- Art & Design
Art & DesignHead of Department: Mrs. S. Dixon
Teaching Staff: Mr. B. Williams
Art and Design is taught throughout the school, including GCSE and A Level.The pupils follow a wide and varied curriculum covering ceramics, textiles. graphics, printing, fashion design, CAD and jewellery making.
Many past pupils have gone on to pursue careers in the fast growing design industry.At St. Michael’s we enter the pupils for the WJEC Board where we study a variety of art disciplines, specialising in graphics, textiles and ceramics. Pupils are encouraged to develop their artistic skills in as many different areas as possible.
The art department has attained 100% pass rate at A Level for the past twelve years. Many of the pupils have gone on to degree level and are pursuing rewarding careers in art.
The new AS and A2 level Art and Design will comprise of six units of work, three of which will be undertaken in the first year. These will comprise of two units covering any art discipline and an externally set and timed task. The three completed units will constitute 50% of the total mark available at A level.
In the second year of study a fourth unit exploring a further discipline must be completed.
Unit five is in the form of a personal investigative study which documents unit four.
An externally set, and timed task completes the six assessment units.
A maximum of seven coursework units may be completed and submitted. The highest scoring units will be put forward for the final assessment. The following titles are available for both AS and A level courses. Candidates may select different titles for each unit.
DramaTeaching Staff: Mrs. M. Powles, Mrs. V Jones and Mrs. R. Imiolczyk
St. Michael’s has a thriving Drama department. The subject attracts pupils for a variety of reasons: it is fun, challenging and helps to develop confidence-building and team-work. Improvisation sparks the imagination, challenges the intellect and helps to improve vocal skills.Drama in the Lower School is designed to be fun and to develop the skills necessary for performance at all levels. Lessons concentrate on improving skills in voice, movement and character development, sustaining an acting role, improvisation, mime and working as part of a team.St. Michael’s School follows the WJEC syllabus. At GCSE level, examination results are pleasing and in the last inspection, standards at Keys Stage 4 were deemed outstanding. Drama provides an outlet for creativity and character development. At the same time, it is a useful subject academically, the study of dramatic literature supporting the English literature curriculum.
“Drama is currently my favourite subject and thanks to the teachers at St. Michael’s, my acting skills improve every year due to their support!” – Form 4 Drama PupilSt. Michael’s School follows the WJEC syllabus. At “A” level, examination results are excellent. It is recommended that studying Drama at GCSE level is a prerequisite for “A” level study, as students build upon the skills and knowledge gained prior to entry into the Sixth Form. Increasingly, in the world of work, role play is used in the selection process for a variety of careers. Students at “A” level often choose to balance Science subjects with Drama to provide a breadth of interest. Drama and Theatre Studies is, of course, an obvious subject choice for those students who decide to specialise in the Performing Arts.
Past pupils with Drama and Theatre Studies “A” level have left St. Michael’s to read a range of subjects from Medicine to Performing Arts at University.
MusicHead of Department: Mr. L. Spencer & Mrs. K. Nicholas
Teaching Staff: Mr. D. Creel (Woodwind), Mr. M. Hughes (Strings),
Mrs. K. Creel (Piano), Mr. H. Evans & Mr. K. Nicholas (Brass),
Mrs. K. Nicholas (Guitar) & Mr. L. Spencer (Voice)
The school has a flourishing Music Department, which has developed and expanded dramatically over the past decade. The majority of the teaching staff are previous Heads of Music and bring a wealth of experience to the Department both within the classroom and in extra-curricular activities.
The Music Department aims to develop music within all pupils, and it is important that they have access to the Music Curriculum. Music is taught from Nursery to Sixth Form and all activities are integrated throughout the Preparatory and Senior School.Some pupils go on to study music further and others enjoy the valuable ensembles as a leisure activity. However, all pupils study music in Forms 1 – 3 and broaden their knowledge and understanding that will facilitate an active appreciation of music.
