ArtsEd Day School & Sixth Form News Spring 2017

Greetings from Adrian Blake, Headteacher

I’m pretty sure that Spring Term 2017 has the busiest Spring Term on record!

As well as all the learning that takes place day to day in lessons, we have seen numerous educational trips this term including excursions to The Dickens Museum, Poetry Live, Sadler’s Wells, The Science Museum, and The Electric Cinema, as well as over a dozen trips to the theatre to see a wide range of performance work.

We have also seen some wonderful performance work of our own, the Year 7 and 8 Drama Showings, Year 13 BTEC Studio Productions, Year 13 BTEC Musical, Year 12 BTEC Non-Naturalistic Plays, Year 13 BTEC Theatre for Children (which was performed to the pupils from Orchard House Preparatory School), Devising Exam Showcases from Year 10, Year 11, and Year 12 Actors, The A Level Music Performance Evening, The Sixth Form Evening of Dance, and now The Dance Show!

As always, it’s a huge congratulations to all the staff, pupils, and students involved in those productions and performances, it is wonderful to see such talent on show and to lead such a fantastic team of teacher practitioners.

If all this wasn’t enough to keep us on our toes, we have also had our ISI Compliance Inspection this term, and thank you to all of you, parents, carers, pupils and students who completed the online questionnaire. The official report won’t be out for some weeks yet, but suffice to say we were very pleased with what the Inspection Team had to say at the end of their visit!
A date for your diary next term is the TAP (Teachers and Parents) Jazz Evening. There will be a ‘VIP’ area for the ArtsEd family, and an evening of ‘juice and jazz’ (juice of your choosing of course!). It’s a fabulous jazz band who are friends of ArtsEd (and who are playing just for their expenses) and a fun night out at The Pilot is promised … Come along, bring a friend, meet other parents and raise some money along the way! All profits will go towards the School's Hardship Fund, which supports students whose families experience a sudden change in circumstances. Look for details in this Newsletter and please do put the date in your diary: Thursday 18th May. Hope to see you there (paternity leave permitting)!

On a final, but vitally important, note, I would like to wish all the pupils and students who will be taking exams next term the very best of luck. I know that revision timetables are well underway and that staff have been, and will continue, providing additional sessions for examination support. I would encourage all the parents and carers of those taking exams to continue supporting the pupils when they are at home during the Easter break and during the exam leave that comes into play next term. Never underestimate how important even 20 minutes of revision can be at helping you secure extra marks when it comes to the exams, and remember a single mark can be the difference between any two grades so really try and use the time wisely, ask for support from teachers and parents, test each other with questions and use the skills you’ve been developing here at ArtsEd to succeed.

I wish you all a restful and productive break and I shall look forward to seeing many of you at the performances, parents’ evenings and public events that are coming soon.

The Dance Show 2017

From Julia Collura, Director of CPD and Careers

As you may have already heard, I won’t be working at ArtsEd in the Summer Term, but will instead be embarking on personal projects – first and foremost, launching an island retreat with yoga included in the mountains of the Aeolian Archipelago. Indeed, it’s been wonderful having the opportunity to offer yoga classes to the Sixth Form for the past three years and I look forward to seeing old as well as new faces on the mat in September.

This term has been especially rewarding preparing the Year 8s for a Drama Showing and directing the Year 12s in Lady Audley’s Secret. I will miss chairing TAP and attending the upcoming Jazz Evening social, as well as organising Careers Talks and CPD. However, I am very pleased to be leaving the reins in the very capable hands of Myles Stinton (Director of BTEC) who will be standing in for me during the Summer Term as Acting Director of CPD and Careers, and Acting Chair of TAP.

So until September, as Ben Curran, one of our Year 9 pupils states later in this letter: Julia, signing off… (and Namaste!)

