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Discussion in 'Physical education' started by aseasyasthat, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Dear All
    I've taken a job teaching GCSE Dance and the school have asked me to teach the current cohort of year 10 and 11's the course in one year. It's a private school, so they only have ten week terms. I should only be teaching about 7-10 children. I've dissected the spec and have started planning the teaching with the increasing feeling that this looks like a tall order!! I will have them for two, one and three quarter hour lessons a week.
    Any advice would be great!
    Many thanks
  2. Hi,
    Yes I can see the quandary! It is a tall order but not impossible, however the school needs to realise that this could impact on their results (certainly not a reflection on your teaching however).

    What is their prior experience? How much knowledge do they have?
    I had an almost similar situation this year although they had already learnt most of the set study which was handy. We filmed this before christmas and at the same time were running unit 4a alongside it - this should and could have been completed before christmas but for various reasons wasn't but weighting wise it's not worth spending the time on it if you're strapped for time - if you just make sure they develop the hell out of the motifs then they should be fine.

    We then focused on unit 3 and 4b and I booked the moderation for after Easter to bide time. I split the group into equal numbers and I had the structure of the performance piece with built in 'own group' sections. It didn't take long for them to pick up the taught aspects, then they just filled in the rest within each group. Unit 4b you have the option of limiting them to just solos (though it's not my preference), however it means the drama of finding dancers and people dropping out/rehearsal time is eliminated. I had an extra session after school for them which meant they were still guided but released some lesson time. We continued to teach unit 1 alongside unit 3 and unit 4 and focused in great detail on a few sections of each work and only covered the other sections in brief - again, not ideal, but seemed to work given the time constraints...I didn't use it in lessons but I gave the students the GCSE Dance book by Liz Dale etal to help them revise which they found really useful.
    Unfortunately the group didn't have much choreography knowledge when I took them on and as much work as I did with them on this, it still affected achievement in unit 4b. I know that had this been developed throughout year 10 it probably would have been a different story, but that's where the time constraints impact! We had 300mins over 2 weeks which totals 5hrs (I think?!) whereas you would have 7hrs over 2 weeks (I'm rubbish at maths!) so already you've got a little more time to play with!!!
    So, it's by far an ideal situation, but it can be done - and you're not the only one, I know of other teachers who have been put in the same situation. So unfair on you guys because it's an added stress!
    Good luck and if I can help in any way please let me know - I feel for your dilemma!!!

  3. Dear Sel502
    Thank you for replying and such sound advice! I've pretty much planned the year as you've described, factoring in time needed to have pieces rehearsed for moderation/revision etc. The real downside is that I'm not full time at the school, only employed to teach this course so I'm trying to insist that the students rehearse outside of my lessons (will find out if this is possible at inset on Thursday!).
    Could I ask about the music you used? Can students use the same piece of music for Unit 4a (motif) or must they all be different? Am finding ways to save time!!
    Many thanks
  4. Hi!
    No problem! Hope it at least puts your mind at rest!

    I think you should dictate - it's just practical homework...

    Theoretically, yes they could use the same piece of music, however, under the controlled assessment guidance you are only allowed to advise, not dictate their music. If all your students had the same piece, this might arouse suspicion....It's difficult because it's such a short time frame and music generally doesn't develop well in that time and the students find it helps to develop their dance along side how the music progresses - it is a little frustrating!
    I had a bank of 5-10 pieces that I thought did ok and they chose from that but were allowed a piece of their choice if they found one that was suitable.

    Which professional work are you using for the motifs?
    Hope inset isn't too gruelling!
  5. Thanks Sel - it's great to have some support!
    I'm using Christopher Bruce's 'Swansong' (have a group of strong ballet/contemporary dancers) as there's three clearly identifiable short phrases that I like (one floor, one travelling and one clear 'swan' motif) which I think have lots of scope to change and develop.
    I'm creating a bank of stuff from The Knife (electro) to some classical soundtrack (Malick's 'Days of Heaven').
    Many thanks again for your help....finger's crossed!

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