The policy of this department, therefore, is to promote the Performing Arts in the school by encouraging practical participation wherever possible, by developing the importance of the Arts in all aspects of life. By offering a wide range of opportunities for performance, we try to raise the self-esteem of our pupils and improve social development. We aim to nurture an interest and understanding which will remain with the pupils throughout life, whatever their chosen career.Music in the Lower School is designed to be fun and develop the skills in Performing, Composing and Appraising at all levels. Children perform a range of ensemble pieces which have been arranged for a large combination of instruments – their chosen instrument, or one from the classroom and at the end of the year all children perform a solo. Throughout the year, they develop their listening, improvising and rehearsing skills and will become more rounded musicians.Music in Form 3 is taken as an option in order to prepare pupils for GCSE level. The lessons are designed to be fun and develop the skills in Performing, Composing and Appraising to a higher level. Pupils also become familiar with the Sibelius 6 notation software in preparation for composition work at GCSE. As part of their ensemble performing, the Form 3 Music class prepare and perform the musical accompaniment for the Preparatory School show and provide an enchanting addition to the Christmas Concert with their Bell Ringing Group.St. Michael’s School follows the WJEC syllabus. At GCSE level, examination results are pleasing and in the last inspection, standards at Keys Stage 4 were deemed outstanding. As in Forms 1 – 3, pupils continue their studies and are examined in Performing, Composing and Appraising.
In Performance they will be required to perform one solo and one ensemble piece at Grade 3 standard.
For Composition, they will submit two original pieces of free choice. They will provide a notated score on Sibelius 6 and we encourage all compositions, wherever possible to be performed in one of our ensembles.
The Appraising examination takes place in June of their second year of GCSE.
We do also offer Music as an extra at GCSE level.
Music is regarded as both an academic and practical subject and has proved extremely beneficial because of its diverse nature. Amongst other things, it demonstrates a musician’s ability to be committed to rehearsals, be a team player and work conscientiously towards a performance. These skills are looked upon favourably by all Universities.St. Michael’s School follows the WJEC syllabus for AS and A2. Both at AS and A2 level, examination results are excellent. It is recommended that studying Music at GCSE level is a prerequisite for “A” level study, as pupils build upon the skills and knowledge gained prior to entry into the Sixth Form. We do, however, look on every pupil wanting to study at this level on their individual merits. Pupils are examined in Performance, Composition and Appraising at both AS and A2 level.What will your child experience at St. Michael’s School?
Annual Concerts and Shows
At St Michael’s School we have regular concerts throughout the year, involving the ensembles below, which are open to every pupil. These provide a fantastic opportunity to perform to an audience and pupils can volunteer for solo work if they are of a particularly high standard. These Concerts include the Annual Christmas and Summer Concerts, Examinations Concert, the Senior School Musical and the Preparatory School Musical. There is also a popular Art and Drama evening where GCSE pupils perform their examination pieces and display their GCSE artwork.
There are also opportunities to collaborate on specific projects with various external music and drama groups.
The Preparatory School Show, which takes place at Cross Hands Theatre, gives opportunities for every member of the Preparatory School to perform in a musical show. Shows in recent years include ‘Honk’, “Annie”, “Alice” and “Hoodwinked”.
The Senior School Show, which takes place at Theatre Elli, also gives opportunities for every member of the Senior School to participate. Recent productions include “Oliver” and “The Boy Friend”.
Chamber Strings and Prep String Group
Mr. Hughes organises a Prep String Group for all beginner players from the Preparatory School and a Chamber Group for the more advanced players.Chamber Strings and Prep String Group
Mr. Hughes organises a Prep String Group for all beginner players from the Preparatory School and a Chamber Group for the more advanced players.
Wind Band and Orchestra
Mr. D. Creel runs the Wind Band and Orchestra, which has over forty members, for players ranging from Grade 3 to the more advanced players of Grade 8.
Mr Evans runs Brass Group for the more advanced players and Mrs Nicholas runs a Prep Wind Band for all beginner Brass and Woodwind players.
Mr. L. Spencer takes the school Jazz Band with Brass and Woodwind instruments, plus guitar and drums. This group performs at Christmas and Summer Concerts and forms the majority of the Show Orchestra for the annual Senior School Production at Theatr Elli, Llanelli.
Within the Preparatory and Senior Schools there are three choirs; The Prep Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and Staff Choir all accompanied by Mrs. Creel.
The Preparatory Choir is open to all Preparatory pupils who sing enthusiastically in two and three parts. Recently they sang with The Gower Chorale in All Saints Church, Mumbles.
The Chamber Choir is open to all pupils in the Senior School who sing SATB to a high level.
The Staff Choir rehearse after school for enjoyment and sing in the Christmas Concert.
Mr. Nicholas runs Guitar Group for anyone learning to play the guitar. The group performs in the Christmas and Summer concerts and the more able performers join the Jazz Band and Show Orchestra.
The various music groups and ensembles are intended to enhance and build upon the skills each pupil learns in their individual music lessons. All pupils are actively encouraged to take instrumental or vocal lessons from our experienced and talented peripatetic music staff. We offer lessons a wide range of instruments and the Music Department has a store of instruments for pupil use.