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Off text work

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by madjessy, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. In light of the recent e-mail from edexcel, got to admit I am a little panicked. Sorry to seem stupid but can anyone define for me "Off text" work.
    The email seems to contradict each other in one paragraph to the next. E.G.
    "Off text work, practical drama exercises that do not use the words of the play, but enable students to explore the play text as published, is valid. The aim of this type of work must always be to enable students to gain an understanding of the play text itself."

    The key word being valid. Which I get and thought PHEW but then
    "Devised work using the play text as a stimulus does not comply with specification requirements. Centres must ensure that students do not devise additional scenes or create alternative endings to the play text during their six hour assessment."
    Surely is that not working off text. e.g. devising a back story this is the same as both these paragraphs??

    Secondly can anyone fathom this?

    "For this series only, centres which have already undertaken their Unit 2 six hour assessment and included work which does not meet specification requirements, may discount any marks in these sessions and assess students in further sessions which are in line with the requirements of the specification. These additional sessions can be undertaken for this series only, even where this means that all sessions are not completed within the six hour practical sessions."
    Do I now need to resit sessions if I don't meet this criteria?

    :(

    Jessy
     
  2. In light of the recent e-mail from edexcel, got to admit I am a little panicked. Sorry to seem stupid but can anyone define for me "Off text" work.
    The email seems to contradict each other in one paragraph to the next. E.G.
    "Off text work, practical drama exercises that do not use the words of the play, but enable students to explore the play text as published, is valid. The aim of this type of work must always be to enable students to gain an understanding of the play text itself."

    The key word being valid. Which I get and thought PHEW but then
    "Devised work using the play text as a stimulus does not comply with specification requirements. Centres must ensure that students do not devise additional scenes or create alternative endings to the play text during their six hour assessment."
    Surely is that not working off text. e.g. devising a back story this is the same as both these paragraphs??

    Secondly can anyone fathom this?

    "For this series only, centres which have already undertaken their Unit 2 six hour assessment and included work which does not meet specification requirements, may discount any marks in these sessions and assess students in further sessions which are in line with the requirements of the specification. These additional sessions can be undertaken for this series only, even where this means that all sessions are not completed within the six hour practical sessions."
    Do I now need to resit sessions if I don't meet this criteria?

    :(

    Jessy
     
  3. dande

    dande New commenter

    I would say simple off-text tasks are fine if they help to explore the play text itself or a particular scene. What is not, is spending a quantity of time on creating additional scenes or alternative endings. I think it is all to do with perspective - what advantage is there in creating these extra scenes as you couldn't include them in performance.
    Yes, you should resit those sessions which do not meet the requirements. It is your decision as to whether they meet the requirements or not. Students should then write about these sessions and not the original ones.
     
  4. please expand on quantity of time.

    I have done mini exercises like using forum theatre to explre moth and maudie and created scenes such as the car crash in two so this has got me in a panic.
     
  5. Using FT to explore character is fine because students are drawing on their knowledge of the text and character. (More able students probably use lines from the play in FT). Creating scenes that are not in the play is off-text. If it's a brief activity and only done once or twice, you are probably fine. I'd advise you not to use a lesson that has this kind of off-text work in it as the sample one. Edexcel's guidance is aimed at getting centres to actually teach the spec as laid down and not just rehash their old 1699 schemes of work where more off-text work was clearly allowed. If it's being clarified, the board have either had a spate of enquiries about it or feel, in the light of this year's exams that it needs clarifying. I hope that helps.
     
  6. dande

    dande New commenter

    As Arthur said, a few brief exercises is not going to worry anybody. However, if you spend an hour or so working on something off text (and present and feedback on this during the workshop time) then this is not going to go down too well. I cannot quantify time and neither does the exam board, but think of it as the percentage of the six hours. What would you consider reasonable bearing in mind that unit 1 is not about a specific play text.
    I would say that the exercises should be for exploration only and that they should lead on to the exploring the text in more depth which could then be shared as a class.
    Usual proviso applies!
     

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