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The arts

When asked for the "big ideas" about arts subjects, many students gave thoughtful answers. According to one student in a year 11 to 13 group: "It's making something beautiful where there was previously nothing." Another said: "It allows individuals to develop and build upon their own characters." Another: "It explores great issues with different mediums." And: "It's important because it helps us to express our feelings."

Specific to drama were the comments:

  • "You learn many skills such as improvisation, and the art of persuasion. That's why many of us are good liars!"
  • "Drama allows you to be a character completely different to yourself, hence offering vast versatility."
  • "Mime is fun; people are out of their comfort zones."
  • "[It teaches you] to be flexible. This helps in other subjects."
  • "[It teaches you] how to overcome shyness by performing."

Comments on the visual arts tended to be less positive:

  • "Boring – draw boring pictures, same work every year," (from a girl in a year 11 to 13 group).
  • "I can do art at home."
  • "Some have mathematical brains, others artistic."
  • "I should practise."
  • "I can't do it and I fall behind."
  • "Frustrating."

However, one student said: "It's like a language. It is a means of communicating to people."

The arts subjects generally represented "creativity, freedom, interaction", and "a feeling of not having to conform". Students liked the "buzz", "thinking with your mind and spirit", the "stream of consciousness", and the "stress release". They also liked the "focus on people we know", the "fun", the way it "builds confidence", and the fact that it "gives the mind a break".

When asked what they learned in arts subjects, the responses varied widely, but were overwhelmingly positive:

  • "The power of creating something that is mine."
  • "Independent learning; about yourself and your own style."
  • "How to touch and inspire people."
  • "How to pour imagination out."

Published on: 20 Sep 2007


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