One of the areas that we are very proud of at Caterpillar Dance School is the standard of exam results and our 100% pass rate.

During the year we tend to focus on the core basics and then work intensively towards examinations. These examinations are conducted by The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and more recently The United Kingdom Alliance (UKA).

What is an Awarding Body?

An awarding body is an examinations institute that provides a set of approved exams (or grades) in different dance styles, which students can work towards. These exams can be self regulated by the awarding body or work within the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF).

QCF Qualifications

These exams fall within the QCF, which is a government standard across all levels of learning from Secondary to Higher Education and is regulated by Ofqual, DCELLS and CCEA. These exams provide a framework for parents and students to follow and provide a guaranteed guide as to your progression. This is especially useful for students looking to pursue dance as a career as the exams are recognised by professional colleges and further education establishments.

Non Accredited Examinations

These exams do not fall within the QCF criteria, however they are all quality assured by the CDMT. These exams are best suited to regular appraisals, incentive awards and medal tests. These are well suited to social dancers and for measuring performance as students work towards QCF exams.

Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre

Caterpillar Dance School has been awarded the Council’s certificate of good professional practice. Schools awarded with CDMT’s Recognised School Award demonstrate to students, parents and guardians that they adhere to the standards demanded by the industry; standards designed to protect and safeguard young people whether dancing for leisure or with an eye to a career in the profession. The Principal also holds Recognised Teacher Status with the CDMT.

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Caterpillar Dance School follows the ISTD Imperial Ballet, Tap and Modern Syllabi and all students that reach the required level of attainment are given the opportunity to enter for graded examinations. ISTD graded qualifications are accredited by the regulatory authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Ofqual, DCELLS and CCEA). These grades form part of the QCF (Qualification Credit Framework).

We will always offer all students the opportunity to gain recognition for their hard work and effort. Whilst not all students will attain the high level of technical proficiency to succeed in a QCF graded examination; there are numerous other opportunities in terms of medals, assessments and awards, which provide an alternative achievement.

United Kingdom Alliance

Medals Tests are smaller awards and class tests awarded for performance quality rather than just technique. Laura is an Associate member of the UKA Theatre Dance and Club Dance Salsa division. Little Caterpillars attending classes in ballet, tap, street dance and musical theatre have the option of medal tests including the introductory awards and Uni-ted awards. There is also a range of medal test options now available for children aged 8yrs+ attending Street Dance, Musical Theatre and Contemporary classes.

Acrobatic Arts

The Acrobatic Arts examination syllabus is designed to motivate dancers. Having defined and achievable goals is a proven way to motivate dancers to excel. Dancers work through twelve exam levels. Each exam is designed to create a well balanced acrobat, including elements of flexibility, strength, balance, and tumbling. We currently assess students proficiency in these levels, 3 times a year at the end of term, and award them our class certificates of achievement.

For more information about the curriculum please visit

We are pleased to welcome Little Acorns into our curriculum for Little Caterpillars. This is a fun and imaginative syllabus for under 5s, that will help us to bridge the gap between our introductory dance classes and ISTD syllabus classes, in a new fun and exciting way.

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