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Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by bellacynru, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Hi all ! I am getting a little panicky about this unit.... how have people out there approached it? I have let them all choose their own pieces which is proving to be a nightmare to ensure that they all understand the social/historical background. How/ what has anyone put in the 500 words - am just stressed that I might be doing it wrong and our examiner is in on the 2nd of April!!!! Please help
  2. Hi all ! I am getting a little panicky about this unit.... how have people out there approached it? I have let them all choose their own pieces which is proving to be a nightmare to ensure that they all understand the social/historical background. How/ what has anyone put in the 500 words - am just stressed that I might be doing it wrong and our examiner is in on the 2nd of April!!!! Please help
  3. Hiya,
    There really hasn't been a great amount of info on this has there! Did you go to the 'teaching the new spec' course and get the examples of the notes?
    We had our exam last week and I also had them choose their own pieces. I approved their choices earlier in the year and part of that was them telling me about the S/H/C/P context and I had to be satisfied with that before I gave them the go ahead. However, it wasn't the research that they found challenging it was communicating how they used that info to contextualise their own performance, i.e. why was it necessary to research all that. In the end I found that structuring the Context Notes so that each paragraph started with something to do with the S/H/C/P context ensured they rooted all their practical work in an understanding of this. They then did a paragraph about rehearsal techniques, a paragraph about characterisation, a paragraph about movement and then finally one on vocalisation. This (hopefully!) ensured they drew some reference to all of the criteria for the notes and performance. It is worth mentioning that the examiner brought the students' notes with them and read them immediately after each performance.
    Remember these are supposed to be written in supervised conditions ;o)...
    I am now stressing about directing 2 group performances by 21st April - we can't do it any later because of the school calendar and because of the M&Ds we haven't been able to start until this week! I think next year I'm going to start the M&Ds just before Xmas.
    I hope some of that helps even if it's just to reassure you you're not the only one who feels like they are making it up as they go along!
    Good luck! x
  4. Thank you so much! IDidn't go on the training, someone in my dept did and he is now off ill long term so no way of getting them... great!! It is reassuring to know that Im not the only one - I think in principle this unit sounds pretty ok but its this essay that seems to have flumoxed me and the fact that they can only use 500 words which is hardly anything! What monologues/Duologues did you use for yours? Our school is the same with the timetabling issue - trying to cram it all into the next few weeks which is a nightmare..!!! I'm making my group come in this sunday so that we can have a whole day on monologues and duologues improvs etc then write the essay.!!!!
    Just another question... did you send the essays off 2 weeks before or a week? The spec says 7 days, but the Edexcel student guide book says 2 weeks!!!!!
    I feel a bit better knowing that I haven't missed out on something major - and that its just not there!!
  5. Hey,
    Glad you feel a bit better!
    I sent the essays 1 week before and that seemed fine by the examiner.
    We used Streetcar, The Maids, West (M), Raisin in the Sun (M), Shakers (M), One Wide Night, Taste of Honey and Closer. 3 did monologues and the rest did duologues.
  6. Hey I'm feeling really unsure about this course. One min I think I've nailed it then suddenly I find differences in the Student book, to whats online and the spec and I worry that I haven't got it right.

    My year 12's have just finished their 500 words and it was so difficult. The marking criteria is so basic and limited I'm guessing at the band they are in. I'm finding it all a bit vague too.

    My lot are doing, Importance of being Earnest, Dolls house, Road.
    How are people approaching the directed peices and what are people thinking of doing?
    I am thinking of tissue? but I'm concerned that if the examiner dislikes my direction then the students will suffer grades?
    Is it just me? am I panicking? can anyone offer any advice or share resources or just chat?
  7. Hiya!
    You're not the only one darling - everything is very vague! I agree about the Context Notes - very difficult and a marking criteria that suggests whoever wrote it didn't really know what they wanted from people - ' let's just put it out there and see what we get back' ! I'll be really interested to get the breakdown of marks on results day to see if we're done it right or if we messed it up! At least at that point we'll have a frame of reference, doesn't help for this year's kids though hey?!
    As for the group performances I'm not doing anything differently than before in the way we approach it. I'm doing Pool (no water) and Nothing Compares to You (heavily editied to cut out the lesbian erotica lol!) - both very much ensemble pieces, lots of physical theatre etc - I've found I get higher marks for the more abstract rather than naturalistic. I'm terrified about the amount of time I have though due to spending so long on the M&Ds - I wish those could be examined straight after Xmas.
    As for the examiner disliking your direction - that's a hard one. We'd like to think they look at the students' performance skills and not let a difference in opinion in terms of direction influence them, but who knows! Depends what examiner you get I suppose... This is the trouble with external exams all round though isn't it; it's just so subjective. I think it's worthwhile us having to write our directors interpretation so that we can make our decisions clear - that's not different to the old spec though.
    All the best! :eek:)
  8. Thankyou for the advice!
    It really is a wait and see thing and hope for the best! lol.

  9. Hello!
    I too have found a major issue in knowing how to help my students achieve their potential as I don't know what the board wants! If anyone is willing, I would love an example of top band work, just to help me understand , not to show my students, and see where my kids are at. If anyone knows of an example I can access, this would be great. Thanks.
  10. Jess, totally agree about the 'why' for the SCHP being an issue. Really difficult to get them to put that into words! That sounds similar to how we're approaching it though. I've made a little booklet for them to make notes in for the different areas. This is then (hopefully!!) easier to translate into the 500 words.

    The groups are stressful time-wise. This year I started the monologues in September, 2 lessons out of 9 a fortnight, and that's taken the pressure off a bit. Then I've started the groups in Jan, though we've still got to write up the Unit 1 coursework this week. It seems that there's a lot less since they moved from three units to two units, but it's still so hard to pack it all in!!

    And yes, making it up as you go along sounds about right to me too!! :)
  11. Hi
    One of my students last year got 9/10 for her WPC and I can forward a copy to anyone who wants to see it. Email me on nwyllie@hotmail.co.uk and let me know.
    I'm using it as an exemplar piece for my students this year so, hopefully, I'll get my head around this part more as a result.
    Nicky xx
  12. When you get the results in Aug you will only get the overall grade/UMS/Subject marks for Unit 2 not a break down of what they got on each section of the unit. It is absolutely no use for use when you are reflecting on the year and how to improve the delivery of the course.

    If you get your exams officer to set you up with a login to 'Results Plus' you can get the breakdown of each area marked for both Section A and Section B of Unit 2.

  13. Their 500 words just needs to outline their audience intentions linked to the play as a whole and identify a couple of ways in which they achieve this. The students of mine that did the best, identified key moments of climax / meaning in their monologues and explained how they were going to achieve that particular effect. I kept the directorial interpretation really simple for mine - making sure that the acting style was clear and avoiding any overly complicated interpretations of anything. We did Pillowman - focussing on the dark humour, flips in emotion and the breaking of Katurian. By avoiding anything too complicated the kids achieved my directorial intentions with ease and got good marks - simpler is better I think ( But then again - this is Edexcel so who knows!). Good luck everyone!

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