Art at Falmouth school aims to inspire, challenge and engage students to respond to stimulus from the world around them and respond to these to create expressive and personal outcomes with confidence.
The curriculum focuses on practical skills and contextual learning designed to develop students’ critical thinking skills allowing them to question new information with a discerning eye. We build on students’ investigative approaches, exploring and experimenting with ideas and techniques to develop students art appreciation as well as enabling students to form new ideas and express individuality and creativity in visual form. These skills are fundamental in any career path and in developing students as confident and creative individuals.
At KS3 students are introduced to the core foundation skills to be able to create art. They explore the visual elements in practical investigations in a variety of disciplines including drawing, painting, printing, sculpture and mixed media, reinforced by the work of artists and designers. They explore individuality and self- awareness in art through portraiture work in y8 and this provides a strong foundation to inform work further at GCSE level in which students further explore ‘Identity and culture’ for coursework. This project enables opportunities for students to respond, engage and make relevant connections to contemporary culture and self- expression. Students who go on to study at post 16 are given opportunities to undertake real life briefs to develop experiences and valuable industry practice.
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At post 16 level, students may opt to stay on at the sixth form college to study:
BTEC Level 3 Art & Design
A Level Graphic Communication
A Level Photography
Enrichment and support classes run weekly to support students in their coursework.
Students are encouraged to actively engage in music through the three disciplines: performing; composing and listening. The department is extremely well resourced, with a huge range of instruments including percussion, tuned-percussion, keyboards and state of the art ICT equipment. Students study a huge range of musical styles, traditions and genres, placing music in its context so they can understand the purpose of the music. We strongly believe that music making should be ‘fun’ and through this fun music making the learning process takes places. A strong emphasis is placed on learning through practical music making; regular activities include singing, performing on instruments, and composing. We also believe that students should be offered the opportunity to study their own personal musical interests.
We currently run the Level 2 Music BTEC First award, which is the equivalent of a GCSE. This course is made up of 4 units, with one unit being an exam worth 25%. Students are given lots of support and guidance on how to compose successfully and the ICT equipment makes the composition process easier to develop. Students also benefit from the extra music lesson in years 9-11, where they receive 300 minutes per fortnight. This helps them to develop as all-round musicians and in doing so, they improve their solo and ensemble skills.
At KS5 we currently run the Level 3 Music BTEC National certificate in Performance and this is the equivalent to one A-Level. The course is tough, but is also very rewarding. This course is well-suited to any musician who loves to perform. There is a mixture of units which heavily feature performance skills, both solo and as an ensemble. This encourages students to work with others and to develop communication and group skills. There is one unit which is exam based on real life music industry scenarios.
Students who are really keen musicians have the opportunity to enrich and extend their skills further through extra-curricular learning and through opportunities to have individual lessons through our peripatetic staff. Also, the department runs several clubs such as Music ICT clubs, Jazz Band; Lower school Pop Choir; Senior Pop Choir; Guitar Group; String Group; Woodwind group; and the Rock School project. The Music Department are also fully involved in our annual school production. In 2019 we did ‘Annie’, in 2018 it was ‘High School Musical’, and in 2017 it was ‘Joseph’.
The department also arranges several concert during the school year, which includes the Christmas concert at the end of term 1, and the Easter concert at the end of term 2.
We have a dedicated team of staff including:
Matt Fox, Subject Lead for Music
Sara Munns, teacher of Music
The department is also supported by staff from the Music services teaching instrumental lessons
Verena Watkiss – Keyboards and Woodwind; Robyn Tyndale-Biscoe - Drums and Percussion; Paul Dhiman Guitar - Bass and Ukulele; Stuart Macquarrie – Violin; Holly Turton - Voice; Sara Munns – Brass.
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Drama at KS3
Drama is taught once a fortnight in Y7 and Y8. After an initial skills based Scheme of Work, students will match up the work in Drama with that of the topics in English.
Drama at KS4
We offer the Btec Technical Award in Performing Arts (Acting). This course begins in Y9 where the fundamentals of naturalistic, non-naturalistic and physical theatre are learnt. We keep journals to document what we have learnt and to say how to improve. There are no terminal examinations on this course and assessment is continual, through group work, filmed rehearsals, performances to class and written evaluations. We make theatre visits to see contemporary companies and have workshops led by guest practitioners.
Drama at KS5
We offer the Btec L3 in Performing Arts in different strands: the single award, equivalent to one A Level and the triple Award, equivalent to three A Levels. The course is taught in conjunction with Falmouth University and the facilities at the Performance Centre are used at least once a week. Students investigate topics as diverse as Choreography, Musical Theatre, Classical Theatre and Healthy Performer, through practical exploration. We pride ourselves on being able to tailor the course to fit the individual. The challenges of this course are varied and will lead the student to become a skilled performer in many different areas. We welcome applicants from dance and acting backgrounds, as well as those who did not have the opportunity to take performing arts at KS4. Grade 6 at GCSE English is required to get on the course.
The annual main school show is one of the biggest and most important community events at Falmouth School. All students are eligible to audition, and many assist backstage too. We also organise regular trips to the theatre, in Truro, Plymouth and beyond. There is also the ZipZapBoing Drama Club for KS3, run partly by KS4 and 5, which not only is great fun but can also lead to shows – in 2018 they performed at the Hall for Cornwall as part of the Nick Darke festival.
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