Pupils who study one of the creative arts at Christ College have a real opportunity to build up their creative skills and express themselves in original and inventive ways.
Our creative arts pupils have the advantage of studying in inspiring departments. Our art pupils gain inspiration in the beautiful listed building that overlooks the River Usk, while our photography pupils have full access to two fully-equipped and specially adapted studios, a dark room and a classroom furnished with MAC computers. Drama is located at the heart of the school with a modern theatre comprising of 300 seats, and a drama studio and exhibition gallery to ensure the talents of the Creative Arts pupils are appreciated by all.
Outside of the classroom, we enjoy taking our pupils on many stimulating trips to help boost their studies. Trips have included annual trips to London as well as overseas visits to Prague, Barcelona and the opportunity to perform at the Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican.
We are delighted to see a number of our senior school pupils excel within the creative arts, with many of our music pupils undertaking the well-respected Royal School of Music ABRSM examination and more than 48 percent achieving distinctions, while a significant number work towards applications at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Drama Arts (LAMDA) with an outstanding 100 percent pass rate in the past year.
Mrs R Allen
Head of Creative Arts
Art & Photography
Head of Department: Mrs D Houghton MA
The Art Department at Christ College prides itself on promoting the creativity and imagination of our students, from key stage 3 to sixth form. Each year we have a substantial percentage of our students going on to study portfolio based courses such as architecture, fashion photography, animation, graphics and fine art. They are given expert support in their portfolio applications which are invariably received with success.
Our facilities are both characterful and practical, giving students every opportunity to experiment in a range of disciplines and in a creative environment. The light filled art block is situated in a listed building overlooking the river, which accommodates both classrooms and sixth form studio spaces. The recently updated design block is nearby and provides specialist teaching spaces. There is a large workshop area for sculpture, textiles and ceramics. The photography classrooms have a suite of mac’s and two fully equipped and specially adapted photography studio spaces as well as a darkroom.
Our staff provide a varied range of specialisms, from printmaking, painting, textiles and sculpture to photography.
The Lower school have a generous allocation of lessons which allows them to experience a rich and exciting variety of techniques, with the promotion of strong drawing skills at the core of each project. Textiles, painting, printmaking and sculpture are all part of the curriculum. We teach both art and photography at GCSE and A level. Workshops and trips are provided throughout the courses at exam level to support and explore new approaches. Weekly after school periods as well as Sunday studios give additional support.
Head of Department: Ms Lucy Richards
The Drama department at Christ College aims to foster in all students a lively interest in Drama as a practical subject and as a living part of our cultural heritage. Students will develop a range of dramatic techniques and develop confidence in working with others as well as gaining skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives. We aim to offer opportunities throughout the school, both on and back stage.
Students begin Drama lessons at KS3 and have two periods of Drama a week. There is then the opportunity for students to study Drama at GCSE following the Edexcel specification, and onto A Level, also following the Edexcel specification.
In addition to this, the department organises a number of extra-curricular activities. Highlights of the year are our main school production, which runs in the Autumn term and the Alway House drama production for Years L7 and L8 in the Summer term.
Outside theatre companies and performers regularly run workshops at the school – recent visitors have included Frantic Assembly, Complicite Theatre Company, The National Theatre (Curious Incident Workshops), The Willow Globe, Kepow Theatre Company (Comedy Improvisation), The National Theatre of Wales, Theatre Iolo and Wales Millennium Centre. Alongside the English and History departments, theatre trips are organised for each year group both locally and to London, Stratford and Cardiff.
Each year, the House Speech & Drama festival is a highlight of the school calendar with students from all year groups producing exciting and challenging Drama. Students representing Drama at National Level have included places with The National Youth Theatre of Wales and the National Youth Music Theatre. We also have a number of alumni studying Drama, Musical Theatre and Technical Theatre courses at Drama Schools and Universities. Speech & Drama lessons are offered to students throughout the Senior and Junior sections, with students gaining high results in Speech & Drama (LAMDA) exams.
The Drama Department also offers scholarships for 13+ and 16+ entry.
Through Drama we aim to give our students the following opportunities:
- to initiate, experiment with and explore issues through drama
- to communicate and respond imaginatively to varied stimuli, using a range of dramatic techniques
- to convey different emotions and characters in ways that engage and affect an audience
- to develop confidence and self-esteem in their day-to-day interaction with others
- to develop sensitivity towards the feelings, opinions and values of others through purposeful interaction
- to understand Drama terminology and use it effectively to describe and evaluate Drama
- to understand the use of skills, strategies and technical elements to enhance performance
Drama can play a significant role in the life of students at Christ College, through curriculum lessons but also with plenty of opportunities to perform in plays, work backstage and attend theatre trips.
Head of Department: Mr J Ling
The Music Department offers a wide variety of co-curricular performance opportunities which support and enhance our academic provision. An inclusive environment is encouraged, where boys and girls of all ages and abilities are given the opportunity to perform in concerts and competitions both within school and further afield. We are most fortunate to have several performance venues on our doorstep, including the brand new Creative Arts Centre, Y Neuadd Goffa: The Memorial Hall (opened September 2013) and the school chapel, with its fabulous acoustic for singing. One or two performances each year, including the carol service, take place at Brecon Cathedral which is just a 10 minute walk away. The Theatr Brycheiniog, also in Brecon, is available as a versatile venue and further afield, Brangwyn Hall in Swansea and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have also been used for large-scale works. In addition to these concerts, the department organises tours both nationally and internationally.
A number of music awards are offered to the most gifted and dedicated pupils. The Director of Music is always pleased to meet and advise prospective applicants prior to auditions taking place.
- to engage pupils with their cultural heritage, helping them to understand their place alongside the development of musical language;
- that pupils will develop an understanding of the way in which music is constructed, produced and influenced by time and place in the context of a particular style or genre;
- to foster in pupils an increasingly critical and analytical vocabulary;
- to encourage and reward successful group work, independence of thought, self-discipline and creativity;
- to bring the subject to life through a range of practically based interactive activities.