Assessment Report

Level 2 Dance 2021

Standards 91211  91212

 

Part A: Commentary

The examination papers had a new format this year. The ability to choose three out of four given questions worked well for both standards. Easy to read and unpack, they provided a more scaffolded approach to link the Level 1 and Level 3 Dance external examinations. The change in layout which introduced one whole question, as opposed to part (a) describe and (b) explain, made for more efficient answering and marking. Candidates could provide in-depth answers on one chosen aspect and not have to worry about linking it to another aspect. Some candidates at Not Achieved or Achievement level answered all four questions, and in those cases, the first three were marked. The opportunity to add bullet points, though not for every question, could provide clarity to better understand specifications that have a variety of interpretations (such as relationships).

Part B: Report on standards

91211:  Provide an interpretation of a dance performance with supporting evidence

Examinations 

The specifications for 2021 were clear and aligned with the examination. Positive feedback from the sector towards the new 2021 examination format has been received.  Candidates had the choice to answer three out of four questions.

Some candidates selected more than one visual design element in Question One, giving some detail on a variety of visual design elements instead of analysing in depth just the one. In Question Two, some candidates did not clearly state which contrasting movements they were referring to.

Some candidates misinterpreted Question Three and wrote about emotional / character relationships instead of elements of dance relationships. To gain Achievement, candidates needed to clearly state how the element of relationships can add interest to the dance

Observations 

Candidates are reminded of the need to read questions carefully, to ensure they fully understand what is required. Some candidates paraphrased the question in their answers, which often helped them to stay on topic.

Many teachers have taken advantage of some of the exemplary resources that companies have produced (RNZB, NZDC, Black Grace, etc). Candidates could answer in detail, used specific dance vocabulary, and showed an in-depth understanding. Candidates who Achieved with Excellence went beyond the script and resource booklets and linked aspects to their own interpretation, relevance, and effectiveness / interest. This is when the “Provide an interpretation of a dance performance with supporting evidence”, is demonstrated. Generally, rote learned answers do not enable candidates to reach Excellence.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • provided clear examples
  • drew diagrams and labelled them clearly
  • made brief or inferred comments addressing the effectiveness, their interpretation / understanding, or their interest (second part of the question)
  • answered all four questions instead of three, or repeated examples between the various questions.

Candidates who were awarded Not Achievement commonly:

  • misunderstood words in the question or misinterpreted words with multiple meanings such as ‘relationships’
  • attempted only part of a question, or only some of the three questions required
  • gave short descriptions with a limited response to the second aspect of the question
  • wrote superficial answers about what they saw, without analysis
  • supplied unclear or no examples.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • fully explained each point instead of just making statements
  • gave meaning and purpose to the examples used, and clearly related them to the question
  • gave at least one detailed and fully explained example per answer
  • made clear comments addressing the effectiveness, their interpretation / understanding, or their interest (part b of the question)
  • used evidence, including quotes, from the study / guide notes provided by the dance company that performed the dance
  • referenced the choreographer and other people with important roles who were involved in the creation of the dance
  • answered the question using key words from the question.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • showed exceptional knowledge and detail of the viewed dance performance
  • expanded their answers to show how their interpretation was influenced by who they are, or the experiences they / family / friends have had
  • related the dance to their own personal life and / or referenced other art works, world events, history, and culture with detail
  • went beyond the study / guide notes to give a unique interpretation of the dance
  • discussed details of insights that were gained from watching the dance with a critical eye.

 

91212:  Demonstrate understanding of a dance genre or style in context

Examinations 

It was useful to see bullet points / options to select were added to the more difficult specifications this year (roles and purpose). Overall, fewer students showed confusion with wording in this paper compared with 91211.

Observations 

The new format this year was received well by candidates. The change from parts (a) and (b) to one-part questions appeared to mitigate repetition. The change to a choice of three questions from a total of four was also positive, as it alleviated any “unfair” questions (in the past, some genres were perhaps restricted by questions such as “How has sound changed over time?” if the sound had not changed). A few candidates answered all four questions, and in these cases only the first three were marked. Candidates should read all the questions before selecting their chosen three to respond to. This will also ensure repeated ideas and examples are not used across the selected three questions.

Candidates need to answer both the how (describe) and the why (explain) parts of the question to obtain a Merit or higher. A common issue was candidates only answering how something was seen / heard without explaining the importance, why an aspect has changed / remained the same, or the significance of the genre to the wider world.

Candidates who gained Merit or Excellence used terminology from the question to support their responses. This exam technique of paraphrasing helped to ensure the questions were fully answered. Candidates who excelled used the planning pages to structure their responses. Those with little planning generally did not answer the question fully or in detail.

The genres that have seen candidates gain high Excellences include: Gumboot Dance, Lindy Hop, Fosse Jazz, Ballet (normally a teacher will pick a sub-genre of Ballet such as Neo Classical Ballet or Traditional Narrative Ballet, so the students can go in depth as well as width), Capoeira, and Kapa Haka.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • used limited examples and evidence to back up their ideas, including named locations, groups of people or individuals, specific dates, and specific historical events applicable to their chosen genre to support their response
  • named dance movements and then loosely linked the meaning of these or inferred why they were important.

Candidates who were awarded Not Achievement commonly:

  • included examples or evidence that were not quite accurate or too vague to back up their ideas
  • answered only part of the question(s)
  • answered one or two questions instead of three.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • used a range of examples and evidence, including named locations, groups of people or individuals, specific dates, and specific historical events applicable to their chosen genre to support their response
  • used specific dance jargon to name dance movements, and then linked the meaning of these or why they were produced to explain how their chosen dance genre developed
  • explained the context / history of the dance genre or style with depth of understanding.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • used a range of examples and comprehensive evidence, including named locations, groups of people or individuals, specific dates and specific historical events applicable to their chosen genre to support their response
  • used specific dance jargon to name dance movements, and then linked the meaning of these or why they were produced to fully explain how their chosen dance genre developed
  • referred to their detailed diagrams in the written response
  • linked the significance, importance, or why things have changed / remained the same over time to wider world events (e.g. Covid), wider contexts, other art works, or even personal experience (e.g. finding one’s own cultural identity).

Dance subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 154KB)

2019 (PDF, 271KB)

2018 (PDF, 106KB)

2017 (PDF, 44KB)

2016 (PDF, 211KB)

 
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