The Recruiting Officer by George Farquar (2) – Rhinegold Publishing

The Recruiting Officer by George Farquar (2)


For those new to the syllabus, the AQA A2 written exam approaches one pre-20th century text, and one contemporary text. Students typically find contemporary writing more engaging and accessible. Older texts face the barriers of different social conventions, and archaic language. Even if the play is the most thrilling thing you have read, students will have already decided it’s a bit of an effort, and therefore going to be rubbish. Or as we drama teachers sometimes call it, ‘the Shakespeare effect’.

The new AQA A level gives teachers a lot of room to experiment with delivery. With that in mind, while choosing a text to study for pre-20th century drama, I was conscious of  finding away of making it seem fun and accessible. I had previously taught Sheridan’s The Rivals, and some of the activities contained here I had trialled with that text.

This scheme of work will suggest activities that address the top level descriptors issued by AQA in their mark schemes. It will also focus on developing an understanding of the text. Far too many sixth-form lessons rely on imparting knowledge, in the hope that understanding happens after. Here, I have assumed a working knowledge of the text on the part of the teacher, and planned activities that will complement a methodical practical exploration of the play. I have also tried where possible to use modern technology, and student-friendly tasks to maximize engagement. Don’t worry, there’s guidelines throughout!

Lesson titles

  • Historical context
  • Understanding the plot
  • Structuring study
  • Practical stretching and challenging
  • Testing understanding

Number of lessons: 5

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