The Expressive Arts Faculty (Bart’s Arts) is a vibrant, busy and exciting Faculty at St Bart’s and we promote individual creativity and aspirational ability wherever possible across all subjects (Art, Dance, Drama, Graphic Design and Music).
Recently we collaborated on a fantastic production of Beauty and the Beast, which ran for three nights to a standing ovation from the audience. Whether students were interested in making props, designing the technical elements, costumes and make-up, acting, singing, dancing, choreography, playing in/conducting the orchestra or even assisting behind the scenes as crew members, over one hundred students joined forces to bring together an amazing school production, which they, and the staff, are very proud of.
Beyond this each department also have their own specialist activities to further promote the arts achievements within our school. The Art department (including Graphic Design) arrange regular showings of their work, and host the Open Galleries exhibition each year to promote our students’ accomplishments. They arrange frequent visits to an array of art galleries/exhibitions to inspire the students, and endorse the Arts Award as an addition to curriculum teaching.
The Dance department host an annual Dance show which sells out every year and has become a highlight within the calendar. Local Primary schools are trained and choreographed by the student Dance Leaders and also join in the proceedings. Throughout the academic year the Dance department also organise specialist workshops, aimed at all ages and abilities, which are led by external professionals from across the country. Opportunities are also given to senior students to lead classes and events in order to support their own development beyond the curriculum.
The drama department, besides being the driving force behind the school production, also began the year with an astounding contribution to the Shakespeare Festival, produced at the Corn Exchange Theatre, Newbury. Students were encouraged to explore the works of the Bard in new and interesting formats, and performed to a very high standard for the culmination of the project. They also boast a very impressive alumni, who often return to inspire fellow peers and offer an insight into the professional world of the theatre.
The Music Department equally never pause for breath, and having completed the orchestral support for the production, they now begin arrangements for their next concert, where over one hundred students will perform as part of the combined orchestra or within smaller ensembles and as soloists. Previously they collaborated within the annual school Carol Service at St Nicholas’ church, Newbury, and participated in the BBC Children in Need choir as part of a live National broadcast. They are currently also preparing to embark upon a tour to Switzerland in the summer, where students will perform as part of a mixed orchestra and/or choir to a range of audiences amongst the beautiful scenery and venues on offer. The music department similarly boasts a very impressive alumni, with students going on to read music at the very best universities, but they are always pleased that so many retired students return to support events and inspire their peers whenever possible.
Bart’s Arts offer a wide range of rewards to students, including subject colours and the Bart’s Arts Ambassador award for sixth form students. In addition, they also support the wider school through the House system, where students participate in House Music, House Drama and House Dance competitions and also contribute to House Evening events. The staff at St Bart’s are committed to supporting students whatever their passion or vision.
Mrs Georgina Robertson, Head of Expressive Arts