A prestigious Shropshire school is building on the success of its artistic programmes with the launch of a new GCSE course in Dance due to begin this year.


The news comes as 14 students at the College celebrate success following the release of results across music and drama examinations – set by the Royal Schools of Music, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and Trinity College London – three prominent courses offered by the school.  


The GCSE Dance (AQA Course) will begin at Ellesmere College during the summer term with taster sessions for youngsters aged between nine and 13 being planned by way of introduction to the new course.


Rachel Schubert, Director of Drama at Ellesmere College, said: “The introduction of this new GCSE Dance course is an important addition to our offering, meaning more students will be able to get involved in dance and work towards a qualification.


“Our dance programmes are proving really popular and we offer a range of opportunities for students of all ages – in terms of performing, leading sessions, choreographing and co-directing.


“Taster sessions for GCSE Dance will be held in the form of Thursday twilight two-hour sessions after which students can opt to take the course.


“It dovetails nicely with our other offerings which are seeing a high level of take-up again following the restrictions of Covid. These include private dance lessons for children aged between three and 13 in contemporary, ballet, jazz and tap – amongst other styles – and lessons can be on an individual basis, in pairs or groups. Lessons can be taken purely for fun or with the goal of taking and passing exams.


“Our Junior Dance Club runs at lunchtimes and some students take part in our Arts Award Dance Focus where Arts Award Advisers are on hand to help students develop their ideas in relation to their chosen art form which could be dance.


“We also have leadership opportunities for senior students working with Junior Dance Club and Ellesmere Primary School. This can be achieved by leading a term of dance sessions with peers or younger students.


“Students can also get involved with the drama department’s annual performance of a drama, dance or physical movement. This involves students who are already skilled in dance being encouraged to co-direct or choreograph as well as be part of the production. This is another opportunity available through the Arts Award or Leadership programmes.”


As the college dance programmes gather momentum, music and drama students at the school are celebrating examination success. They include eight Distinctions and one Merit during the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art exams: Olivia Philbin, 15, Grade 7 MT Distinction; Henry Copelin, 14, Grade 3 Acting Distinction; Harry Hepburn, 15, Grade 4 Acting Distinction; Oscar Archer Rogers, 13, Grade 4 Acting Distinction; Tabitha Gallagher, 11, Grade 3 MT Distinction; Esther Gration, 11, Grade 3 MT Distinction; Megan Pritchard, 12, Grade 3 Acting Distinction; Kaylee Mellor, 13, Grade 3 Acting Distinction; Sienna Hanratty, 12, Grade 3 Acting Merit. 

The Royal Schools of Music exam results:  Oscar Crossen – Grade 1 Piano 114 Pass; Chris Davis – Grade 6 Baritone 118 Pass; Ellie Kimber – Grade 4 Violin 116 Pass; Huw Lloyd – Grade 3 Piano 126 Merit.

Trinity College London exam result: Olivia Philbin – Grade 4 Drums Merit.

For more information on dance, music and drama provision visit The Arts at Ellesmere.

Pictured: Joseph Baillon and Mimi Robinson-Stanier.


Pictured: Joseph Baillon and Mimi Robinson-Stanier.