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BTEC Performing Arts vs GCSE drama in new post

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by MrsMint, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. I am very happy to have secured a Head of Drama position starting in September. I now have to decide what to offer the new year 10s and year 9s (new in September) in terms of drama options. Previously at the school, the students have followed BTEC Performing Arts and this has suited them well as many are not necessarily very academically able in terms of literacy. I think that The BTEC Performing Arts is a great course (if you can cope with the paperwork)that I also teach in my current school, it is practical and very similar to actor training. I do have some reservations about the new spec with the interview/audition unit . The new school are very keen for me to offer GCSE drama due to the lessening faith in the credibility of the BTEC. They would like to offer this as an additional option. I think that the Edexcel GCSE drama is a good course and I have taught it before, but not since the latest spec came out for 2009. I am also concerned about this option as I do not know my new classes and I know that the written response can be tough. I have also heard increasingly worrying comments about Edexcel moderating very harshly. Please would any drama teachers that have delivered GCSE in the past couple of years advise me whether by honouring the school's wish to offer GCSE Drama (including year 9 students) I am at risk of a difficult time with low ability students ( I know I will need to plan accordingly in any case) Thought and Feedback please, Many Thanks, Mrs Mint
     
  2. I am very happy to have secured a Head of Drama position starting in September. I now have to decide what to offer the new year 10s and year 9s (new in September) in terms of drama options. Previously at the school, the students have followed BTEC Performing Arts and this has suited them well as many are not necessarily very academically able in terms of literacy. I think that The BTEC Performing Arts is a great course (if you can cope with the paperwork)that I also teach in my current school, it is practical and very similar to actor training. I do have some reservations about the new spec with the interview/audition unit . The new school are very keen for me to offer GCSE drama due to the lessening faith in the credibility of the BTEC. They would like to offer this as an additional option. I think that the Edexcel GCSE drama is a good course and I have taught it before, but not since the latest spec came out for 2009. I am also concerned about this option as I do not know my new classes and I know that the written response can be tough. I have also heard increasingly worrying comments about Edexcel moderating very harshly. Please would any drama teachers that have delivered GCSE in the past couple of years advise me whether by honouring the school's wish to offer GCSE Drama (including year 9 students) I am at risk of a difficult time with low ability students ( I know I will need to plan accordingly in any case) Thought and Feedback please, Many Thanks, Mrs Mint
     
  3. For years I taught Edexcel, and my results weren't great. I changed to AQA in 2005 and my results were much better. However - the pupils at my school are bright and hardworking, so the written paper suited them. I just feel the syllabus is fairer because they can be assessed on lots of practical topics, and then the best 2 marks go forward. I have gradually got better at preparing pupils for the written paper, and am really tough with giving homework, and making written work lessons part of the course. It pays off - my year 11 are really improving in their written skills and their essays are getting better and better. I am also setting more written work at KS3 to get them used to it before they start GCSE, and I think this will help. I don't know the Btec course - we do do it at 6th form level, but the other Drama teacher in the department is responsible for it as I am part time. I am worried about the current year 9 going into 10 next year because they are quite weak, and the grade boundaries are getting tougher every year. Pupils who a couple of years ago got a C grade would now only get a D. I would be interested to look at the Btec, as I am not sure how many more years I can squeeze good grades out of the GCSE course. Everything is about results, and I feel nervous every year. Good luck!
     

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