Critical thinking, collaboration and imagination dominated the English/Drama faculties exploration of language, literature and literacy in 2019, resulting in a myriad of perceptive textual and dramatic experiences.
Our top highlights were:
We are in the midst of a podcast revolution. From journalistic storytelling like "99% Invisible" and "Serial" to interview-style shows, podcasting is more popular than ever. 9G1 created their own podcasts and TV shows as part of their study on Australian Identity. The students produced some impressive work, ranging from fascinating and informative podcasts to chucklesome and satirical TV shows. Pictured are students during the filming of their podcast, 'Culture Wars', which focused on discussing and analysing the public debate about the date of Australia Day and whether or not the current celebration date should be changed.
Yet again our school has produced exceptionally talented critical thinkers who have been able to successfully debate teams across the region, culminating in their participation in the Stage 4 Regional Finals for 2019 against Narara Valley at Gosford Selective High School. The Premier's Debating Challenge is open to all NSW government schools, with the aim of developing the public speaking and reasoning skills of students from Years 5 to 12. The quality of argument and reasoning produced made all of us exceptionally proud. Congratulations to our Stage 4 Debating team. Our future and our society are in safe hands!
Year 11 Drama Performance
Year 11 Drama class work was recognised at regional level with their unit of work resulting in a class devised performance exploring the impact of dementia on a family. A recording of their performance was sent to the committee of the Hunter Region Showcase and was subsequently chosen to be included in the showcase at the Unorthodox Church of Groove in Newcastle. This showcase allowed our students to experience a broader audience and to also perform in front of family and friends.
Students from Years 11 and 12 Drama travelled to Sydney to attend the annual showcase of the HSC Drama course, OnStage held at the Seymour Centre. This showcase allows students to view Individual Performances, Design Projects and Critical Analysis Projects from the previous year's HSC. As always the students were inspired by viewing their peers' work and returned to school ready to create equally entertaining and engaging projects and performances.
Aligning our students with a real world focus for their learning culminated in the Year 9 Assessment Task being submitted to the ‘What Matters?’ writing competition. This is a 'catalyst for young thinkers and young writers to develop a perspective, a point of view, on where we're heading as a society'. Inspired by Gough Whitlam's commitment to involving young people in the shaping of Australia's future, this competition is currently open to school students in Years 5 to 12 from NSW, VIC, WA, the ACT and Tasmania. Responding to the simple question 'What Matters?', entrants are free to express their views on any matter they care about. Our students excelled and demonstrated they are passionate, observant and articulate young people driven by a strong sense of social justice.
Year 7 Poetry
Year 7 dazzled us with their creativity this year, exploring humour in poetic forms. 7ENW completed such tasks as Limerick poems and as their mastery levels developed, Extended Metaphor poems – demonstrating their higher order thinking skills. Pictured is 7ENW sitting in front of their published work which the class has displayed on the wall of their classroom, celebrating the beauty of poetry, the fruits of their imagination and pride in their work.
Year 10 Film Study
Year 10 collaborated to explore the artistic visions of their chosen Auteur from their film study in Term Three. They composed interviews focusing on the purpose and intention of the chosen auteur’s body of work with regard to context, composer intention and responder reaction. The students had great fun “getting into the head” of their Auteur and collaborated to create and dramatise an interview scenario where they role played being an interviewer, a composer and an actor from the auteur’s film work, sharing their interpretation of the body of work. The assessment task was a great success with students happy to share their vision, and proved extremely valuable academically as all students displayed heightened awareness of theme, character and filmic techniques.
Our school musical for 2019 'Before You' was written, produced and directed by members of the Year 12 Drama Class of 2019. This musical and theatrical rollercoaster took audiences through a journey of a lifetime - literally. From the 1930's right up to the present day, we followed the life of George and his family, experiencing life's soaring highs and its deepest sorrows.
Our focus was to encourage students to ‘listen carefully because if you lend them your ears, you might discover there's so much more to the stories of past generations than most will ever care to know’.