Poetry, Novels, & Spellings - English in Year 7

By Ava Emery, Year 7

The Year 7’s Spring Term has been packed with many fun subjects!
Firstly, we studied the exciting book Skellig, by David Almond. It is about a troubled boy who meets someone extraordinary, and it changes his life forever. We read it as a class, and together in groups. Different people did the voices of different characters, which was extremely fun as we got to have the drama element of it too. We’ve also written some creative writing based on it, and studied how relationships changed throughout the novel.

We have also been studying poetry with Mr Brunel, such as sonnets and haikus. Everyone really enjoyed creating their own poems, where we could use our imagination and pictures to set the scene. We looked at famous poems and broke down their language devices to apply to our own work. This is a sonnet I wrote:

I see thee upon a sky of blue,
I think about you nighteth and day,
though thunderstorms may rumble too,
actions speak more than I can say.
Above the clouds I see your shadow,
my love is fair and eternal time,
and though one day I’ll see you leave,
you still speak soft with every rhyme.
Never stuck in a tornado,
or whirlwind of any kind,
you keep me temperate and young so,
no other trinket a better find.
My content for you will never fade,
even when death is amongst your shade…

Each week, we do a spelling test, to extend our spelling knowledge and vocabulary. From this, we can learn new words and sounds. There are usually 15 questions and sometimes a merit or two if Mr Brunel can see effort and improvement. All of our teachers have been advising us to read a great range of books, as we have our end of year tests coming up next term!

Year 8 Highlights of the Spring Term

By James Rushby, Year 8

To start off the term, we went on a great trip to the Prince Edward Theatre to watch the memorable Aladdin the Musical! It was a brilliant performance and we all enjoyed it so much.

The dancers went to watch The Red Shoes. This was a great experience and inspired the students for the Dance Show. The actors also went to The Hunting Lodge at The Unicorn Theatre. It was really good and inspired us to do well in our upcoming assessments. 

Towards the end of term we visited The Science Museum, which was a great trip as we learnt so much about space and light. We really enjoyed doing a project afterwards - I did mine on modifying malaria!

For World Book Day on the 2nd of March, we came into school costumed as characters. Pupils' choices ranged from Old Major from Animal Farm to characters from Harry Potter. Lastly, to raise money for Comic Relief on the 24th of March, we had a Mufti Day. That was good fun and we all had a laugh but that didn’t stop us from learning across lessons. We have had such a good term and we are all so excited for the Summer Term and the exams!

Keeping Up With Year 9

By Ben Curran, Year 9

The Spring Term has been a tempest of activity! Where do I start? … Multiple charity events such as Mufti Day, cake sales, candy cane sending; careers talks from visiting professionals that could benefit our futures; internet safety talks where we learned the importance of respecting yourself and others around you, how to treat your body and most importantly, how to be happy.

One of the most significant projects that the dancers have been working towards this past term is The Dance Show. The show has been a massive part of their priorities and dancers from all years have been working tremendously hard to ensure the success of the final project. Blood, sweat and tears (especially from our dance teachers!) has been shed so I would like to say a massive thank you on behalf of everyone in my year to all members of Dance Staff who helped in the preparation of the Dance Show, because without the team there to help and guide them on this challenging but joyful journey, they would not be able to give such a fantastic performance.

But not only has it been the dance teachers who’ve helped us, but also the teachers in general! Without the massive support gained from our Form Tutors and the help we got in lessons I can truly state without any whims of imagination, on behalf of the pupils here, thank you. Thank you for being such fantastic role models and leading us through the term! Thank you for every Maths question explained, every constructive criticism in Drama, every “push harder” in Dance, every groan in Geography, every break time you spend marking our essays and responding to our queries. Thank you.

Ben signing off…

Year 10 Spring Term Roundup

By Lawrence Wake, Year 10

It’s been a busy term for Year 10. With GCSEs getting closer and closer everyone has been working for their lives.

