KS3 Fun Slinkachu Photography

Slinkachu is a British street artist, best known for his Little People Project series, which consists of remodelling and repainting miniature figurines which are then installed and photographed in public places, left permanently in place for visitors and passersby to find.

Our KS3 students have been working on their Slinkachu projects and aren’t the results fab! They designed the scenes themselves, taking inspiration from the artist and using props and miniature models, they’ve created some super unique and fun photography.

GCSE/A Level Devised Performances

Year 10 and 12 Devised Assessments took place last week with performances of original work to family and friends. The pieces included the Year 12 performance ‘That’s What Makes Us Girls’ which was created in the style of The Paper Birds theatre company using verbatim testimony from St Laurence School students. One of the Year 12 students had opted to take on the role of Director and they were as equally proud of their cast as the teachers! The Year 10 devised pieces were based on different stimuli and we were treated to the sinister story of how ‘Jack’ got stuck in the box, the cautionary tale of ‘Peter the Puppet’, the therapeutic diaries of a diagnosed schizophrenic and uplifting stories of everyday pandemic heroes. As well as performers there were also GCSE designers for lighting, sound and costume. There is now written work to complete and we won’t find out grades until the very end of the course but congratulations to all the pupils for their excellent efforts.

Snow Day Competition!

A few weeks ago on an incredibly snowy day, students braved the cold weather to take some fantastic snowy day photos for our Art Department Snow Day Competition! We were so pleased with the results that we decided to make them into a colourful collage to show off the students artistic Photography abilities! Well done everyone, Positive Points all around!

It Happened on a Tuesday……

So starts Alison Carr’s play for the National Theatre Connections festival – St Laurence’s choice for their performance this year. Only 300 youth groups and schools can take part in this annual celebration of theatre so we were delighted to be accepted and the 25 string cast and crew have been working hard since September on the production. The hard work finally paid off with a performance of the show in our own Trinity Hall. This performance was watched by National Theatre director Freyja Winterson. Freyja was very complimentary about the show and she particulary like the use of the ensemble to tell this story of the day two worlds collided and ripped a tear into the sky.

One of our Year 8 students, who performed in the piece, wrote about the subsequent trip to the Salisbury Playhouse where students got to spend the day in workshops and rehearsals before performing on the main house stage.

‘Salisbury Playhouse was an awesome experience. We got to know some people who worked there, and they were very kind and helpful. We had our own room to practice Tuesday (the play) and Laura (one of the people from the playhouse) helped us improve our volume and gestures and drama skills in general with a lot of fun games. After that it was lunch, but we can skip that part! After lunch it was tech rehearsal which is basically the director taking lines from the script where the music starts or there’s a sound effect. We did that for 2 hours straight it was very tiring. When we finished the tech run there was 30 minutes left before we could have domino’s pizza so to our disappointment, we had to run the play again but a speed run where we said our lines extremely fast. It was incredibly funny. Surprisingly we managed to finish a 50-minute play in 25 minutes and finally it was our pizza break! Then it was the moment the whole cast had been waiting and rehearsing for, for over 7 months…..the play started. It finished and it went really, really well! The audience clapped and cheered at the end, during the play we got laughs and gasps and it was good to know the audience was engaging’

It happened on a Thursday at Salisbury Playhouse, and it was really really cool!’

Graphic Design KS5

6th Form students have created some in depth and thorough Design Development work, developing their ideas relating to specific visual concepts. Aren’t they great!

‘I never knew theatre could be like this!’

These words bring joy to the heart of any drama teacher. It’s fair to say that the trip to see ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ was a resounding success. Students in years 8 and above were given the opportunity to watch this astonishing spectacle of story telling brought to life by the National Theatre from the original book by Neil Gaiman. Students were amazed by the effects, similar to those you might see in ‘Stranger Things’, and gripped by the lighting, sound and use of puppetry. ‘It’s nothing like panto’ remarked one Year 9 – and they were quite right! But the most pleasing comment of the night goes to a Year 10 student who – in all seriousness – said to me as we left the Bath Theatre Royal ‘I can’t wait to write about this!’

Graphic Design KS5

Graphic Designers create visual concepts to communicate information and our 6th form students are learning to do just that. They study Graphic Designs links into different industries and learn about the development of ideas, from posters and billboards to packaging, logos and marketing materials. Graphic Designers use elements such as shapes, colours, typography, images and more to convey ideas to an audience.

Devising Inspiration with the Paper Birds

Year 10 and Year 12 students were treated to a workshop with verbatim theatre company ‘The Paper Birds’. Founder and Artistic Director Kylie Perry put the students through their paces and helped them to shape their own performances prior to their assessment on 23rd March. Year 12 were particularly pleased with the time they spent with Kylie as the theatre company is on the AQA set practitioners list and they have chosen to devise in the unique style of the Paper Birds. This was an excellent opportunity to get first hand advice and support to help them develop their own piece. One Year 12 student writes of the session:

As the Year 12 A-Level Devising Performance is fast approaching on the 23 March, Artistic Director Kylie Perry from The Paper Birds was kind enough to run a workshop with us. She shared some ‘behind the scenes’ tips about her work style and helped us develop our umbrella theme of Girlhood by adding a central storyline to the piece.

As well as that, she told us more about Paper Birds’ verbatim theatrical style and helped us put our word-for-word testimonies from interviews we’ve done around our theme on their feet with fun drama exercises. 

Finally, Kylie left us with one important tip: she advised us to ‘provoke change through the theatre we create in the most breath-taking, dramatic way we envision’.

The workshops certainly inspired the students and we look forward to seeing the finished pieces later this term

The Return of the ‘Live’ Examiner!

Year 11 GCSE and Year 13 A Level students took us one more step back to ‘normality’ with performances of their scripted extracts to a real live examiner! During the ‘COVID’ years these scripted assessments either did not happen or were recorded and sent to the examiner who assessed them remotely. It was wonderful to welcome both an A Level and a GCSE examiner back into school last week for what amounts to 20% of both qualifications.

The Year 13 pupils performed an extract from ‘The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband’ by Debbie Issitt whilst the Year 11’s performed from a variety of plays including ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly, ‘The Queen Must Die’ by David Farr and ‘Pink Mist’ by Owen Shears. The pupils also performed their pieces the night before to an invited audience of family and friends which helped settle the inevitable nerves.

We were very proud of the way the students conducted themselves and one of the examiners praised them for their ‘professional and polite’ attitude. Well done to everyone involved and we wait with interest to see what the results will be in the summer………