Every so often I receive a request from our press team asking me to comment on drama education stories that are being researched by journalists. I always get excited when I see these quoted in the press either in print or online.
This week, however, I wasn't being asked for a quote. I was wanted for an interview! I was absolutely delighted to be invited to debate the changes to GCSE Drama on BBC Radio. And as it so happens, just the day before we received the welcome news that our new GCSE has been accredited (approved by the exams regulator Ofqual), meaning all OCR qualifications that are for first teaching this September are finalised and ready for teaching. Teachers have been really patient during the process and I’m pleased that they can now finalise their preparation for teaching the new courses knowing that the courses are not going to change.
BBC Radio Wiltshire presenter Graham Rogers asked about the recent claims that students don’t have to watch live performances anymore and I explained how in fact under the new system students will be watching more live drama than ever before.
Our new GCSE has been designed to offer flexibility – allowing teachers to tailor the course and create something that is right for their students. This includes broadening the definition of live theatre to include digital recordings, and also allowing for teacher (and student) choice of play for their performance assessment. I was delighted to hear from teachers who called in to the show saying they had chosen OCR for their GCSE drama students this year and hope they make use of the support OCR’s Creative Subjects Team can offer.
You can hear the full interview on the BBC Radio iPlayer – teachers discuss the changes about 1 hour 45 minutes in and then I’m on about 2 hours in (just after the news)
Karen Latto - Subject Specialist - Performing Arts
Before joining OCR, Karen taught a range of creative subjects in secondary education for seven years. During her teaching career Karen taught Drama, Music, Performing Arts and Media across Key Stage 3-5. One of the highlights of Karen's time teaching was her involvement with organising a number of school productions and performances. Karen is really excited to be working on developing the new qualifications and supporting teachers across the country with the changes to Drama and Performing Arts education over the coming years and beyond.