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Worries about New 'Guidance and ICE' Document for Edexcel GCSE Drama

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by Noodle_Bowl, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. We taught one of our assessed lessons today for Unit 2.
    We are studying Blue Remembered Hills,
    We started the lesson analysing video footage of 7 year olds playing, students
    will then take part in a host of both modern & 1940s games whilst role playing
    being 7. We the discussed the characters of BRH, students, exploring their
    reactions to the games and within friendship group. We then replayed the games
    but as the characters of BRH taking into consideration their mannerisms,
    behavioural traits and subtleties. These role-plays were performed and
    evaluated. This lesson has come directly from the Edexcel GCSE Drama red folder
    where it is recommended lesson within the assessment context, we continuously
    refer back to the text and students were asked to include lines or information
    during their role play to illustrate Potters intentions - For example Peter
    discusses Donald's Jam Jars & the killing of the rabbit.

    I was confident that this would be a perfect lesson to explore characterisation,
    role play and the drama medium Voice, Movement etc.
    In the red folder spec, this exercise it indicated as an example of best
    practice for unit 2.

    However, after receiving the amended ICE from edexcel yesterday under the title
    of Administrative Support Guide I am slightly concerned as there is a question
    at the end, where someone asks if it is appropriate to devise scenes with the
    characters (we were also hoping to do this next time looking at extracts from
    the text and conducting a what do we know about Donald Q&A and devising a scene
    where we see Donald's home life –another exercise mentioned in the spec) the
    answer was no as it was stated the exercise needed to be text related.

    I am concerned that we do not make any mistakes.

    After putting this question to Edexcel I have now received the following
    response from Tom Nyuma,

    "The six hour assessment for Unit 2 must be an exploration of the play text. The
    play text must not be used for devised work which is not connected with the play
    text. A devised scene based on the characters from a play text could be
    undertaken as preparation, but should not count as part of the six hour
    assessment. Off text work , e.g. thought tracking could be undertaken, but the
    aim must always be exploration of the play text itself.
    Hope this is of some help.
    Kind regards,
    Tom Nyuma
    Subject Co-ordinator - Creative & Media"

    However does this not contradict the Teachers guide ??? When reading the
    teacher's guide it continuously refers to positive recommended examples for the
    assessed lessons to include improvisation & devising
    For Example – Chat show for The Tempest
    Improvisation scenes for Hard to Swallow
    Improvisation scene before the play begins including Wallace Wilson for BRH

    Is anyone else worried about this ?? Have I missed something crucially at the
    start of this course, I am baffled how Edexcel can suddenly change something
    without even sending it out under the title amended ICE, many teachers may even
    miss this amendment.

    Help !!!!

    Would love to hear your thoughts
    Kind Regards
    Noo x
     
  2. We taught one of our assessed lessons today for Unit 2.
    We are studying Blue Remembered Hills,
    We started the lesson analysing video footage of 7 year olds playing, students
    will then take part in a host of both modern & 1940s games whilst role playing
    being 7. We the discussed the characters of BRH, students, exploring their
    reactions to the games and within friendship group. We then replayed the games
    but as the characters of BRH taking into consideration their mannerisms,
    behavioural traits and subtleties. These role-plays were performed and
    evaluated. This lesson has come directly from the Edexcel GCSE Drama red folder
    where it is recommended lesson within the assessment context, we continuously
    refer back to the text and students were asked to include lines or information
    during their role play to illustrate Potters intentions - For example Peter
    discusses Donald's Jam Jars & the killing of the rabbit.

    I was confident that this would be a perfect lesson to explore characterisation,
    role play and the drama medium Voice, Movement etc.
    In the red folder spec, this exercise it indicated as an example of best
    practice for unit 2.

    However, after receiving the amended ICE from edexcel yesterday under the title
    of Administrative Support Guide I am slightly concerned as there is a question
    at the end, where someone asks if it is appropriate to devise scenes with the
    characters (we were also hoping to do this next time looking at extracts from
    the text and conducting a what do we know about Donald Q&A and devising a scene
    where we see Donald's home life –another exercise mentioned in the spec) the
    answer was no as it was stated the exercise needed to be text related.

    I am concerned that we do not make any mistakes.

