High School Theatre
Grade 9 Theatre Arts
The Grade 9 Theatre Arts group have embraced the subject positively and have been enthusiastically learning about the theatre form, Documentary Drama. This is a piece of theatre, which can be based on a chosen social issue, or can feature dramatized re-enactments of a historical event. The purpose of Documentary Drama is to both educate and to entertain a given audience. The performance should aim to contain multiple stories and ideas on the given social topic or event and should be viewed from different perspectives. The Grade 9 Theatre students chose the social topic of Poverty and then researched this topic, which would then form the stimulus for a group devised theatre performance of about 20 minutes in length.
The group worked harmoniously during the preparation and rehearsal period of the piece, often taking on the role of director and actor during this period. In group devised drama, students are required to use many skills in order to create successful pieces of drama performance. Students revealed creativity, patience, co-operation, flexibility and skills of improvisation during the process. The importance of individual, peer and teacher critiquing is an imperative component of the process. Also, students consistently reflected upon ways to improve the performance during the rehearsal times.
The final performance piece proved to be an excellent example of a Documentary Drama, as students successfully achieved the objectives of this form of theatre. The group created a smooth flowing performance with strong transitions between scenes, which ranged from monologues to freeze frames; from split scenes to the use of poetry and song lyrics. The exciting part of theatre is not only to see the final performance, but to also experience the journey itself. It has been a pleasure working with the students on this challenging style of theatre. Students are now working towards their contribution to the Fall Theater Performance in December.
Grade 10 Theatre Arts
Students have been exploring the play The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty by David Calcutt. The use of setting, character development and plot were investigated in the play; together with the major concepts and themes of the text. The class explored characters through staged readings and experimented with the use of motivated blocking for a character in a scene. Students were able to demonstrate their understanding of a blocking chart as a means of focused character movement in drama. With the performances during the unit, students also contemplated the use of set, in order to create interesting, vibrant and aesthetically pleasing theatre work on the stage.
The role of music in the theatre has also been a focused element of study in the unit. Students have discovered how music can enhance and support what the audience is visually witnessing in a play; the world that the playwright and director have tried to convey can be fully experienced. The three primary forms of music in the theatre are source music, underscoring and songs. Each of these styles have been examined and students have been given the opportunity to experiment with finding appropriate music, to enhance various moments in drama scenes from the play. In the chosen drama scenes, students have considered mood and atmosphere, character emotion and setting, in order to find music, which suitably adds to the scene. It has been a joy to watch the group flourish in the Theatre Arts classroom environment.
Middle School Physical Education
Our Middle School Physical Education classes have started positively in this new academic year. Middle School students from Grade 6 and 8 have been fully engaged in the lessons and have proved themselves to be excellent learners. This has been great to see and we look forward to this continuing throughout the semester.
The Middle School classes meet once a week for PE and once a week for Swimming. In all lessons, students engage in warm up activities, stretching, and learn through practical activities; how to work together as a team. During the first quarter, students have been learning about Soccer and Volleyball and have been working on improving their skills and abilities in these sports. Students also have the opportunity to actively participate in team matches. In the swimming classes, students have been focusing on freestyle, which is one of the many swim strokes they will learn this year. The classes have also been learning and participating in water polo.
In addition to the regularly scheduled PE classes, Middle School students are able to participate in Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Ping Pong, Badminton, and other sports during their daily lunch recess. The SIS pool is used for the ASA: Beginner Swimming and also for the regular Swim Team. Varsity Volleyball and Varsity Soccer teams make use of the gymnasium and field after school throughout the week.