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GCSE Drama AQA Help with SOW

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by crystalclark, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm covering a maternity leave in a secondary school abroad for an SCE school across the whole drama curriculum area. The problem is that the teacher that has gone on maternity leave hasn't left any SOW or lesson plans or even a structure or outline of how the GCSE has been delivered. There isn't actually any paperwork that exists as such as the teacher has obviously just delivered it how she has wanted without a tangible structure. I've taught GCSE before for a number of years but my last job was teaching Drama & Theatre Studies for 3 years in the UK on the EDEXCEL spec for AS & A2 which I loved, since then I've taken maternity leave myself & had 2 babies in 3 years so have been out of the classroom for 3 years.

    The group I have are an average/low ability group & there are only 5 students, some of the time there isn't a full complement! The teacher on maternity leave has said that she wants to do the Acting Option (scripted work) when she comes back which I thought was a bit strange as I would normally have thought it better to start with that in year 1 given their ability. I think the reason for this is that she enjoys that work & therefore wants to pick that up when she comes back. I've been told to steer them to Devised Thematic Work which I would have preferred not to do at this stage as the group haven't developed their skills yet & would be better suited to the 2nd year. As a result I am struggling, the students are struggling, they are finding it boring & i'm a little stressed out & upset that I've been dropped in it like this. I've downloaded the AQA suggested SOW which seems to make sense but as the teacher on leave doesn't want to doing in this way it's becoming difficult to find a structure for the next 2 terms. (I am contracted until July). The powers that be in the school aren't really approachable & I feel like I'm going to be used as a scapegoat when things aren't working because of the lack of structure. I want to do the best by these students, Does anyone have a structure or suggested SOW that I could look at to help me for the next couple of terms? Any input/advice will be appreciated.
    Thanks :)
  2. Between now and July you could run 2 or 3 projects with your students, you could do a short physical theatre option project to build some skills and then lead that into a devised thematic project. There is no reason why you couldn't do an acting (scripted) project too before July. If there is no paperwork in the department at all and all the absent teacher has specified is that the first assessed project for the Year 11s will be scripted in September and that she wants to teach it - that should not upset any of your plans for a range of projects between now and July. You have time to run 3 mini projects and there is nothing stopping you tackling an extract of a script. Personally I like my students to practise using scripts before they are officially assessed in this skill - so a preparatory unit the year before seems to me like a wise idea.

    If I was in your position I would plan 2/3 mini projects each based on a different one of the AQA options - no reason to avoid scripted work. Structure out these units around your school calendar and put three performance dates forward to give yourself some structure. The students will relax if they know where they are going and the skills they will learn and will be ready for their Year 11 assessments.

    Hope this helps
  3. Thanks for that, some good suggestions, although I should have mentioned that the Devised Thematic is to be a Controlled Assessment in Yr 10
  4. Don't worry, the AQA 'controlled assessment' doesn't run in the same way as Edexcel. The students can do as many practical assessments as you want them to over the two years and then the top two marks (so long as they are for different diciplines) go to the exam board at the end of Year 11.
    So, you could do physical theatre, T.I.E, devised thematic, and scripted this year if you wanted, then the returning teacher can still do a scripted assessment next year and return to any skill which the students could improve on.
    I hope that makes sense! With only 5 in the group you should be able to fit in quite a bit of work and I agree, it might be nice (and safer!) to start with scripts.

  5. Hi used to teach in SCE schools myself as a Head of Drama and then as part of the supply pool.
    At the moment am teaching in Luxembourg and introducing AQA GCSE here next year.Have taught it before though, are you looking for Yr 11 or 10 schemes? To be honest if you feel the teacher has not given you a viable option you should try talking to the Head know most of them not that scary. Let me know what you're looking for and I'll see what I can find.
    As maternity cover with no SOW you are right to look at the AQA scheme.
    Have you contacted any of the other Drama teachers in SCE they might be able to help. I know not all of the schools do GCSE but a number used to.
    Let me know if I can help

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