A LEVEL & GCSE INFORMATION
The Music GCSE course is designed to combine musical imagination with practical skills and give the students the opportunity to encounter a very wide variety of musical experiences, both from a historical and a social/cultural perspective.
The course consists of three units, PERFORMING, COMPOSING & LISTENING
|1.||Coursework - UNITS ONE & TWO||60%|
Candidates engage in:
- Performing - (SOLO and ENSEMLE) - this must be a combination of pieces with a minimum total duration of four minutes.
- Composing - TWO compositions with a minimum total duration of four minutes; the first composition is based on a brief set by Edexcel, the second is a 'free' composition.
- Students should be a minimum of grade 3 on entry to the course.
- The work is INTERNALLY ASSESSED, EXTERNALLY MODERATED.
|2||Listening Exam - UNIT THREE||40%|
A one and a half hour written examination paper taken at the end of the course, containing questions which draw from the candidates' knowledge and skills gained from close study and analysis of prescribed set works in each of the four "Areas of Study".
The work is EXTERNALLY ASSESSED
The "Area's of Study" are:
Area of Study 1:
Western Classical Music
Bach: "Brandenburg Concerto No5" (3rd movement)
Beethoven: " Pathetique Sonata" (1st movement)
|Area of Study 2:||Vocal Music||
Purcell: " Music for a While"
Queen: "Killer Queen"
|Area of Study 3:||Music for Stage and Screen||
Schwartz: "Defying Gravity" (from Wicked)
Williams: "Main title/rebel blockade runner" (from Star Wars IV)
|Area of Study 4:||Fusions||
Afro Celt Sound System: "Release"
Esperanza Spalding: "Samba Em Preludio" (from the album Esperanza)
The course can lead to obvious career opportunities in education, performing, composing, audio/visual engineering/production in the media, recording etc., or just act as a means to develop skills as a basis for further study or leisure, or both.
It is a challenging but rewarding course, which is geared towards instilling a deeper understanding and appreciation of music as a vital of communication, artistic value and enjoyment on our everyday lives.
Examination Board: EDUQAS
What is GCSE Drama all about?
GCSE Drama is all about understanding what it is like to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. You will play many parts in different imaginary situations. You will have the opportunity to create your own work as well as look at plays written by other people. You will also see plays performed by others.
The GCSE Drama course is in three parts:
- In part one of the course you will use drama to express your ideas about a range of themes. You will devise a group performance (and have a written controlled assessment explaining how you came up with these ideas)
- In part two of the course you will look at a play to see how a playwright expresses their ideas about a theme or topic and explore ways of making the play work on stage. You will also complete a written examination on this in year 11.
- In part three of the course you will take part in the performance of an extract from a play from an existing script
Will I enjoy this course?
You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that is both practical, theoretical and creative. You may have done some acting before or helped out backstage on a production. You will have analysed plays and novels in English and want to see it from a performer or designer perspective. You may have always wanted to have a go at making a play, performing, making costumes, building a set or operating the lights but never had the chance. You will enjoy this course if you enjoy working as part of a team as drama involves a lot of group work.
How does it follow on from what I have learned before?
GCSE Drama follows on from drama work that you will have done at Key Stage 3. You will develop your characterisation, directorial and acting skills to a higher level. You will also look at plays in more detail and look at different ways of bringing a script alive on stage. You will look at the way others have created a performance by seeing plays at the theatre.
What about examinations?
Component 1: (40%) Written Portfolio, Written evaluation and Group performance based around DEVISING and looking at the work of Frantic Assembly (Physical theatre practitioner). Portfolio and video of performance sent to exam board.
Component 2: (20%) You will perform an extract from a play in front of an audience and the examiner will be present at the performance.
Component 3: (40%) You will have a 1 hour 30-minute examination based on a play (DNA by Dennis Kelly) that you will study in year 11. You will also need to write about a live theatre performance.
Is there any coursework?
There is a controlled assessment in part 1. This is in 2 parts; one in timed conditions (evaluation) and one that can be developed and drafted in lesson time.
What other skills might I develop?
As well as acquiring the skills involved in creating, studying and performing drama, you will also be able to acquire skills in working with others, problem-solving and communication. You will also find that drama will help you feel more self-confident and prepare you to deal with a range of different situations and people. Attendance, reliability and commitment to group work, stamina, and keeping pace with all note-making, creativity, willingness to develop practical skills and work at the craft of acting, a love of theatre are the top tips for success in drama!
MUSIC A LEVEL
Competence on one or more instruments or voice. A minimum of grade 5 in GCSE Music is required. However, due to the demanding nature of this course, a 6 grade or above is a definite advantage. Grade 4 or above in English is required.
DETAILS OF COURSE:
The A2 course is divided into THREE UNITS.
UNIT ONE PERFORMING (30%)
Candidates may offer one or more instruments and perform as a soloist or an ensemble member in a more extended recital
UNIT TWO COMPOSING. (30%)
Candidates complete two compositions; one is either based on a brief set by the exam board, based on the six areas of study OR a free choice.
The second is based on a compositional technique brief set by the exam board in April of each year. These can be ONE of:
- Bach Chorale (2 exercises)
- Two-part counterpoint
- An Arrangement
UNIT THREE LISTENING & APPRAISING. (40%)
Candidates sit a Listening Exam and they are provided with their own CD for the exam.
The exam lasts two hours and there are two sections.
Section A has short questions based on the areas of study which involve analytical skills and musical dictation..
Section B has two essay questions
The Areas Of Study:
Prescribed works by:
Bach, Mozart & Vaughan Williams
Vivaldi, Clara Schumann & Berlioz
Music for Film
Music from Batman, The Duchess & Psycho
Popular music & jazz
Courtney Pine, Kate Bush & The Beatles
Debussy, Familia Valera Miranda & Anoushka Shankar
John Cage, Kaija Saariaho & Stravinsky
QUALITIES AND COMMITMENT EXPECTED FROM THE STUDENT:
Students will be expected to take responsibility for their own background study and research. Regular practice on the student's instrument(s)/voice is essential. The student is expected to widen their musical experience through concert visits. Students are expected to participate actively in extra-curricular music activities.
Unit one Recital – externally assessed via audio-visual recording
Unit two Externally assessed composition portfolio
Unit three Terminal written exam: taken in June.
The course is intended to appeal to students who enjoy making music and who wish to extend their experience and understanding further. It is also for those who wish to continue their music studies into university or college. Qualification could lead on to a Music or Arts Degree, and from there into Teaching, Music Therapy, Arts Management, Studio Recording or Performance.
DRAMA A LEVEL
Students studying Drama and Theatre at A Level follow the Edexcel specification. During the course the following topics are covered.
Introduction to A Level Drama and Theatre Skills
Component 1: Devising (40% of qualification)
Students will create an original performance piece using one key extract from a play and a theatre practitioner as a stimulus.
There are 2 parts to the assessment:
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice
Written Examination: 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of qualification)
There will be 2 set texts studied (from a list set by the exam board) and a Live Theatre performance will need to be seen to complete an evaluation.
Section A: Live theatre evaluation
Section B: Realising a Performance Text (1 of the set plays) Answers as a performer or designer.
Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text (the 2nd set play) A re-imagined performance concept with the influence of a practitioner
Component 2: Text in Performance (20% of qualification)
This will be an externally assessed performance seen by a visiting examiner. This is split into 2 sections:
For more detailed information about the course content and assessment requirements, please refer to the examination board website.