The Arts, Creativity & Innovation
Creativity and Innovation
Understanding, identifying, and nurturing the creative potential is a strategic priority at St Mark’s. We want our students to be able to address academic and personal challenges, to be resourceful and agile in finding innovative solutions and alternatives, and to contribute to their local and global communities in positive, enterprising ways.
Critical engagement through creative processes helps us to see things from a different perspective and suggest connections between different phenomena that were not previously recognised. Our students' social skills and ability to work cooperatively are fostered. Creative processes engender the development of negotiation skills which can mean that conflict can be managed more effectively and tolerance for difference built. Social cohesion and community can develop because multicultural understanding is promoted.
It is recognised that at St Mark’s our diverse arts education programs are closely linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Involvement in the arts as a creative process is associated with gains in maths, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills.
Arts Learning Areas
Welcome to the Arts Faculty, which incorporates Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts. Rarely do students have the opportunity within a school curriculum and co-curricular program to choose from the full range of arts subjects.
At St Mark’s we take a broader view about the inherent similarities and common threads that draw all art disciplines together. Our staff are committed to innovation and student engagement, offering programs as wide-ranging as Asian Theatre traditions, modern music technologies, art inquiry and the power and persuasion of the media. Arts learning also improves motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. It connects our students more deeply to the world and opens them to new ways of looking at life.
We provide university relevant specialisations and opportunities for all students to develop a growth mindset cultivating flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative, innovative, appreciate cultural diversity and strive for excellence. Whatever arts pathway you choose you will find a common language shared across all forms and you will have an exciting, rewarding and transformational experience.
There has been a growing need in the School for the creation of a regular, co-curricular drama group as the pressures of the timetable, parental expectations and course prerequisites prevent some students from taking drama courses, and other students struggle to accommodate divergent priorities. We also have many arts students who crave more regular creative extension, beyond the major productions such as the biannual Secondary School Musical, biannual Primary production, annual Middle School production and annual Senior School production.
St Mark's launched the Lionheart Youth Theatre Company on a modest scale in 2016, creating theatre pieces that were developed and rehearsed within a short time frame and presented to the School community. The focus of the Company is students in Years 9 to 12, and provides students with the opportunity to be involved in a variety of ways beyond the major productions held each year. Lionheart meets after school during Term times. The intention is that, over time, Lionheart will become very student centred and student directed with Arts Prefects and Arts Captains playing a major leadership role, supported by The Arts Society.
Primary School students also have the opportunity to develop their performance skill through the Lionheart Cubs program. Students in Years 5 and 6 are facilitated by Old Scholar Daniel Redenbach (Class of 2015) and students in Years 3 and 4 are facilitated by Mrs Karen Hues (Year 2 teacher). Meetings are held once a week during normal school hours.
The Arts Society is a group of St Mark's parents, friends and past students who have an interested in supporting the full range of Arts experiences offered at St Mark's: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts.
There are many areas in which parents are able to commit their energy and skills, including catering for performances and rehearsals, Front of House duties, set building, general tidying of arts areas, transportation of equipment for concerts; backstage production support, musical instrument performance in Productions and piano accompaniment to name a few. Additional opportunities include learning how to operate sound, lighting and audio-visual equipment, taking part in acting classes, designing and making costumes and designing and applying theatrical makeup. Society members work alongside creative and experienced members of staff and share their interest and enthusiasm.
The Arts Society is keen to involve more members of the wider School community, whether they are Old Scholars, parents of current students (including students who are not actively involved in the Arts) or staff members. To find out more about the Arts Society, please contact the Arts Administrator.