February 2016 Drama,Theatre Studies and Performing Arts update

11 February 2016

This subject update has information on the Lysistrata tour, BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts for 2016, BTEC Firsts Performing Arts 2015 Unit 1 feedback and student performances, GCSE Drama and AS/A level Drama and Theatre 2016 specifications, Getting Ready to Teach events and visiting examiners, and student volunteers for new GCSE and A level qualifications.

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As half term approaches, here is some information you may find useful.

Lysistrata tour

Actors of Dionysus are touring their production of Lysistrata across the UK during February and March. They are also offering student workshops too.

Find out more about dates and locations

BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts for 2016 update

In September 2016, you can now choose to start teaching the brand new BTEC Nationals (2016) or continue with the current qualifications (2010).

Read more about your choices

The new BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts draft specifications are now available.

There is a specification for each size the qualification, plus an Introductory Guide for the qualification. You can also access the Sample Assessment Materials for the externally assessed units.

There will be Getting Ready to Teach events in the Spring and Summer terms.

Reserve your place

BTEC Firsts Performing Arts 2015 Unit 1 feedback and student performances

You can now access recorded feedback for the Unit 1 Individual Showcase 2015 exam here, plus seven examples of students’ practical responses to Progression Opportunities 1, 2 and 4, including a lighting design student, dance performances, a comedy monologue and a song.

Download and view the videos

To access the recordings:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage
  2. Select the document titled Supporting Documents - BTEC Level 2 Firsts (NQF) in Performing Arts: Feedback on June 2015 external assessment Unit 1 - Individual Showcase (Pre-Recorded Event).

The video files are large, so please be patient when downloading.

GCSE Drama and AS/A level Drama and Theatre 2016 update

The AS and A level Drama and Theatre specifications are accredited, and can be downloaded, together with the Sample Assessment Materials.

Download the specifications and sample assessment materials

There are Getting Started guides for the specifications, which includes guidance and advice on co-teachability, and a mapping document, showing how elements of the current qualifications link to the new qualifications.

Download the Drama and Theatre Getting Started guide

If you currently teaching our A level Drama and Theatre Studies, we will send copies of the specification and the Sample Assessment Materials to your centre. These will arrive in the week beginning 22nd February.

We are still waiting to hear about accreditation for the GCSE Drama specification. We will let you know as soon as have confirmation of the accreditation. We submitted the third version of the specification to Ofqual on 25th January; we expect to hear within 40 days.

The draft version of the new GCSE Drama specification, plus a Getting Started guide and a mapping document, are available on the website.

Download the specification, Getting Started guide and mapping document

Ofqual now provides the status of subjects submitted for accreditation, including dates and progress, for all awarding organisations.

Visit the Ofqual website

The new specifications have been designed with your feedback in mind. We have kept the best parts of the current specifications and changed the parts you don’t like.

You can find out more about our approach to GCSE Drama and AS/A level Drama and Theatre in the following documents:

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If you have any questions about the new specifications and support materials, please send them through to me at: TeachingPerformingArts@Pearson.com.

There are free Getting Ready to Teach events starting later this term. If any of these events are fully booked, please add your name to the waiting list.

Book a place

GCSE Drama

Location  Date Time Code
Online 8 March 2016 4 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. 15GOAD01/01
London 9 March 2016 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 15GBAD01/01
Manchester 10 March 2016 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 15GBAD01/02

AS and A level Drama and Theatre

Location  Date Time Code
Online 15 March 2016 4 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. 15GOAD02/01
London 16 March 2016 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 15GBAD02/01
Manchester 17 March 2016 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 15GBAD02/02

GCSE and A Level Drama current specs: visiting examiners

Here is the latest information and guidance on the forthcoming practical examinations for GCSE Drama, unit 3, and A Level Drama and Theatre Studies, unit 2.

Examiners have now received their allocations, and most have begun to contact their centres to make arrangements for the visits. If you haven’t heard from your examiner yet, please check that your exams officer has made exam entries. If the entries have been made, but you haven’t been contacted yet, or if you haven’t been able to mutually agree a date with your examiner, please contact the drama assessment team: drama.assessment@pearson.com.

The Administrative Support Guides for GCSE Drama and A level Drama and Theatre Studies outline the process, your session entitlement and how to run the examinations. Both documents contain useful FAQ’s relating to the practical examinations. Please read this documents now, if you haven’t done so already, to familiarise yourself with the procedures in place for the examination.

Student volunteers for new GCSE and A level qualifications

We are still looking for centres willing to work with us to develop examples of marked students work for the written exam components of the new GCSE and A level Drama qualifications.

If you are able and happy to be involved, please email TeachingPerformingArts@Pearson.com with the details of which course ie GCSE and/or A level.

I hope that you have found this update useful.

Best wishes,


Paul Webster, Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts subject advisor
Paul WebsterDrama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts
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