The assessment objective for the Edexcel Unit 5 requires students to ‘communicate ideas, feelings and/or meaning to an audience making effective use of performing and/or design skills within the context of both devised and scripted work.’
Students are expected to present an adaptation of a text or scenes from a play working as performers, designers or directors. The following ideas are focused on students as performers and to offer ideas for getting students started on exploring the texts. They must create their entire piece using the script and are not permitted to add text of their own.
Students are required to show use of ‘appropriate performance styles’ within the piece that demonstrate an understanding of the roles of the performer.
The specification requires students to demonstrate that they can:
- Use the medium of drama creatively, showing an understanding of the play by producing a convincing interpretation of the chosen section(s)
- Communicate ideas and feelings to an audience
- Use vocal and movement skills effectively
The piece must be long enough to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding as performer and so should run for 15–30 minutes, with groups made up of three to six students. It is externally examined.
Unit 5 allows students to explore the text in any way they choose. This could be a thematic approach or following the journey of a particular character. I have tried to offer a number of ideas to introduce students to work on Animal Farm and to help, after reading the text, to begin to develop ideas about characters and themes and how to explore them.
I have included warm-ups and activities but have not put timings on each session as I feel that this type of work can vary. You might find a 5-minute warm-up is fine or that a warm-up develops into a whole lesson of work. Equally, some of the activities may take 15 minutes or two lessons to complete. It depends very much on the students and the direction they wish to take.