The biggest mountain to climb for the actors has been preparing and performing our devising pieces. More than just being a huge part of our final grades, it has been a real eye opening experience of what it is like to be part of the creative process. Luckily our performance of Noises Off last year prepared us for what could go wrong and in spite of a few memory lapses on the night everyone made sure that the show went on and hopefully the examiners enjoyed it as much as we did.

Our dancers drove themselves to the limits like Spartans to prepare for their part in the Dance Show in the final week and in spite of injuries and untold hours of practice they created something amazing that had everyone hungry for tickets.

For all of us, actors and dancers alike, it really became obvious that working together in the professional setting that ArtsEd creates is more than just about passing exams. The highs and lows of the process reminded us all that we can look forward to meeting again in the future, some of us as performers, others as writers and directors or choreographers but all of us as “dear, dear friends”.

A highlight of the academic programme this term was our trip with Miss Taylor and the English Department to the Dickens Museum as part of our study of Great Expectations. Exploring the museum gave us an inspiring insight into Dickens the writer and a guided walking tour of locations in the book gave us a chance to walk in the footsteps of Pip, Estella and Mr Jaggers and bring the story to life.

Media Students Meet Danny Boyle

By Rebecca Prentice, Year 12

As we approach the end of this frantically busy term, it cannot be denied that it was the most rewarding yet for the Year 12’s. A personal highlight from the BTEC Actors has been performing our Non-Naturalistic plays; as this was our first public performance, we all felt the pressure of making a memorable debut and the months of rehearsals paid off as we performed Lady Audley’s Secret - a Victorian melodrama - and Mother Courage - a Brechtian play.

Parallel to this, some of our cast members were also involved in the Drama A Level devising process. Praises were sung by all age groups who went to see these as they really did exceed expectations. From a symbolic birdhouse to expectations on men and likewise beauty pressure on women to political commentary on Trump - the pieces were all thought-provoking and incorporated comedy and depth with notable tact.

The A Level students have also had their fair share of creativity this term with high spirits from the Media Department as we rushed around shooting our films - if you hear arguing as you walk past the classroom, it’s because we’ve now moved on to editing. The cherry on top of the Media students’ term was a recent visit to a talk with Danny Boyle who reaffirmed the passions of many of us to pursue careers in this industry. Do check in at the Media Room to see our fan photo with Danny - a highlight for Krishna Dubasiya and William Reiss, as much as anyone. 

English continues to inspire constant debate and discussion over Cathy vs Heathcliff with heated classes full of vocal opinions; all stirred by Rich’s one-liners.

Even though none of us can quite believe that we’re already entering our last term, with the MT’s ongoing rehearsals for Baby and Bernarda Alba to the English Department’s upcoming trip to Haworth, next term is set to be filled with equally exciting moments.

Assasins, BTEC Musical Theatre

Year 13 Performance Highlights

By Matilda Price, Year 13

Over the past term the Year 13s have been very busy with working out the next step with auditions performing in a variety of performances and concentrating on getting ready for exam season. It is coming close to the end of our time at ArtsEd and many of us have had successful auditions and interviews earning places at top drama schools and universities next year.

I'm very proud to be part of such a talented year group, which has been showcased at a variety of dynamic and exciting performances this term. The A level drama students performed their devised assessment pieces - interesting and exciting pieces of theatre with important and relevant messages about today's society. The BTEC Musical Theatre students performed Assassins, a poignant political piece about those who successfully or unsuccessfully assassinated a president. Meanwhile the BTEC acting students performed a double bill of classical texts, The London Cuckolds adapted by Terry Johnson and Shakespeare's classic Comedy of Errors. Both were bold performances, which made classical text more accessible for actors and audience.

This week some of the Year 13 students have been performing in the annual Dance Show showcasing their incredible talents! A Level lessons have been spent preparing for the examinations in June with all of us hoping to achieve our predicted grades. Overall, this term has been one of the most enjoyable at ArtsEd, as it has involved being part of performances as well as getting to watch my peers excel!

