Witchcraft – Rhinegold Publishing



Unit 1 requires the study of a theme or issue and Edexcel gives very detailed guidelines of what is expected of teachers following this syllabus. One of the main points to remember about the work for both Unit 1 and Unit 2 is that the emphasis is on exploration, not performance. 

This unit, in a nutshell, requires the students to undertake a six-hour practical drama workshop on a chosen theme or issue during which candidates will be assessed. The scheme may take longer but the assessment of practical work must be limited to six hours. All candidates must take part in the practical workshop and must record aspects of their work in a portfolio. The workshops must use at least two different types of drama texts or other stimulus material, they must cover at least four of the explorative strategies and use at least two skill areas from the drama medium section, as outlined by Edexcel within the syllabus.

In the past I have used topics such as war, which is particularly useful for male-dominated groups, and suffragettes for groups dominated by girls. This particular scheme is on the topic of witchcraft and is intended for a predominantly female group, although the ideas explored should be interesting for both male and female students.

Learning objectives:

  • To introduce the topic
  • To outline the coursework’s assessment criteria
  • To explore the role of the witchfinders and the fear that they created within a 16th- or 17th-century society
  • To experiment with Theatre of the Absurd
  • To examine the sort of vulnerable women who might be accused of witchcraft in the 17th century
  • To develop characters
  • To explore the challenges of staging torture/hanging scenes
  • To discuss the treatments/punishments endured by the women in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • To ensure that students are supporting their practical work with their written portfolio
  • To provide students with a break from the intensity of the practical exam
  • To explore different times and cultures
  • To explore the dangers of fear and hysteria
  • To consider the point of view of the accusers
  • To explore how events spiral out of control and confusion reigns
  • To explore the tables turned! A different perspective
  • To assist students in the write-up of their portfolio

Number of lessons: 10

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