GCSE Drama and A level Drama and Theatre reform

Tue Mar 03 16:45:52 UTC 2015

This update contains the latest information on qualification reform for GCSE Drama and A Level Drama and Theatre, which are both changing from 2016. 

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On 12 February 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) published the revised content requirements for GCSE Drama and AS and A level Drama and Theatre qualifications for first teaching from September 2016 (first assessment from summer 2017 for AS and summer 2018 for GCSE and A level).

Visit the DfE website to download a copy of the GCSE Drama content requirements and the A level Drama and Theatre content requirements.

Key changes proposed for GCSE Drama 2016

All awarding bodies’ specifications must meet the new content requirements. The key changes are:

  • GCSE specifications in drama will be assessed through a combination of a 40% written exam and 60% non-examined assessment.

  • GCSE specifications will require students to study one complete and substantial performance text and two key extracts from a second contrasting performance text. The texts must be studied to gain a practical understanding of drama.

  • GCSE specifications must require students to participate in a minimum of 2 performances, one devised and one from a performance text which has been studied as part of the course.

Key changes proposed for AS and A level Drama and Theatre 2016

All awarding bodies’ specifications must meet the new content requirements. The key changes are:

  • The qualification title has changed from ‘Drama and Theatre Studies’ to ‘Drama and Theatre’.

  • AS and A levels in Drama and Theatre will be assessed through a combination of a 40% written exam and 60% non-examined assessment.

  • AS will be a separate, linear qualification.

  • The content of the AS is a subset of the A level so you can co-teach the qualifications.

  • Specifications must require students to demonstrate a practical understanding of:
     - at AS: a minimum of one complete and substantial performance text and a minimum of two key extracts from two different texts, placed in the context of the whole text.
     - at A level: a minimum of two complete and substantial performance texts and a minimum of three key extracts from three different texts placed in the context of the whole text.

  • Students must study the work and methodologies of one influential theatre practitioner (individual or companies) at AS and two theatre practitioners at A level.

  • Specifications in drama and theatre must require students to participate in:
     - at AS: a minimum of one performance from a text, which has been studied as part of the course
     - at A level: a minimum of two performances, one devised and one from a performance text which has been studied as part of the course.

What's next for GCSE, AS and A level Drama?

We're consulting widely with teachers in order to develop our new GCSE, AS and A level specifications.

If you'd like to receive information about our new Edexcel GCSE and A level specifications, including dates of training events, please register your interest here.

Our draft specifications and sample assessment materials will be available in August, but we’ll be providing you with more information in the summer term.

In the autumn 2015 and spring 2016 terms, we'll provide support documents to help you plan for the new drama qualification, including schemes of work, course planners and content mapping documents.

We'll be running a series of launch events and Getting Ready to Teach events later this year to help you plan and deliver the new specifications.

Best wishes,

Paul  

Paul Webster, Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts subject advisor
Paul WebsterDrama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts
UK: 020 7010 2189
Intl: +44 (0) 20 7010 2189
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