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.  Throughout the year many aspects of Drama and dance are covered from imaginative play through mime and devising and on to performance-based work. Movement and Dance can stand alone or be integrated through physical theatre into Drama.

A major component of the Performing Arts at St Mark’s Church School is our bi-annual entry to the Trinity College London Group Drama Examinations which are the focus of a term and a half of learning every other year. Students perform examinations in Acting and speaking, Communication skills, Musical Theatre and/or Performance Arts, or Young Performers Certificates, 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.

In 2018 the school held its inaugural Arts Festival Week was launched and alongside an artist in residence working with the students in the Art Class, there were performances from school Dance group, Rock and Jazz bands.  We also hosted a variety of visiting performers and practitioners who entertained and ran workshops for the students. The week concluded with every class in the school (including pre-school) presenting an item (which had been rehearsed as a feature of the Drama class that term) in a wonderful concert. This will now become a biennial event and will feature again in 2020.

Also every second year, the senior school stages a major production involving all students in Years 7 and 8.  Our 2018 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat was a great success and in previous years the productions have included Shrek the Musical, Grease: Young Performers Edition and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Classroom teachers integrate the Arts into their classroom programmes that term to collaborate on these events.

Opportunities are integrated into the Drama and Dance programme to develop the IB Learner Profiles.  Our students become Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective.

Our performing arts programme is lead by Susan Hayworth, BTchg, Dip SD, RT.

Mrs Susan Hayworth

Mrs Susan Hayworth

Director of Performing Arts

Drama and Dance Programme Overview:

Term 1Term 2

Art’s Festival Year (even years) Trinity Term (odd years)

Term 3

Dance/Physical Theatre

Term 4
Year 1Introducing Drama through imaginative playTrinity Drama: Young Performer’s Certificate (Bronze)

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song

Creative DanceConnecting with older students through traditional Pantomime
Year 2Extending imaginative play Trinity Drama: Young Performer’s Certificate (Silver)

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song

Creative DanceConnecting with older students through traditional Pantomime
Year 3Introducing mime and movementTrinity Drama: Initial, Pre-Grade

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song or dance

Musical Theatre

Choreography

Working with puppets
Year 4Mime,  movement and building stories Trinity Drama: Devised Grade 1

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song or dance

Movement and danceWorking with puppets
Year 5Introduction to Performing Arts and how to take devised and scripted work and create performance.Trinity Drama: Devised Grade 2

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song or dance

Physical Theatre and movementTheatre involving Christmas stories particularly the Nativity for the Carol services
Year 6Consolidating how to take devised and scripted work and create performance.Trinity Drama: Devised Grade 3

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song or dance

Physical Theatre and movementTheatre involving Christmas stories
Year 7Musical Theatre Performance(even years)

Introduction to Shakespeare (odd years)

Trinity Drama: Scripts or Performance Arts Grade 4

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song or dance or Theatresports

Dance as a form of expression:

Contemporary

Connecting with younger students through traditional Pantomime
Year 8Musical Theatre Performance(even years)

Introduction to Shakespeare (odd years)

Trinity Drama: Scripts or Performance Arts Grade 4

Art’s Festival: Poetic recitation/song or dance  or Theatresports

Dance as a form of expression:

Contemporary

Connecting with younger students through traditional Pantomime
This structure is subject to change and will always respond to the Programme of Inquiry that the students work with in class.