A teacher’s perspective on facilitating RSL Performing Arts

One Dance UK Teacher Advocacy Panellist Amy Preedy, of Our Lady & St John’s Catholic College Blackburn, shares her experience on facilitating RSL Performing Arts level 2:

It was with trepidation that I made the decision to introduce RSL Performing Arts Level 2. Being a keen advocate for dance in secondary schools and continuously delivering a different course for over 18 years the leap of faith was one that then came with great support from both RSL (Rock School) and other teacher/practitioners. Vocational courses have at times been seen as inferior to – or less  rigorous than – traditional GCSE courses, and I must admit that I was a little wary of making the move. To my surprise and to the delight of my students the RSL enables both teacher and learner the flexibility and choice of study of more bespoke units. Over the course pupils have to complete one external unit (final year Jan – May) and one internal.  By choice (also freedom of the course), I have selected choice selected two internal units Dance ensemble and Dance choreography. These units will allow my students to explore further their strengths and learn new skills relating to the vocational side of dance, which in turn leads nicely into Degree level courses at establishments such as UCLAN. The joy of these units are that you, the teacher, design the assignment brief. Although this is still early days, my experience has been one of relief at the suitability of the course for my pupils, support by RSL with an initial first visit to brief us for the course and then an External verifier who works alongside with continuous support and offer guidance. Other practitioners such as Justine Reeve also provide another constant source of support in process. Ultimately, the Key Stage 4 courses you deliver has to be in the best interest of the students and presently this course is offering my pupils a chance of success in dance which I want to continue to nurture and encourage studying post 16.  Regardless of the qualification title ultimately our goal as educators is to promote the arts via the best means possible and embrace change when and where needed.