Image: BTEC Actors in The London Cuckolds

The Comedy of Errors, BTEC Acting

We are delighted to invite you to...

TAP's Springtime Social
featuring music from the fantastic ‘While the Cat’s Away’

When: Thursday 18th May 2017
7.30pm at
Where: The Pilot, 56 Wellesley Road, Chiswick, W4 4BZ

Join teachers and parents for a light-hearted evening of live jazz.

Tickets are £20.00 with proceeds going towards the Student Hardship Fund

Book tickets via your TAP year rep or call 07834 540593

Keeping Children Safe Online

Due to the increasing need for training regarding online safety, the School arranged for South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) to deliver a series of E-safety sessions for pupils/students, staff and parents/carers. The talks were very informative and SWGfL has provided the following additional resources for Parents/Carers.

Internet Matters - Helping parents keep their children safe on line
UK Safer Internet Centre - Parents Guide
O2 and NSPCC Partnership
O2 and NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5002  

The Dance Show 2017

Catching Up With New Staff

Richard Brunel (Second in English) and Warren Turner (SENDCo), who joined ArtsEd in September, share their thoughts on what it’s like to teach at ArtsEd.

Richard: The atmosphere at ArtsEd is fantastic! Staff are always approachable and friendly and I have felt rejuvenated by the attitude of the students. One of the reasons I moved here was because of the tragic decline of the Arts in State education, and although the students are very busy and the scheduling tight, there is a pervasive, ‘can-do’ attitude that underpins any typical working day. In addition, I have had the privilege of being an audience member during productions that have left me elated, and look forward to using time in my subject-area to support these when I can.

Warren: My first six months at ArtsEd have been an absolute pleasure. Everyone has made me feel very welcome. I have really enjoyed getting to know the staff and students alike and having the opportunity to observe the great work done here both in lessons and in performance. Having spent most of my career teaching Drama, the constant buzz of rehearsals and productions make me feel very much at home. It is a dream to finally work somewhere that puts the Arts subjects in the spotlight, rather than leaving them waiting in the wings. I am very much looking forward to the future here and excited about what is to come.

Careers Talk: Marylebone Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine

By Sophie West, Year 12

On the 7th of March we had a Careers Talk by Chris and Katia McLean. They discussed how they started out and how they got to where they are today at Marylebone Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine.

As well as offering the usual physiotherapy services, the clinic also includes massage therapy, personal training, clinical Pilates, Runningods, Cyclingods, ergonomic assessments and work injuries. They also give advice on nutrition, clothing and hydration. Their aim is to provide a dedicated and a tailored approach to healthcare.

We very much enjoyed Chris and Katia’s talk and gaining an insight into what they do on a daily basis. It was interesting to hear about their Showtime Health service. Chris told us that he had been on tour with Madonna and many other performers. His role was to deliver massages and physiotherapy to people who needed it, such as treating post-show muscular issues with dancers.

Their visit highlighted that whilst we may start in one industry, skills can be transferred into other walks of life. We also were reminded that we do not have to be a performer to be in the industry.

As well as telling us about their roles, they also gave us beneficial advice on how we can treat our own injuries. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed their visit and found it very interesting.

Join ArtsEd Community Show Choir & Drama Group

ArtsEd have recently launched two community evening classes: a Show Choir and Drama Group.

Both sessions welcome total beginners as well as experienced performers from the age of 25 to 125!

Whether you want to sing songs from the shows with the choir or explore the plays of Alan Ayckbourn and Alan Bennett with the drama group, you’ll enjoy the fun and friendliness of these supportive groups.

Booking is now open for the summer term, find out more and book online – it’s time to step out from the wings!

  • Show Choir runs Mondays 7.30pm-9.00pm (8 May – 10 Jul)
  • Drama Group runs Thursdays 7.30pm-9.00pm (27 Apr – 1 Jun)
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