Tuesday 27 April 2021 – 4pm
Monday 28 June 2021 – 4pm

CODE: 8250


This course is designed for all teachers of Pearson BTEC level 3 Performing Arts (2016), who are looking for teaching approaches and strategies to support their students in aiming for a Distinction in Unit 1.  Emphasis will be on selecting the most suitable practitioners (Artaud, Brecht etc) and choosing appropriate prof. works to analyse and reference throughout the exam as well as giving all teachers the appropriate pedagogy to approach the 3 unseen examination questions confidently.


  • Gain understanding of how to approach the expectations of the unit 1 exam
  • Obtain top level strategies for producing excellent examination answers
  • Focus on how to break down the criteria, what the examiners are expecting to see to attain the top bands
  • The course includes a set of course notes (which includes a distinction example) which will be sent in advance of the course and which you will be able to use


4.00 – 4.05pm Welcome and Introduction

  • Exploring the overview of the L3 Performing Arts 2016 course, the units, their weighting and where Unit 1 fits into the overall qualification and course structure

4.05 – 4.20pm:  Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners: Overview

  • What are the expectations of learners for this unit?
  • Unpicking the grading criteria and expectations; What does it mean to be ‘insightful’ and ‘sophisticated’ (distinction criteria)
  • What does it take to attain a Distinction in Unit 1

4.20 -4.30pm : The exam paper

  • What are the three unseen questions?
  • Ways to introduce the exam paper to the students through practical and theoretical lesson approaches

4.30 -5pm:  Selecting the practitioner

  • Suggestions of suitable Practitioners that meets the exam brief requirement to select/not select that will give scope and opportunity for students to excel and aim high
  • A discussion on which practitioners have the available and accessible information needed
  • Understanding how the practitioner is influenced by contextual influences; what does this mean? (Historical, Social, political etc)

5 – 5.35pm: Approaching the research process

  • A discussion on independent research versus teacher led research
  • Teaching approaches and strategies to help students focus on what they need to do in the research process of their chosen practitioner (such as Artaud or Brecht) – starting points for research etc.
  • Understanding what is expected in the student’s research e.g. contextual research of the practitioner and analysing a set professional work
  • An approach to primary and secondary research; introducing and explaining this to your students
  • What to research to ensure the students have the best chance of achieving a distinction

5.35– 6.05pm:  The exam Criteria and Grading                

  • A breakdown of the key assessment terms
  • Breaking down the criteria, how to make judgements on work examples based on the criteria, what will it take to secure distinctions with your top students
  • What are the key differences within the criteria for each question?
  • Writing a distinction Paper
  • What is the level of analytical detail and depth required for top band answers?

6.05 – 6.20pm: Notes and bibliography for Part A exam

  • Rules and regulations for students writing the notes in the part A exam
  • Ways to ensure the bibliography supports the exam

6.20-6.30pm: Discussion and questions

Jo Mason

Jo Mason is a highly experienced BTEC practitioner with many years of examining and teaching success. Jo has been a Head of the Performing Arts faculty for 10 years as well as teaching dance, drama and Acting. Jo has been teaching BTEC for 15 years. She is a freelance BTEC consultant with high levels of experience in running teacher and department training courses for performing arts teachers across the UK as well as creating and offering resources for the BTEC and KS3 performing arts curriculum. Jo is well-known for her clear and honest approach to these courses from a teacher’s perspective.