As well as the formal/organized music making there are innumerable pupil-led bands that help to ensure that the music department is a vibrant environment. Tuition is provided on all orchestral instruments, including percussion. Voice, piano, organ and all types of guitar lessons are also available.
There is an excellent whole school choir that sings at all major school events, concerts, and church services throughout the school year. The school orchestra, like the choir, provides music at school events and concerts. Both the choir and the orchestra receive invitations to support large-scale events in and around Plymouth, the 1930's Dance Orchestra has a very busy year ahead providing music at internal and external events. In addition to these groups the school has various small ensembles that are run by the visiting specialist instrumental teachers.
Separate ‘Girls Voices in harmony’ and ‘Boys Voices in harmony’ clubs are run at lunchtime by singing coach Mark Bennett. The strings are coached by Catherine Browning and the classical guitar ensemble is led by Alison Smith.
The department runs specialist focus evenings during the spring concert season. The highlight of these is the piano evening when we have the visual and aural spectacle of eight pianos. This event always includes the much-anticipated solo performance by our head of piano Irina Kosogova-Lunn The hugely popular Rock and Pop evening are led by Pete and Zoe Zalick our specialist Rock and Pop teachers.
The school hosts two exciting annual house music competitions that involve every pupil in the school singing on stage in front of their peers as well as a category for ensemble and percussion. The second competition is the soloist competition which is highly competitive across all age categories.
Our principal visitors this year were The Band of HM Royal Marines who led a most memorable day for the Concert Band and the orchestra as well as the Corps of Drums and the Function Band.
Known as Live Lounge and open to all genres of music, all years and abilities, these sessions are focused on performance, with pupils learning parts at home so that they can bring it all together in the Live Lounge. We play many concerts through the year: at lunchtime in the drama studio; in assemblies; at the guitar evening in the MK hall and as part of the house music afternoon.
Pupils are presented with numerous performance opportunities. They participate in local drama festivals, performance evenings and school productions. Recent performances include School of Rock and The Great British Bump Off (an interactive murder mystery). Rehearsals for this year's production of the Addams Family are well underway.
Speech and drama lessons (LAMDA) are offered to all pupils. These are well-respected qualifications and can lead to pupils gaining valuable UCAS points.
The school has a vibrant, annual house drama competition. Pupil led, house teams, produce some outstanding pieces with only 24 hours preparation.
We are very lucky to have easy access to the Theatre Royal, in particular, the Drum, and pupils regularly experience cutting-edge live theatre. Trips further afield have included Bristol, Cheltenham, London and The Minack.
Pupils partake in practical workshops with well-respected theatre practitioners including Frantic Assembly, The Paper Birds and Told by An Idiot. Encouraging pupils to see the study of drama and theatre as a valuable tool, whose worth extends beyond the classroom walls.
Art/textiles; photograms/darkroom skills, etching and screen printing are just a number of the exciting elements to art/textiles. Drawn and photographic images are developed into print and fabric print/embroidery in an experimental and layered mix of media.
Life Drawing; sessions are run weekly for GCSE and A-level Art pupils.
Model Makers Club is a popular after school activity that has had a consistent core group for over 5 or 6 years now. Pupils bring in their War Hammer Sets or work on the beautiful Model Railway Landscape. We have also been able to buy model making kits for the group with the assistance of the Parents Association. Frequently pupils use this group to demonstrate the skill aspect of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
General Art Club offers pupils access to the full range of the art dept and materials. They have the opportunity to extend their interests or to continue their coursework should they be part of a Key Stage 4 exam group. Drawn and photographic images are developed into print and fabric print/embroidery in an experimental and layered mix of media.
Art/Competition Club is where you can develop your skills in art-related media and techniques for either an extension of classroom work or for your own personal project. We enter a range of competitions and this is an ideal venue to improve/hone your paint/print skills.
Design Technology offers after school opportunities for all age groups after school from Monday to Thursday every week, with support as well as other interesting options, with something to suit everyone.
We like to welcome pupils into our facility and allow them to be as creative as they desire, experimenting with and using a wider range of materials and processes as possible to design and manufacture projects of their own choice and at their own pace, as we value quality before quantity.
We work alongside pupils to ensure that they achieve their desired outcomes, whilst challenging and progressing their skills at the same time. We cater for all interests, offering traditional manufacturing as well as the more modern techniques; also taking full advantage of some of the most modern manufacturing techniques.
Regardless of ability, pupils will certainly enjoy their time in our department, where the only limit is imagination and creativity.