Students at St Mark’s learn Drama and Dance from Preschool through to Year 8. Inquiries, lessons and units of learning are focused around students responding to and creating Drama and Dance work as outlined in the IB Primary Years Programme.
Throughout the year many aspects of Drama and Dance are covered. This includes imaginative play, mime and performance-based work. Movement and Dance can stand alone or be integrated through physical theatre into Drama.
Trinity College Exams
A major component of the Performing Arts at St Mark’s School is our bi-annual entry to the Trinity College London Group Drama Examinations. These are the focus of a term and a half of learning every other year. Students take 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’. In this work, we explore characterization, and different modes of expression through acting, singing, dancing, movement and performance.
Student groups at St Mark’s regularly receive Distinctions in these group examinations. Most importantly, they enjoy working in a fun and collaborative learning environment.
St Mark’s Arts Festival
In 2018 we held our inaugural Arts Festival Week. The festival was launched alongside an artist in residence working with the students in the Art Class. There were performances from our 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 from Preschool to Year 8 presenting an item (which had been rehearsed in Drama classes that term) in a wonderful concert. This is now a biennial event and will feature again in 2022.
Every second year, the senior school stages a major production involving all students in Years 7 and 8. Our 2020 production of The Lion King Jr was a great success. In previous years our productions have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, 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.