GCSE and GCE Drama 2016 | Pearson qualifications

Update for GCSE and AL Drama and Theatre

20 December 2022

We have made some minor updates to the specifications, following amendments made during the pandemic and feedback from teachers.

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Initially we intended to make changes to both component 2 and component 3, however, in order to maintain comparability and fairness, and in response to further feedback from Drama teachers, we are now only making a change to component 2.

Component 2

For all centres, including international centres, there is now an option for assessment – centres choose either assessment by visiting examiner or by examiner assessing the recorded live performance. Please note that if an international centre opts for a visiting examiner, there are additional costs involved in funding the visit. 

Centres will confirm to their allocated examiner, when initial contact is made, whether they are requesting a visit or sending a recording of the performance to be assessed. 

Component 3 – Live Theatre Evaluation

In order to retain comparability and fairness, and to keep the 500 words of notes in the exam, we are not making any changes to Component 3.  This decision has been made based on feedback from the survey we shared. The response to the survey was huge, and the majority of Drama teachers voted in favour of keeping the live theatre and notes, rather than allowing streamed or recorded performances and removing the notes. 

Experiencing live theatre is embedded in the subject criteria and therefore this requirement cannot be removed from the qualification. At the end of the course, and by 15 May, centres need to confirm that students have been given the opportunity to see live theatre. 

In April 2023, we will send an electronic declaration form to all centres with entries for the summer 2023 exam series, in order for you to confirm that all students have been given the opportunity to see live theatre. The deadline for the declaration to be completed is 15 May 2023.  

We understand that due to the current cost of living crisis, and other factors such as location, some centres face huge difficulty in trying to take students to see live theatre. If you are in this situation and it is not possible for your students to write about a live theatre production for component 3, please do get in touch with us at: drama.assessment@pearson.com to ask permission to use a streamed or recorded production. We will treat each request on an individual basis. If you have already contacted us this academic year and been given permission to use a streamed or recorded live performance for the 2023 exam, you do not need to contact us again. 

These updates will come into effect in the 2023 assessment series and are featured in issue 5 of the specifications and updated Administrative Support Guides.

We value feedback and hope these changes help improve your students’ experience when completing their course.


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