This week saw the inaugural Arts and Performance Enrichment week for Year 9 students; the aim of the week was to ignite students’ interest in the subject they have chosen in Option D for next year and teach them some advanced skills which will prepare them well for GCSE. During the week, those students who will be studying Drama have been working with industry professionals in circus skills and combat choreography to produce key scenes from Macbeth, which, incidentally will be their Shakespeare text for English next year too. The Music Department have worked with multi-talented percussionist, John Harris from Essex Music Service (who specialises in West African drumming techniques) to design the soundtrack for the witches and battle scenes and performed with the Drama group to produce a spectacular, original interpretation of the Shakespeare play.
Those who chose Art, Textiles or Design and Technology have been working with ex-Anglo student Hetty Rose, Shoe designer to create their own design and products and those who chose PE had the choice of working with industry professionals James Lee Harris, who was part of the team who recently won the Lawrence Olivier Award for dancing at the London Palladium and Jo Rafiq (her film credits include Tim Burton’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘The Holiday’ with Cameron Diaz) to choreograph some very impressive dance routines or to follow a programme of Sports and Physiology in preparation for the demands of the new GCSE course. Hetty Rose said “Thank you so much for today! It was lovely to talk to the students and be back in the art rooms”.
The Arts and PE Department have worked tirelessly to ensure our Year 9s have had an amazing week whilst many of their usual teachers are away on visits. For many students, they have been so successful that they will qualify to submit their portfolio forward for Arts Award, Bronze. They were fortunate enough to work with Piotr Pawarski (stilt walker and circus entertainer, who recently performed in the latest Disney movie) and Pamela Donald (Actor/Stage &Screen Fighter/Fight Director, who works for the Royal Opera House). All the industry professionals who taught Dance, Acting and Stage Combat this week are regular teachers at the International Drama Academy which runs every Saturday morning at Anglo European School.
All Year 9 students took part in a question and answer session with Kenny Baraka, a journeyman griot: born in Eritrea, raised in New York and now residing in London. Kenny has been sharpening and sharing his craft with diverse communities and musicians the world over. As an author, journalist, lyricist, lecturer, songwriter and teacher, working all over the world, Kenny brought his charismatic brand of street-smart intellectualism to the Anglo this week.
All the students have commented on how much they have enjoyed this week, Jessica Farrant said “I enjoyed every aspect of Arts Week, I definitely think every Year 9 should have this opportunity.” Marleen Tamtik said “This week was amazing and shall stay in my memory forever.”
All visiting professionals working with our students have commented on their innovation, resilience and engagement in the challenges presented to them. Well done Year 9!