Last year’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production, The Merchant of Venice (Credit: Amit Lennon)
Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that 2016’s Playing Shakespeare schools’ production will be Twelfth Night, running from 25 February–18 March 2016. Secondary state schools in London and Birmingham are eligible for an unlimited number of free tickets for weekday performances at 2pm during the period 25 February–10 March, and for the 7pm performance on 1 March.
State schools outside the London and Birmingham areas, as well as independent schools and colleges, can book reduced rate tickets ranging from £5 to £15 for weekday performances at 2pm during the period 11–18 March.
Supporting the production will be free schools’ workshops, launching in December, CPD sessions for teachers, classroom resources, and a dedicated Twelfth Night website which will launch in January next year.
Othello was 2015’s Playing Shakespeare production (Credit: Cesare DeGiglio)
The play, specially designed for GCSE and A-level students, will fit the National Curriculum specification for KS3 (where students are required to study two of Shakespeare’s plays) and KS4 (where students are assessed on one of the Bard’s works).
The Playing Shakespeare initiative will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2016. Through Globe Education’s partnership with Deutsche Bank, Playing Shakespeare has presented over 117,000 free tickets to schools, with over 70% of schools taking part from every London borough.
Booking for Playing Shakespeare’s production Twelfth Night opens in September; www.shakespearesglobe.com/playing-shakespeare.
Teaching Drama is delighted to announce that we’ll be partnering up with 2015’s PERFORM, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary from 13–15 February 2015 at London Olympia. Each year PERFORM runs workshops and seminars for people involved or looking to build a career in the performing arts. 2015’s available sessions exceed 60 in number.
There’s a huge range of workshops
and seminars on oﬀer at PERFORM
TD have worked with PERFORM to create the ‘Teaching Drama magazine workshop series’: a specially crafted programme for teachers which will run on the Saturday (14 February). The first of the three workshops, ‘Contemporary theatre practitioners’, will explore the methods of contemporary theatre companies for inclusion in KS4/5 study programmes to fulfil practitioner-inspired modules. The session will be led by a member of one of the UK’s most innovative physical theatre groups, Frantic Assembly.
The second session in the TD series, ‘Preparing students for written papers’, will be a teachers’ seminar with representatives from the leading exam boards – looking at what students need to do to meet assessment criteria in both written and performance exams at KS4 and 5.
For teachers looking to brush up their technical theatre skills, the third workshop will look at how to make the best use of a limited school lighting rig and what you can do to bring your productions to life with a member from leading entertainment lighting specialists White Light.
As well as TD’s workshop series for teachers, there are other sessions running throughout the three days for teachers, ran by the National Theatre, Trinity College London and Bodens College of Performing Arts. For full details of the programme, visit the PERFORM website.
All of the workshops, each costing £3 for admittance, are now open to book now at www.performshow.co.uk; limited spaces are available, so early booking is advised.
Subscribe to Teaching Drama as a print or digital edition now for more news, features and information. Single issues are also available in print and digital from just £2.49.
Education secretary Michael Gove has announced the latest changes to take place among England’s education system, with the current A-level qualification set to transform over the coming years.
The department for education has stressed that, ‘A-levels will not be replaced under any circumstances.’ The reforms would see the A-level qualification incorporate more characteristics of the international baccalaureate (IB) – seeing it redeveloped as the advanced baccalaureate (ABacc).
As with the changes recently announced for KS4, A levels would see modular exams abolished. However, it is expected that this would happen over a longer time period than has been set out for the changes to the KS4 examinations.
Under the new system, A-level students will be encouraged to select a diverse range of subjects – those focusing on arts subjects will be expected to choose a science subject or maths to study. Students with a primary interest in scientific topics will also be expected to choose an arts subject to study at KS5.
The changes, put forward by Michael Gove, are in response to criticisms from universities who have previously voiced concerns that some students start university unprepared in both academic knowledge and technique. Students applying to Russell Group universities, such as the University of Warwick and King’s College London, will have to write a 5,000 word dissertation as part of their application.
A spokesperson for Universities UK said in response to the news: ‘We would welcome efforts to improve skills in extended writing, critical thinking and research. In terms of subject choices, however, it is important to remember that there is not a magic formula to gain entry to specific university courses.’
Exams in key subjects are set to be overhauled with the English Baccalaureate certificate (Ebacc) set to replace GCSE examinations.
The new format will see the abolishment of coursework in English and maths. Modular exams will be culled, leaving students with one intensive exam at the end of study. There are also plans to have the Ebacc certificate administrated by just one main exam board.
Education secretary Michael Gove announced the changes to parliament, saying the Ebacc would create ‘truly rigorous exams, competitive with the best in the world, and making opportunity more equal for every child.’
Head of the Nasuwt teachers’ union Chris Keates responded to the announcement by saying: ‘The government will have to work hard to ensure that these reforms are not the final nail in the coffin for the provision of a broad and balanced curriculum.’
Changes are currently under consultation, with plans to introduce the Ebacc into schools in 2015. The first students to take the new exams in English, maths and science will be those starting secondary school this year – set to take the KS4 exams in 2017.
There are plans to further roll out the exam format to other subjects, including history, geography and languages in 2016 – where history coursework will also be scrapped. Further research will then be conducted to see how the Ebacc might be used to structure other subjects.
Teaching Drama contributor Susan Elkin tried to ease the fears of drama teachers, writing in a blog for The Independent: ‘Subjects such as history, geography and languages will probably be phased in gradually. But drama, dance and music will not. And quite right too. You can’t assess these subjects through a three-hour silent exam as you can maths, chemistry or English. Music or drama need to be taught by building up practical skills in regular sessions over a long period of time.’
Ch-arted is an online resource encouraging cross-curricular activities. The project, developed by The Customs House, launched at the end of September.
The site will be updated quarterly with ideas for classroom activities, lesson plans and interactive educational tools. All the resources have been purposefully created to involve young people in subjects and issues which apply across key stages one to four.
Ch-arted offers some free resources for teachers to download. To access all content users can pay a one-off fee or sign up for a yearly subscription.
One of the free resources available, ‘13–Voices’, concerns reaching out to the community. Aimed at 11-25 year olds, the material includes videos and poems from young homeless people. The site recommends use in PHSE and for citizenship. Other free material available is ‘The Big Countdown’, providing the history of the Olympic games in an e-book format.
Cultural Development Manager Emma Horsman said: ‘We hope that the first resources on Ch-arted will showcase the wide variety of tools that will be made available and encourage teachers to not only utilise these particular programmes, but to refer back to the site on a regular basis as new options become available.’
To see more, visit http://www.ch-arted.co.uk