This is quite an exciting time for Performing Arts at Newton College. We no longer work under the title of Visual Arts; instead, we now operate as two departments: Performing Arts and Visual Arts. Visual Arts is led by Raquel Casilda and Performing Arts by Milovan Jelic. We still work and collaborate closely together on various projects and try to ensure a sense of continuity in our subjects, but we also work with a degree of autonomy in terms of management and interests.
Within the Visual Arts department, students learn Visual Arts & Media Studies as subjects in the Middle Years Programme. We also offer Visual Arts as part of the IB program for years 12 & 13. Our students can also choose to take Life Drawing as a subject for the Spanish curriculum in the Baccalaureate stage.
Every year, our students participate in an Art Exhibition at the Mustang Art Gallery in Elche, as well as participating in different national and international art contests outside the school. These involve working with different NGOs and governmental authorities that offer different prizes for the winners. For example, this year our students are participating in Spain in the ‘Voluntiarte Contest’, and the ‘Human Rights Contest’, as well as the ‘Ocean Awareness Contest’ in Boston.
In Visual Arts, students also have the opportunity to visit events, workshops and exhibitions that will broaden their experience and understanding of the Visual Language and its role in society. For example, this year, some groups visited the international interactive ‘Van Gogh alive’ event held in Alicante.
Primary Music will also work closely with Secondary Performing Arts. The Primary Music Department is managed and taught by Debbie Wainwright, who has many years of experience as a Primary and Secondary Music Teacher and Head of Department in the UK. Debbie has already launched a Year 5 and 6 Choir during patio time on Wednesdays, which now boasts over 50 student members.
The Choir took part in the Mustang Gallery Art Exhibition and Concert on 29 May. This is the first time that Primary was involved in the concert and we we were very proud of their contribution.
We have already enjoyed a combined concert by Primary and Secondary music at the Christmas Carol Concert, and we hope that this will continue to evolve and grow in the future.
A dedicated room for keyboards and rehearsals has been created this year, giving music a major boost in our curriculum. Senior Secondary students can also enjoy the facilities during patio hours, when they can perform and create their own music. Our students now have access to electric and bass guitars and a new sound system, so they can practice and develop their own musical interests.
Newton College has shown a commitment to developing the performing arts, and I hope that this commitment will generate a lively and important participation within the school and wider community in the future.