    After putting this question to Edexcel I have now received the following
    response from Tom Nyuma,

    "The six hour assessment for Unit 2 must be an exploration of the play text. The
    play text must not be used for devised work which is not connected with the play
    text. A devised scene based on the characters from a play text could be
    undertaken as preparation, but should not count as part of the six hour
    assessment. Off text work , e.g. thought tracking could be undertaken, but the
    aim must always be exploration of the play text itself.
    Hope this is of some help.
    Kind regards,
    Tom Nyuma
    Subject Co-ordinator - Creative & Media"

    However does this not contradict the Teachers guide ??? When reading the
    teacher's guide it continuously refers to positive recommended examples for the
    assessed lessons to include improvisation & devising
    For Example – Chat show for The Tempest
    Improvisation scenes for Hard to Swallow
    Improvisation scene before the play begins including Wallace Wilson for BRH

    Is anyone else worried about this ?? Have I missed something crucially at the
    start of this course, I am baffled how Edexcel can suddenly change something
    without even sending it out under the title amended ICE, many teachers may even
    miss this amendment.

    Help !!!!

    Would love to hear your thoughts
    Kind Regards
    Noo x
     
  3. corblimeyguvnor

    corblimeyguvnor New commenter

    Hi Noo,
    I attended an online training session last night with edexcel. They basically said just that. I am furious about it. We have already done Unit 2 with both groups, including the writing of the Response. Several of our tasks were text-based role plays (e.g. the home lives scenario). I sent edexcel a question regarding the conflicting info in the Guide, Student books and editable SOWs. Also some of the exemplars refer to task which are impro based for Antigone. I was basically told that the material is offered as a "rough guide" and should not be taken as "gospel". As a school we have spent several hundred pounds on these resources, read them religiusly and based our SOWs around them. I am gutted, angry and upset that I am either going to have to redo Unit 2 or face the prospect of having my marked moderated down. This is NOT made clear in the spec. It is NOT made clear in the supporting material and now, in November of effectively the third intake on this course we are being told something by a document posted on the web-site.
    I have emailed my thoughts to Ginny Spooner, not that it has done any good - got a waffety reply.
    I think it beggars belief that yet again students will end up penalised for confusion caused directly by the board. I want a refund on the assessment guide too.
     
  4. I can appreciate your anger. This is a classic case of the "left hand not knowing what the right hand", or "goalpost moving". You would imagine a large organisation would check its own exemplars before declaring the criteria. Question: Does anybody think that at some meetings which Edexcel presumably have- someone says "Hey guys - we seem to be getting a lot of complaints, are you all sure we have got this assessment business sorted?" Do they have a public conscience? Are they monitored for customer satisfaction? Are they answerable to anyone? Many centres will do Unit 1 in the last summer half term and Unit 2 in the Autumn. They will be feeling frustrated now.
    Please be aware if you have done your units before ICE publication and you followed the exemplars from last year - you could face penalty. Then next September you will be angry in these columns only for someone to tell you, " It's your fault- it is in the ICE!.
    If Sarah is reading this -please let every centre know clearly what the criteria is so no teacher is in in any doubt. Maybe an A4 page of clear do's and don'ts. We all want to do well for our pupils, (and our FFTD). HELP US!
     
  5. From the spec: "Any resources bearing the Edexcel logo have been through
    a quality assurance process to ensure complete and accurate support for
    the specification".
     
  6. Last year we did a filmed lesson on units, objectives and action and then they wrote up the 1000 words on how this aided their interpretation of the scene for performance. They then evaluated this. We had really good feedback and were told that the documentary response was exemplary... was planning on doing the same thing this time round, as we are starting unit 2 now.

    hope this helps!
     
  7. I wouldn't count on it getting similar marks this time round katyb_123!!! It all depends on the moderator. I submitted similar to you with able students and my marks were reduced. Mine did actually respond to a couple of extra practical sessions in the 6 hour workshops so perhaps that's what we are all doing wrong. Maybe we should just concentrate on the filmed lesson and respond to that with the 1000 words! Personally I don't think that these poor moderators know the expectations of Edexcel, especially when several documents suggest different marking criteria. Good luck to everyone!
     
  8. This sort of thing really worries me. I don't feel confident that we're clear on what the expectations are and there really hasn't been a lot in the way of courses put on this year. Part of me wants to just get the Edexcel schemes and teach them - whatever the text, whatever the topic - but I worry that even that wouldn't be safe!
     
