Delivering the right lines

4th April 2008 at 01:00
It's the big challenge for any drama teacher. How do you improve the written work of pupils who shine on stage, but struggle on paper? This course had plenty of answers. It was run by Kevin Piper, who's a specialist with a wealth of experience. I liked the way that the focus of the course was kept tight. He asked us what we wanted from the day. Then he delivered it.

In the morning, we developed a special grid, exploring the different criteria pupils have to meet to achieve a certain grade. It really made me reflect on my teaching strategy.

I've also shared the grid with classes and they love it. Once they see what's required, they suddenly start writing theatre reviews that are insightful and thought-provoking.

In the afternoon, we considered how best to prepare pupils for written exams. We studied past papers and sample answers, and discussed the different pitfalls candidates had fallen into - and how they could be avoided.

I teach at a new academy which has replaced one of the worst performing schools in the country, and I was next to a teacher from a high-flying grammar school. We both thought the course was brilliant, so it's fair to say there's something for everyone.

It was intensive. Kevin even spent lunchtime talking to all of us individually, offering tips specific to our own situation. By the end of the day I was exhausted, but my pupils will definitely reap the benefits. I came away with my magic grid and a clear understanding of the formula for success.

Rosie Wall is head of drama at The Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate. She was talking to Steven Hastings.

THE DETAILS

Enhancing the Grade in Theatre Studies ASA2 Written Papers is run by Creative Education. It is being repeated in Leeds on April 23, Cardiff on May 2, Birmingham on May 14, Southampton on May 23, Newcastle on June 10, London on June 19 and Manchester on June 30. Cost pound;270+VAT

www.creativeeducation.co.ukcourse_details.asp?RefNo=6968.

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