Tips on delivering a BTEC in dance

Verity Merryweather teacher of Dance (Cambridge Academic Partnership) and Specialist Leader of Education (Cambridgeshire) talks about facilitating a BTEC dance qualification.

The BTEC vocational qualifications offer learners the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in a vocational and practical setting. Dependent upon the level of the qualification the course can be tailored to suit the interests and needs of the learners alongside the specialisms of the tutors delivering the qualification. The course is versatile and allows learners to perform, compose and appreciate dance through a variety of styles and professional works. It provides strong foundations for further study and allows learners a variety of progression routes. Here are a few tips for tutors that might be helpful when delivering the BTEC Qualification…

Make sure a subject specialist at your centre is registered as a Lead Internal Verifier. They should complete Pearson training and disseminate these training materials to your teaching team to ensure they are aware of national standards and assessment procedures.

Pearson offer a variety of free teaching and learning materials which can be accessed by tutors to help support your planning, preparation and delivery of the qualifications. These are invaluable resources and include example assessment plans, assignment briefs and marked learner work.  These resources are so helpful as they can either be lifted directly and personalised to your centre or can act as a springboard for you to design your own.

Some example resources for the Tech Award include:

Remember your centre assessment plan is a working document which can be amended throughout the duration of the course. As a tutor you are free to design your assessment plan as you see fit, but ensure sufficient units are completed across the duration of the course.

Ensure all your assignment briefs are internally verified prior to being distributed to your learners. This will ensure that your briefs are vocational based, covering all targeted assessment criteria and are pupil friendly.

Pearson offer a handy assignment checking service that allow your centre to have their assignment briefs checked by a Pearson subject specialist. This service is free of charge and feedback on the submitted brief ensures that they are ‘fit for purpose’ prior to it being distributed to your learners.

Continuously refer to the unit / component content (documented within the specification) when delivering the course. These give a helpful overview of the knowledge, skills and understanding covered by the unit, assessment ideas and summative criteria to be used when marking learners.

Log books are used throughout most of the qualifications to evidence development of skills. Tutors are encouraged to avoid session by session descriptive entries. Instead learners should be encouraged to generate more focussed responses by completing ‘milestone’ entries at key points throughout the process.

Many units across the qualifications are focussed upon your learners’ development of skills during a rehearsal process. As tutors it is important to ensure that there is enough evidence for your learners’ progress to be measured against the assessment criteria.  Make sure your learners are video recorded at milestone sessions throughout the process for example during important rehearsals or at key moments throughout the assessment period.

Pearson offer a variety of helpful training events both face to face and electronically. These are delivered by subject specialists and cover a range of areas and qualification suites. These can be booked via:

Pearson have developed a new community platform where teachers can communicate directly with Paul Webster the Subject advisor for Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts alongside other performing arts colleagues in other centres.

Recently there have been some important developments as the DfE has agreed to give a separate discount code for the dance pathway of the Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts. This means centres can now offer the following combinations:

Performing Arts + Performing Arts (with a Dance Approach)

Performing Arts (with a Dance Approach) + Performing Arts (with a Production Approach)

Contribution by Verity Merryweather Teacher of Dance (Cambridge Academic Partnership) and Specialist Leader of Education for Cambridgeshire