The Drama and Dance programme at St Mark’s Church School is developed from the IB Primary Years Programme and the New Zealand Curriculum. The programme is adapted to meet the needs of our students and the special character that makes St Mark’s unique.
Students progress in their learning from Preschool through to Year 8. The school academic calendar is divided into four terms. Inquiries, lessons and units of learning are focused around students Responding to and Creating Drama and Dance work as outlined in the PYP.
Terms 1 and 2 are devoted to introductory performing arts skills and then advance into performance-based work. Term 3 is devoted to Dance while Term 4 is devoted to Drama.
A major component of the Performing Arts at St Mark’s Church School are the annual Trinity College London Group Drama Examinations which are the focus of a term and a half of learning each year. Students perform examinations in: Musical Theatre, Group Drama, Young Performer’s Certificate and Performing Arts, determined by their year group. This performance work explores the Unit of Inquiry: ‘How We Express Ourselves’, as we explore characterization, and different modes of expression through acting, singing, dancing, movement and performance. Student groups regularly receive Distinction passing grades in these group examinations, and more importantly, enjoy working in a fun and collaborative learning environment.
Every second year, the senior school stage a major production involving all students in Years 7 and 8. Our 2016 production of Shrek Jr. the Musical recently received a Distinction for the Grade 4 Musical Theatre in Production exam. Other recent productions have included Grease: Young Performers Edition and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Classroom teachers also integrate the Arts into their classroom programmes.
Our performing arts programme is lead by Susan Hayworth, BTchg, Dip SD, RT.