Marie Bessant, Music and Performing Arts Subject Advisor
It’s the time of year when performance exams are in full swing and we start to think about next year’s plays and text choices. We receive a lot of questions about this subject, so to help I’ve pulled together a walkthrough to answer some of your FAQs.
OCR’s Drama and Theatre qualifications allow teachers to select performance texts that suit their students and ensure we can offer a diverse and inclusive experience for drama students. (More on that in our Keeping drama creative guide!)
There is a wide range of choice out there, but we need to ensure your chosen texts meet the subject conditions for the qualifications.
Our Drama Text Management Service (DTMS) allows teachers to check their desired performance texts meet the subject conditions for the new drama qualifications. It is mandatory that this is completed.
It is really important that this is done early on in the course – and that text choices are checked before you start teaching them with your students.
This is because if any text you want to choose isn’t on the database of performance texts, we need time to check they fit the set criteria, then get the DTMS updated on the website so you can get it filled in and receive your confirmation.
This applies to GCSE, AS and A Level.
The Drama Text Management Service (DTMS) is our online tool that will confirm your combination of text choices are acceptable. It gives you an instant email reply which you’ll need to keep.
You may have more than one text being used by your class, so you need to fill in the DTMS for each different performance text.
You’ll find the text management service on the OCR website. There is also some guidance in the GCSE specification on pages 5 and 40 and in the A Level specification on page 7, 8 and 57.
When you fill in the DTMS form, you choose your set text(s) for the written paper from the drop-down list.
Then there is space for you to type in the title of your chosen performance text. As you type, a list of titles will appear under the box. If your text does not show up, it is not yet on our database.
This is when you’ll need to fill in the ‘suggest a text’ form.
If your choice is not on the list you can suggest it as a text using the suggest a text form.
Texts should be checked at the beginning of teaching them, to give plenty of time for the process to be approved before any assessment takes place.
Our drama team will check the text and add it to our database. Then the web team do the magic that adds it to the online tool. This is usually done by the drama team once a week, usually on a Friday.
A text being approved and entered on the database doesn’t mean the combination will be approved. So you’ll need to re-check the DTMS to get your confirmation. This confirmation is mandatory.
There are lots of reasons why you might need to change your performance text, and this is fine. Just make sure if this happens, you still check as early as you can, before starting to teach your new text.
You may have a choice of two or three options and are not yet decided which one you will do in the end and this is fine. You can fill in the DTMS as many times as you need to, even if you end up only doing one of them. Just hold on to your confirmation email, as your visiting examiner will need to see it.
The Drama Text Management Tool (DTMS) is what needs filling in to confirm your choices are valid.
You only need to use the ‘suggest a text’ form if your choice doesn’t show up.
This needs to be done as early as you can, preferably before teaching the texts. Please don’t leave it until the last minute!
As always, if you need any advice you can contact us on email@example.com or you can submit your comments below. To stay informed you can also sign up to receive email updates about any of our subjects or follow us on Twitter at @OCR_PerformArts.
For further information on drama, visit our website. And make sure you have signed up to Teach Cambridge if you haven’t already done so, so you can access all the current teacher resources.
Marie joined OCR in July 2014 after teaching music and performing arts for 10 years. As one of our Lead Subject Advisors, Marie is also OCR’s performing arts specialist and led the development for the new Music GCSEs and A Levels, and now oversees the management, development and support of Music and Drama GCSE and A Level, and the Cambridge Technical vocational performing arts qualifications.
With experience as Head of Department at secondary schools and FE colleges, Marie has a wealth of experience teaching the performing arts at GCSE, A Level, and Level 2-4 vocational qualifications. Marie is an organist and pianist with a love for rock music, shopping, food, reading (anything from Austen to Atwood, and particularly anything fantasy and sci-fi) and a particular love of Kris Kristofferson.