A new school year at Friesland has once again rolled in and in true Performing Arts style, the department is already a busy hive of activity with plenty of goings on in Music, Dance and Drama!
Friesland School’s Drama department has been recognised for excellence in the Good School’s annual awards for male results in Drama at A Level. The school were presented with this award for displaying excellent performance. The prestigious annual awards are designed to highlight consistently good teaching, with Headteacher Peter Monk commenting, ‘we are absolutely delighted to be acknowledged in this way for our excellence in Drama. This is a very proud moment for Friesland and we are sure it will inspire and encourage all pupils who are working towards their GCSE and A Levels.’ The Good Schools Guide Awards are based on a series of calculations which take into account relative popularity and performance of the subject, absolute performance, and percentage of pupils taking the subject. A huge well done to our amazing students and our brilliant Drama staff.
Details of our upper school show production were released before the summer holidays, to much excitement. Students were thrilled to learn that we will be tackling the fantastic Les Misérables. The global stage sensation is the world’s longest running musical and in fact, the original London production celebrated its 30th anniversary on 8 October! Our panel were thrilled at the talent that turned out to audition and were faced with some very difficult decisions as to who to cast! Rehearsals are now well underway for our performance date at the start of December. Keep checking our blog for exciting production updates!
Key Stage 4 Drama students have had the opportunity to witness some brilliant live theatre this month. Year 10 travelled to the Nottingham Playhouse for a stunning production of George Orwell’s physiological thriller, 1984. The following week, our year 11’s made the journey up to the Lyceum in Sheffield in order to catch ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.’ It really is a great opportunity for our GCSE students to see such brilliant examples of high quality performances. A good time was had by our sixth form students last night as they travelled to Nottingham Playhouse to see The Rubenstein Kiss.
Students in our Arts Award class got a taste of the Caribbean on a somewhat rainy and miserable Wednesday afternoon this week, when they were visited by Richard Arter and his set of steel drums. The session included elements of working together as a band to accomplish some tricky rhythms and chord patterns. Some of our students even got to try their hand at conducting! Arts Award students will also be kept busy this time next week when they will be preparing for their Macmillan coffee morning event. Coffee, cake and conversation… all in the name of a fantastic cause!
Performing Arts after-school clubs are up and running once again following our summer break. Mr Raffel has welcomed a fresh set of students to Tech Club, many of them in Year 7, in addition to the returning members. Students are currently busy learning how to use the lighting and sound equipment in PA1 in preparation for helping out with the upcoming GCSE drama exams later this month. Later in the term the group will be working towards getting ready for Les Misérables; looking at how to work with a live band as well as working as a backstage crew member! Tech Club is open to all in Years 7, 8 and 9 and meets Tuesdays 2.45-3.45pm in PA1 – come and find Mr Raffel in the Performing Arts Office for more details.
It was fantastic to see such a brilliant turn out for the Key Stage 3 dance club this year, with nearly 40 students in total attending! Mrs Swindell’s Friesfusion performance group has a great mix of students across all forms and year groups (7, 8 and 9) and are working hard during their Monday night rehearsals towards a brand new street dance routine.
Over in Music, the Year 9 advanced Music club with Mr Rosling and Miss Beckett have been using some free online music creation software to program drum beats and create some ‘banging house tunes’ (in the words of Mr Rosling!) They have also been using Logic Pro to sequence some interesting electronic riffs and hooks. If anyone is interested in starting music lessons here at Friesland with one of our fantastic external teachers that come and visit us, please see Mrs York in the Performing Arts building for a letter to take home.
Friesland students in years 11-13 will once again have the opportunity to participate in the latest batch of LAMDA examinations. These will take place before Christmas and more information regarding these will be released by Mr Cleaver shortly. Also in the pipeline is a Year 9 TIE group. Please refer to next month’s Performing Arts blog or the notice board for more exciting updates.
Following on from our Open Evening, Mrs York has been to visit Year 6 students at the following schools: Firfield, Draycott, Cloudside, Longmoor, Risley, Draycott, Redhill and Trowell. The Year 6 students had a chance to look at a Year 7s timetable, view the canteen menu and look at the extra-curricular clubs that Friesland has to offer. We hope to see lots of these students at Friesland next September.
And finally – our Year 10 one year Music students are making excellent progress on our new V Cert in Performance Skills. This new, vocational qualification allows our students to focus on the practical elements of performing, developing their skills as a musician, evaluating their on-going development as a performer, as well as looking at the processes involved with the successful staging of performances. The group are enjoying performing – either as soloists or in groups – during their lessons each week!