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14 Comments

  1. I hate drama, i used to love it. I’ve been very upset lately and I find it hard to separate those feelings when entering my drama class. Not sure if I should continue into year 12

  2. Hey Justin,

    Are there any resources other than the drama sample performance examination that go into detail about the criteria of the drama solos?

    1. Mary, I’d recommend attending one of the Drama Victoria solo performance exam professional learning days. Experienced VCE Drama teachers running this workshop are usually VCAA solo exam assessors as well. They will unpack the exam criteria for you. Drama Victoria also puts out a solo performance exam resource annually, which is pretty useful. But I don’t think it covers the assessment criteria. On Monday morning, I will post on The Drama Teacher an overview of this year’s solo exam characters, but this will be more of a summary and brief character analysis, rather than a look into the criteria for the exam. The VCAA sample you refer to with descriptors is the only doc I’m aware of that covers the exam criteria. – Justin

      1. For those teachers and students interested in when the VCE Drama Solo Performance Examination and the VCE Theatre Studies Stagecraft Examination will be released, they will appear in the April VCAA Bulletin and on the VCE Drama and Theatre Studies pages on the VCAA website (under exams sub-section). Publication date this year is set for Thursday 20th April (Bulletin), though sometimes in previous years I have spotted the exams uploaded to the subject pages a day or two earlier. – Justin

  3. Thanks for your detailed response Justin. I wondered whether I have expected too much of my students for a task that only constitutes about 5% of the SAC marks. However the performance descriptors do suggest I think, that it needs to be fairly rigorous and I have often used abbreviated versions of past solo structures – my kids often get quite stressed by it because they just want to get on with the one that counts the most! I am leaning towards a simpler structure for this year and your advice has helped.

  4. Hi Justin
    I would be interested to know how you manage the mini-solo task, how much time you give your kids and how detailed a criteria you give them.
    Thanks for your post- helpful as always
    Mandy

    1. Hi Mandy, I got randomly audited by the VCAA for Unit 4 Drama last year and received a little slap on the wrist for my short (mini) solo task being too difficult for the students. I took it as both a backhanded compliment and a wake-up call. My intentions were genuine in that I was simply trying to challenge my students with a rigorous yet simple task, and also let it serve as an extension of solos they had performed at school in previous years. This was a tad embarrassing for me because I was one of the people on the VCAA panel that revised the VCE Drama Study Design for its current version! Yet, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is to keep things within the spirit of the Study Design and regardless of how I want to tackle an Outcome, to read the Study Design words very carefully. In this instance I am sharing with you, I was reminded of this section in the Study Design: “Teachers provide stimulus material appropriate to the size of the task, such as a person, an event, an issue, a place, an image, one word, a definition, a quote, lyrics, a sound or an icon”. It also emphasizes and informal setting for the task such as the classroom. Timeline: no more than 2 weeks. If you’re on track, get it out of the way in the final two weeks of Term 2 and start the solo exam task in Week 1 of Term 3. I use the criteria descriptors and marking guide in the VCAA Assessment Handbook for Drama for this task. The details of the task and how to design the task (what they need to include etc) are clear on p.17. Quality, not quantity for this task. It only needs to be a 1-3 minute solo. It should be a task in itself that challenges the students without being overly complicated. On this basis, your A/A+ students should romp it in with high grades. It must equally be seen as a scaffolding task for the more rigourous performance exam, which is the very next thing they do. Remember, no overlap allowed between the teacher-set task for the mini solo and the VCAA-set exam solo task. Hope this info helps. – Justin

  5. What a timely post! I’m starting solo’s with my Year 10s next week (don’t see them in S2 this year) and was just this minute trying to figure out the best way to scaffold it for them. Thanks!