At Grimwade House, children from Prep to Year 6 have many opportunities to take part in music, drama and the visual arts.
While the creative arts are woven into the classroom curriculum, students are also encouraged to take advantage of the elective instrumental tuition programme and to participate in choirs, orchestras, the concert band and ensemble groups. Drama is provided in classes taken by practising actors and choreographers, and in Year 6 students participate in the School musical, be it in an on-stage role or behind the scenes. Past productions have included The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland.
In exploring the arts students learn to value their inherent creativity, while having fun as they explore new ideas and work towards developing new skills.
The Netley Music School at Grimwade House offers a comprehensive and sequential music programme from Prep to Year 6. The programme encompasses classroom activities as well as opportunities for private tuition and the extensive ensemble programme.
With teaching strategies that cater for individual learning styles, the classroom music programme provides appealing and challenging activities. The Orff-Schulwerk method of learning, which focuses on the practical application of rhythm, movement and playing tuned and untuned percussion instruments is used along with the Kodaly-based method of learning, which focuses on developing accurate pitch and notation skills.
In the Year 2 String Programme boys and girls learn the violin, viola, cello or Double Bass in small groups as well as in a class ensemble.
Students in Years 3 and 4 participate in recorder lessons to further enhance reading skills and to explore the playing of a woodwind instrument.
In Years 5 and 6, music theory, composing and arranging become the focus, which enable the students to combine their developing skills into creative group and shared performances.
Private Tuition is offered in a wide range of orchestral instruments, piano, guitar and music theory.
From Year 3, students have the choice of participating in choirs, the concert band, or a string orchestra, as well as smaller ensembles such as saxophone, percussion, guitar and recorder. The Upper Primary musicians attend an annual Music Camp in order to prepare for the Senior Musicians’ Concert. Participating in co-curricular ensembles gives students the opportunity to perform in public concerts, which provide a valuable addition to their musical experience and development of performance confidence.
Performance opportunities include level and whole school assemblies and concerts, Grandparents’ Days, an Annual Carol Service at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Year 6 Musical.
Students have the opportunity to partake in drawing, painting, graphics, textiles, ceramics and construction activities, as well as the use of technology (computer art and animation). Our School also operates an Artist-in-Residence programme which gives children further inspiration for their classroom activities.
In the classroom, the Visual Arts programme aims to help students develop a genuine and personal means of self expression, to be more creative in any situation and to be versatile in their use of technology. It also aims to help them interpret their culture more deeply and gives them the skills necessary to realise their ideas in a variety of visual media.
The art rooms are staffed by two full-time specialist teachers and a third who works part-time.
Every year, Grimwade House is fortunate to have an artist-in-residence who engages the children in the creation of collaborative art projects.
In 2007 the ceramicist Deborah Amon-Cutter worked with students from Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 to create a three-panelled mosaic representing iconic characters from Australian children’s literature. It now hangs outside the Kath James Library.
In 2008 Lewis Miller was watched by all our students as he recorded two weeks in the life of Grimwade House, and his drawings are available in a small book
In 2009 Lee Darroch, an Indigenous artist, created a beautiful possum skin cloak with all Year 6 students. It hangs in the foyer of the Alfred Felton Hall as a memento of the School’s Sesquicentenary year and our commitment to Reconciliation.