip teachers with the skills and confidence to develop their own dance sessions, shaped by current topic work and informed by knowledge of the individual group of pupils involved. If Step-by-Step achieves its goal you will be able to apply your new skills to any topic to create successful, enriching, dance sessions that everyone will enjoy.