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Assessing drama

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: A levels and GCSEs

We are aware that a petition is circulating suggesting that the new GCSE drama course contains more written elements than practical elements and calls on others to object;

We want GCSE Drama to contain more practical elements than written.i

I would like to reassure those that have initiated and signed the petition that assessment will be based mainly on practical elements.

We will be publishing final Conditions and Guidance documents and an analysis of the responses we received to our technical consultation soon. But in brief, GCSE drama will be structured as follows:

40% assessment by written examination
60% non-exam assessment

The 60% non-exam assessment marks are made up as follows:

  • 20% for marks to assess the creation and development of ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance;
  • 30% for marks used to apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance; and
  • 10% for the analysis and evaluation of students' own work.

Therefore 60% of the marks will be used to assess practical elements of the course.

I hope that offers some reassurance to those who have been moved to petition.

Phil Beach
Director of Strategic Relationships, General Qualifications

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  1. Comment by Stuart clements posted on

    That's 20 plus 10 that you'll want written then and 30 practical!.... Plus 40 written examination. .... 70 written! If I'm incorrect please break down the 60 coursework more

  2. Comment by S Kruger posted on

    This explanation is ambiguous and does not answer our concerns. I thought that you were getting rid of coursework due to the lack of consistency and now it seems like there is 30%. The students already write about their interpretations to text in the 40% written exam so why is there even more written work in an exam that is Drama NOT Theatre Studies. Everyone agrees that students need the practical element to begin on their journey to serve the needs of a profitable Arts industry which receives world recognition and you are proposing to make these radical changes that benefit no one. Art remains practical, how is Drama different?

  3. Comment by Deborah posted on

    This means that less than one third of the course is based on performance. There is of course value in devising and evaluating, but I believe that the performance element should be more prevalent, especially when there is such a heavy written examination as well. GCSE Art will apparently retain 100% practical element; why can Drama be weighted more to actual performance?

  4. Comment by Faye G posted on

    I still do not agree that 50% of the course should be written. Why is Drama being unfairly treated compared to the large practical proportion of Art and Music GCSE subjects. We are asking for equality.

  5. Comment by Bryony Edwards posted on

    Presumably the evaluation can be done orally otherwise drama GCSE has become 50% written.
    In that vein, imagine going to the theatre as part of the audience and watching the actors acting the first half , then watching them write the second half. Bad work ofqual.

  6. Comment by Kerry M posted on

    Surely that should say 50%? - 10% Evaluation. No doubt it will have a log book for the practical so another 10%? so 60% is probably right, maybe even 70% depending on the log book weighting!

  7. Comment by Sara Kelly posted on

    Drama must be practical. Learning happens through experience, not doing written exams. So many drama teachers are worried about these changes. The breakdown above does not explain how the outcomes will be evidenced. For example, how much written coursework will there be? Please can we have some clarification.

  8. Comment by Jod posted on

    Just ONCE I wish that the world would stop with being crazy and do the most logical and sensible thing that could be done. Why not ASK the drama TEACHERS? Ask those that have a wealth of experience in the profession, both teaching and acting, (and! know their students best!) - ask the teachers what is best for the kids and what will really aid their progression. I bet everything I have the above nonsense would not be the response.