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edexcel GCSE theatre review help

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by moony81, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. hi all, I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding how to structure the theatre review to give the students the best opportunity to get decent marks. Over the past couple of years i have provided a question sheet split into 6 sections to guide pupils when writing this review. these are

    1. Introduction and genre of play
    2. Discussion of a part where an interesting atmosphere was created
    3. Set and lighting - label a diagram of the set and then discuss a part in the play that used set and lighting effectively.
    4. Character and costume - draw and label the costume work by one of the actors and discuss how this helped to define the character. then write a paragraph to discuss how the actor used medium and elements to further your understanding of this character. This was then repeated for a contrasting character.
    5. Discussion of your favourite moment in the play.
    6. Conclusion

    Hhowever i have realised from doing this with my current year 10's that their essays are long winded and they quickly run out of words, meaning they have had to cut out big sections of writing. i have also realised that when i have come to mark this work that a number of students have been quite repetative and don't always hit the nail on the head (again using up valuable word counts.

    I used some examples of how to structure writing before they wrote their essays and i lost count of the number of time i said
    describe how this skill/technique/element/lighting was used - what did it look like
    what did this suggest or show or explain or represent
    always give a CLEAR example
    (etc) you get the point!

    I do think that this is because of the way i've taught it rather than the overall ability of my pupils and I am worried that I have not given them a very good opportunity to do well :-(

    Other than go to watch another play and start again I'm not sure what i can do for this particular cohort - also i think they may be pretty annoyed if I said 'sorry guys all that hard work you did wont be used, we are starting again!!!!' but in future i need to have a definate rethink about how I teach this unit and also how i get them to structure the essay. I've looked at the exempler material for edexcel but i wondered if anyone had any suggestions for how i could improve how I deliver this particular unit - I find its a real thorn in my side

    sorry for this long essay - i hope it all makes sense
    please help Drama bods xx
  2. Hi, as someone who knows the spec very well I would say the following.Keep the intro very short - there are no marks for it as it won't be evaluating anything but students need to get going with a short paragraph about what they saw and where but not great detail. 2 is good. 3 writing about set and lighting are good. Labelling a diagram isn't really helpful as it doesn't evaluate anything, often it merely describes. 4 Evaluate how costume added to appreciation/understanding etc but don't draw it - no marks and what students do is often simply descriptive which does not hit the assessment criteria. How the actor used the elements and medium of drama should hit the criteria provided they evaluate and analyse and don't simply describe. 5 Make sure it's focused on HOW effective it was as a moment. Last thing to add: speak to your English department and find out what they use to structure essays - it will be something like PEE (point-evidence-explain) and make sure you use this model and refer to it when they are doing the work. I'd also suggest you use the exemplar material on the Edexcel website and use it with the class to explore why it's effective and gets the marks it does: good bit of modelling and scaffolding never did the students any harm! Hope that helps.
  3. thanks for your reply and your help

    yes i advised them to use only 100 words max to write an introduction :)

    would you get them to pick out 3 or 4 different parts of the performance that they saw and then discuss the different elements regarding each of these moments? (depending on how important those things were at that point) - eg: lighting, sound, acting, costume, how the set was used (etc)
    obviously making sure that the different production elements are well-balanced.

    then maybe draw a conclusion about the overall effectiveness and impact of the performance piece.

    I think by splitting the sections regarding the performance areas rather than actual moments in the performance i've probably encouraged them to be repetative and a bit vague in places.

    I use PPE and i spent lots of time modelling and using extracts from the exempler materia (but only short paragrpahs rather than the full essay)

    back to the drawing board!!!
  4. srl


    I've added a P! My students use PEPE (point, evidence PRACTICAL explain/evalaute)- in any order- to make sure they stay focused on what was actually done to create the effect they are describing. I find that this helps keep them focused on evaluting the moment, rather than just general description.

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