  9. It's a squirrel, not a rabbit. Rabbits can't climb trees. I should know: I'm a fox. :)
     
  10. What you have done sounds OK to me. Your abstract madness sequence is linked to a speech and you are exploring how it would be shown. Hotseating a character is a very valid task. One assumes that students used their knowledge of the play and responded in such a way that shows they understand the character, so it sounds fine to me. To me, it seems that Edexcel want centres to steer away from improvising scenes that are mentioned but don't appear in the play, or creating impro that would create additional scenes, or tasks like CSI Meseyside about the end of the play: basically, tasks that do not engage with the text. If you are engaging with the text - not the themes or characters but the text itself in some way, it meets the criteria. Renton, I'm assuming that your Unit 2 Mod didn't criticise what you did last year, so you are doing similar. I think it's fine.
     
  11. Thanks Arthur -will make sure my record of work makes my intentions clear just in case
    appreciate your help as usual
     
  12. I have never known an exam board who has had to issue new guidance about schemes that they themselves have published which are now acknowledged to be innacurate. My Head has instructed me to change boards. Persoanlly I think this is a scandal.

     
  13. Sarah Ross... surely not in the course of the exam where many, many schools have already done the Unit in question. This is surely wrong/illegal. Edexcel would not be able to come in after a sat exam and change a question. These Units are permitted to be completed last year... and almost all schools will have at least done them last half term to be organised. It is wrong surely. How can it be questioned formally?
     
  14. Surely these "changes" should come into effect for the next session of the exam. That seems obvious to me... not after the event.
     
  15. Well said eedsud.


    This idea that we have to go through the process once before we can have proper guidance is madness. I was lucky - our GCSE results last year were extremely good but we had an exceptional bunch of kids who worked their socks off. I have a lovely but far more average bunch (with a few high flyers) this year and they won't cope in the same way. I can't get on a course til January and this is worrying me sick as I'm so unsure of what's expected of us. Even though we weren't scaled last year I'm not convinced we won't be again after hearing stories. So stressful.


    To be honest, the fact that they have to write 5000 words coursework is enough in itself to make me question the spec. A lot of it's repetition and my current AS students are amazed at how 'easy' (their words) the AS coursework is in comparison with what they did last year and the fact that there are fewer words to be written. Surely that can't be right!
     
  16. Well said Crunchy!
    When you put the 5000 words into perspective it may just be as easy to do the written exam!!
    We have just finished Unit 1 and it is goodbye to the Drama studio for a while whilst we sort notes and write up C/A in a classroom
    We only finished controlled assessment for Unit 2 a few weeks ago..
    At least with C/WK in the old Spec we could pass the responsibility more over to the students and contine doing practical BUT this way seems much more laborious
    totally agree with Eedsud - I for one have done Unit 2 and am in a confuddle... you just can't move the goal posts after the exam is completed...
     
  17. To clarify more guidance rather than new guidance
    The guidance is not that off-text work must not be undertaken for Unit 2 - as a flexible spec, Edexcel leaves that choice up to you as teacher-assessor. What is the case, as it has always been the case, is that ALL Unit 2 off-text tasks must be used to inform student understanding of the text itself rather than to explore themes and ideas loosely related to the text. Preparation for the unit will offer opportunities to explore the ideas/ characters within the text at a general level but the 6 hour assessment itself must focus on the text very clearly. This exploration may well include off-text tasks but these will always inform specific moments from the play so keep the text central in all your planning and delivery of the unit.
    I hope this helps. If you have more specific questions the Ask the Expert service will be able to help bearing in mind that Edexcel cannot approve any schemes of work.
     
  18. Noodle Bowl - you have a PM.
     
  19. thingwall

    thingwall New commenter

    I switched to Ocr from Sep 10. No complaints. Just been to an inset run by the chief examiner No complaints. There are hiccups but they're being ironed out. I'd been with Edx for 10 years so found the 1st year hard but it's better run and makes sense. I can't really see now why anyone would stay with the overtly prescriptive Edx.
     
  20. Presecriptive? Eh? One of Edexcel's strengths is that the content is up to the teacher provided that certain areas are covered. It's possibly the 'free-est' of the specs out there. And where there have been changes, most of them are the result of Ofqual requirements, not a desire to change a spec that was seen to be working. Of course, it's very loose-ness is also a problem for new comers or the unwary.
     

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