Newsletter December 2015

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

Can it really be the end of term already? It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were welcoming all the new pupils to the School and starting rehearsals for the Open Evenings, and already the term has come to a close with another fantastic Music Concert!

I’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate what has been a very exciting term filled with wonderful performances and academic successes that serve to remind us all why ArtsEd is the number one performing arts school in the country. We’ve also had the second TAP event which was enormously successful and raised a fantastic amount for brilliant causes. Thank you to everyone involved, I’m already looking forward to the next event!

From January the pupils will be involved in mock examinations and modular tests, so I know that revision will be part of the break, and we wish all the pupils the very best of luck with all their examinations. From the start of next term we will also be seeing a number of Drama pieces taking shape as our entries into national competitions, as well as all the preparations and rehearsals for The Dance Show, so it’s another exciting term ahead!

All that is left for me to say is Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all the pupils, parents and carers who make up the ArtsEd family, I look forward to seeing you at our Academic Review Day at the start of next term.


Adrian Blake

Could You Inspire Our Students?

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

This term we have enjoyed a range of fantastic careers talks, I am always on the lookout for guest speakers who are experts in their field. Would you like to share your career journey with the students: what inspired you, how you got there, as well as any words of wisdom that you’d like to impart? Please get in touch if you are interested in giving a talk or can recommend a guest speaker.

As one year rings out and the next hovers around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on a remark that I often hear from visitors to the School: ‘I wish there was a school like this when I was a kid’. Indeed, I too have considered what it might have been like to be educated at such a fantastic school. However, I feel fortunate that as a member of Staff, I get to be a part of the vibrant atmosphere and amazing community. Yet, as my days as a pupil are long since gone, I no longer have the additional responsibility of homework or assessments - I’d say that’s a pretty darn good compromise…

Have a lovely break and see you in 2016!

Julia Collura
Director of CPD and Careers

Student Performances

Sixth Form Student Performs at British Dyslexia Association Awards

written by Daniel Ellis (Year 12)

On Friday the 27th of November, I performed a stand up routine for the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) annual awards dinner. This was held at Grays Inn in London.

My act was about my experiences of living with dyslexia and I talked about the funny side of being dyslexic as well as the challenges. Also about how dyslexia is more of a good thing than a bad thing for me.

It was a big and imposing venue with about 300 guests including celebrities who have dyslexia themselves. This was my first public performance of this act and although I was nervous I really enjoyed it. The audience laughed at every joke and enjoyed my observations.

After the event, the organiser emailed me to say that he had received amazing feedback and some enquirers to, so I might get more bookings!

The evening raised over £36k for the BDA so they can continue to provide specialist support for people with dyslexia.

Pupils Share Stage With Dance Stars

written by Eva Tanaka (Year 7)

On Sunday 11th October, five schools were invited to dance in the finale of Dance Power, a charity performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on behalf of the British Red Cross. The performance was produced by Angela Rippon and hosted by Anton Du Beke. Other acts performing in the show included The Royal Ballet, Rambert and Stomp.

On the day of the performance all the schools rehearsed together for the first time for about an hour. After the rehearsals, when we were waiting backstage, our hearts were pounding, but as we entered and ran through the audience onto the stage and danced, we had the time of our lives. The rehearsals were really tiring but it was worth it as we had a great time dancing on the stage. The crowd seemed to love it!

School Trips

Year 7 Enjoy Pond-Dipping at London's Wetland Centre

written by James Rushby (Year 7)

On the 14th October 2015, Year 7 went on a visit to the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust in Barnes. The first activity was bird watching, however a quick trip to the otters’ pond was also thought to be a great idea. After that a black swan was spotted and it felt rather peckish. Then it was time to do some proper bird-spotting; in the hides!

Just a quick lunch break, then off to do some pond-dipping. After the pond-dipping exercise the groups had a little time to look at and study what they had caught. Then a chance to see what everyone else had found; a really fascinating collection of creatures. It was a fantastic day out and it was a great first trip for Year 7. Some pupils will definitely go back there in their own time!

Year 9 Pupils Learn From Student Doctors

written by Millie Mahoney (Year 9)

On 23 November, we started off the trip by visiting Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Here we took part in interactive activities called the ‘Centre of the Cell’, which was led by students studying to be doctors and dentists. We all enjoyed extending our knowledge on topics we were studying in class through quizzes and games.

Next, we headed to the Natural History Museum to complete an ‘Investigative Science Workshop’. We had access to real fossils that scientists today study which we analysed in small groups. Year 9 also had the opportunity to look around the dinosaur section of museum. My classmates and I enjoyed this, as we hadn't learnt about dinosaurs in depth at school yet. We explored careers within the Science industry, learned more about the human body and the latest medical research. Thank you to the Science department for this trip!

Visit to Charles Dickens' House Unveils 'Where The Magic Happened'

written by Bibi Grunert (Year 10)

On 16 October, Year 10 visited the house of the late novelist Charles Dickens at 48 Doughty Street. On this trip we took time looking around the house and were then taken on a tour through parts of London that relate to Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations.

We began the day with a short workshop where we were each given a different copy of a page from one of Dickens’ books and had to try and guess which one it came from. The only problem with this simple task was that each copy was taken from his original drafts; his writing was so hard to read, it was almost impossible to make out a single word! However, we soon found out how tricky it is to write with a quill when we were asked to use one to write our own stories!

The guide then took us around the house showing us the kitchen (where roaming hedgehogs were once their source of pest control) and upstairs to a room that could be considered Dickens’ personal showroom. Towards the middle of the room was a lectern that Dickens had designed himself to present readings of his novels to family and friends. He loved to perform his novels and embody the characters; the guide said how perfect the tour was for a school like ArtsEd.

