Unit 5

Part 2 of the Teaching Certificate combines teaching practice (Unit 4) and an examined taught course (Unit 5). Official evaluation of the Unit 4 Record of Teaching Practice, submitted at least six months before taking the Unit 5 examination, assists candidates to prepare by improving weak areas of their teaching. As high standards of personal dancing performance are also required, candidates are advised to attend classes and schools between completing Part 1 and taking Unit 5.

Unit 5 is the higher level teaching course, giving tuition in teaching an intermediate class. Candidates build on their knowledge of steps and formations, Part 1 experience and teaching practice, under the guidance of a tutor who assists them to hone their skills in planning; observation, analysis, correction and coaching; presentation including demonstration, clear instruction and pacing; class management; effective use of music; and rapport with their class. They learn to focus on teaching points to improve their classes’ dancing; to consider how to teach the prescribed formations (see Syllabus, Appendix E) and the transitions between steps and phrases; and to analyse dances and structure their build up when teaching them. 

Course requirements

It is necessary to attend a 25-hour course of tuition for Unit 5. A regular schedule of courses and examinations for Unit 5 is offered annually at the RSCDS Summer School at St. Andrews. Some other schools run courses, as do Branches according to local need. The Unit 5 examination must be held no later than four weeks after the course ends. Guidance to Branches on examination procedures can be found in X5-05, including minimum allowable candidate numbers and related costs. Branch organisers must submit to the RSCDS office an application to hold an examination no later than six weeks before the proposed examination date, along with candidate application forms and fees.

At Summer School, the course for Unit 5 is run over two weeks, with the examination held at the end of the second week. Candidates’ applications to sit Unit 5 at Summer School must be received at the RSCDS office no later than 1st February.


In the examination, candidates are required to teach a 32-bar dance to a group of 16-18 notional intermediate dancers in a 35-minute lesson, demonstrating more advanced teaching skills than in Unit 3. They must analyse the dance; identify steps, formations and transitions to revise or teach, and in what detail; and build up the dance in a well paced lesson. Assignments are allocated in advance (see Syllabus p. 11 for details); candidates must prepare a detailed lesson plan to present to the examiners and tutor at the beginning of the exam. The assessment form gives an indication of what examiners will be looking for and their mark scheme. Several documents provide other helpful advice.


The results will normally be sent out within six weeks of the examination. Candidates who fail may re-sit the exam after six months, during which they should take steps to improve their skills; and again after a further 12 months, on completion of a further training course.

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