GCSE Performing Arts

AQA GCSE Performing Arts

Unit 1: Skills Development – 60% of the total mark.

AO1 Recall, select, use and communicate their knowledge and understanding of performing arts to generate, explore and develop ideas (20%)

AO2 Apply practical skills to communicate in performance (20%)

AO3 Demonstrate a contextual understanding of the relationship between their own work and those in the performing arts industry (10%)

AO4 Use the skills of analysis to evaluate their own work and that of others using appropriate terminology (10%).

The maximum mark for this unit is 70.

The assessment marking criteria grid is used when assessing candidates’ work. This provides a mark range for each set of criteria at different levels of achievement.

In this portfolio unit, candidates will provide evidence of their learning and development of appropriate skills used in presentations and performances.

The work undertaken in this unit will provide candidates with the fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding, which they will use in unit 2.

The candidate’s portfolio should reflect the work they have done, their personal skills and their understanding of planning and presenting a performance. Candidates will need to choose and use suitable methods to present their evidence in support of the skills they have learned.

Candidates must provide evidence of the following:

  • Skills development
  • Planning and research
  • Practical activities
  • Contextual understanding of work-related aspects
  • Evaluation of own and others’ work.

Assessment Requirements

Candidates need to produce a portfolio. This should be a practical working record in their chosen performing arts disciplines which includes:

  • An indication of their initial skills level and the activities carried out to improve the skills
  • Materials showing research into the performing arts industry
  • Three observations during the course about their working practice by suitably qualified people.

The three observations by suitably qualified people can include submissions from other teaching staff or students, technical or caretaking staff or even members of the public who have observed the candidate and are suitably qualified to comment. Observations by people in organisations outside school are also valid, for example adjudication notes from a local festival or examiners’ notes for dance or music awards.

Unit 2: Showcase Performance – 40% of the total mark

AO1 Recall, select, use and communicate their knowledge and understanding of performing arts to generate, explore and develop ideas (5%)

AO2 Apply practical skills to communicate in performance (20%)

AO3 Demonstrate a contextual understanding of the relationship between their own work and those in the performing arts industry (5%)

AO4 Use the skills of analysis to evaluate their own work and that of others using appropriate terminology (10%).

The maximum mark for this unit is 60.

The assessment marking criteria grid is used when assessing candidates’ work. This provides a mark range for each set of criteria at different levels of achievement.

This unit is based on the work carried out in unit 1, where the teacher has provided practice briefs for performance work in various contexts. It is expected that lessons on skills development will be continued until the teacher decides to begin work on the Showcase.

The work in this unit will allow candidates to demonstrate, in a Showcase performance, what they have learned about working as a member of a team and also how to present their personal skills to the highest possible standard. It will reinforce the processes involved in researching the work of others, planning, preparing for, and performing in an event or production.

All work carried out for the Showcase Performance should be included in the candidate’s portfolio.

This unit is assessed through an externally set task in the form
of a performance brief. The candidates will work as a production company. Candidates will demonstrate their ability in their chosen skills area by putting on a showcase under the supervision of
the teacher acting as the commissioner of the brief. The teacher will have the final decision on the content but this should allow candidates to perform to their strengths. The showcase brief includes:

  • A description of what has to be produced
  • Constraints which may limit what they are able to do, such as a limited budget or particular performance space
  • The target audience, which will have to be investigated before choosing material.

Assessment requirements

Candidates should respond to the externally set brief. They should produce:

  • The final piece of work, suitably presented
  • Three observations of their working practices by people with whom they have worked
  • An evaluation of their contribution to planning, preparation and skills development, presented on one side of A2, or two sides of A3, or four sides of A4.