We slowly moved on to the most important part of the tour in my opinion; Dickens’ study. As we all squeezed into the small room, Tarek stated so perfectly that: “this was where the magic happened…”. The furniture consisted of little more than a desk (where he sat and wrote many of his novels including Oliver Twist) and a large painting. The painting was of Dickens sitting back in his chair dreaming about all of his characters from various books, which were painted in a mystical cloud around him.

I would willingly go back to The Charles Dickens Museum again, as I loved learning about the story he never officially wrote. His own.

Careers Fair Impresses

written by Daisy McVeigh (Year 11)

Fun? Exciting? Interesting? Honestly, these words were the complete opposite of what I was expecting from Skills London 2015.

Year 11 set off early to visit London’s biggest careers fair at the Excel Centre in Royal Victoria Dock. On arrival my friend and I were first greeted with an array of smiles from the organisers of the event, and asked whether or not we knew what we were looking for specifically or what we wanted to be when we were older. Of course me being into the Media and Film industries, we headed to the first Media stall I could see. Here we were told about a producing, directing and scriptwriting course. The more I heard, the more I started really enjoying myself and seeing that this trip would really benefit me in the long-run.

This happened stall after stall, so I guess the point of this article is to remind you to be open-minded about everything new, as it may open doors for you. So - Fun? Exciting? Interesting? These were definitely words used to describe Skills London 2015.

Photography Students Inspired By Exhibition

Year 13 Photography students visited ‘Gathered Leaves: Photographs by Alec Soth’ at the Science Museum. Alec Soth is a world-renowned Magnum photographer, who is most well known for the photographers books he makes. This is the first time he has had an exhibition of three of his books together as a single photographic exhibition. He works on themes such as isolation and love, taking documentary photographs of Northern America. It was a powerful exhibition that presented intriguing narratives and something that the photography students are hoping to use in their own work.

School Activity

Musical Theatre Students Learn From Professionals

This term our BTEC Musical Theatre students have been privileged to take part in master classes with industry professionals. Students were able to improve their performance technique as well as learning more about the theatre industry.

Musical Director Danny Whitby and Vocal Coach Mary King led an audition song workshop teaching the students a range of vocal techniques and mental strategies to improve the delivery of solo songs.

Philip Marriott gave a tap master class providing students an understanding of the technique and approach required to be a professional performers.

Please see below brief biographies of the accomplished workshop leaders.

Danny Whitby is the Associate Musical Director of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and will be starting rehearsals for Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ in the New Year. 

Mary King has performed internationally as well as working as vocal coach with the Royal Academy of Music, Glyndebourne, Millennium Performing Arts and Welsh National Opera. 

Philip Marriott has an extensive list of performance credits, recently featuring in Regents Park Open Air Theatre Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and currently performing in Singin' in the Rain at Theatre du Chatelet, Paris

Year 9 Pupils Help Year 13 with Theatre Project

Year 13 Acting students have been developing a Theatre in Education project exploring the potential effects that playing video games can have on teenager behaviour. The students presented their prepared scenes and activities to Year 9 pupils who enjoyed taking part and giving constructive feedback.

Science Club

Science club runs every Wednesday and is open to all students from Years 7-11. The aim of the Science Club is to promote the sciences and encourage pupils to think scientifically as well as to extend their knowledge in term of scientific principles.

Below are some pictures from the fun experiments we've done over the last term.

Learning about combustion and burning

Creating lava lamps

Making silly putty

Staff & TAP Achievements

Continuing Success for TAP Committee

written by Cherry Wood (Year 8 TAP parent representative)

Following a great first year as an official Parents’ and Teachers’ Association, TAP was keen to build on last year’s successes. One of the first actions was to grow the TAP committee. These are its members:

  • Year 7: Rachel Fox, John Miles
  • Year 8: Sharon Pitt, Cherry Wood
  • Year 9: Tracey Allen, Sam Whittaker
  • Year 10: Annie Fitzpatrick, Angelique Glata
  • Year 11: Lotte Campanale
  • Year 12: Laurie Maidment, Matthew Watts (TAP secretary and Treasurer), Sue Watts
  • Alumni Representative: Gina Symmons
  • TAP Chair: Julia Collura

Jazz Night
The feedback from the Quiz Night, held in the summer term, was so positive that we wanted to create another opportunity for parents and teachers to get together, enjoy themselves and raise money for good causes. This term saw ArtsEd’s first TAP Jazz Night, held at The Old Station House on the 19th of November. The evening was not only great fun, but also showcased the talents of parents and teachers as they took up the challenge of the open mic!  The music was provided by the fantastic band, While the Cat’s Away and included a raffle (with donations entirely by parents and teachers). The whole evening raised a whopping £3,600 going towards the Pupils’ Scholarship Fund, TAP fund and the International Refugee Trust.

Holiday Cards and Fundraising
Pupils from Years 7-9 designed cards for this year’s holiday season. There were some fantastically creative ideas and after much deliberation six designs were chosen to be published and sold in packs of six. Monies raised will be donated to the local charity REACT (a charity that provides assistance to families with terminally ill children) and MIND (national mental health charity) as well as TAP’s ICT fund for The Day School. Sales are currently going very well and we anticipate a sell-out!

Teacher Shares 007 Knowledge on the Radio

In the run-up to the long awaited release of the 24th James Bond film Spectre, Share Radio invited Media & Film Teacher William Reiss to talk about the film franchise. Discussion of the 007 series' history and its box office success over 50 years were interspersed with excerpts of some of the greatest Bond music and snippets of dialogue from the films.

Listen to the Share Radio Podcast

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