Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 25th August 2011
So last year I was Directing a production for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival… which received great press… and this year I have been working for MTM:UK as an assessor for the Music Theatre Matters:UK Awards for Musical Theatre in the fringe. As the fringe comes to an end I have seen 44 shows!
This year has been incredible as I have seen some wonderful productions including Hamlet House of Horror , From the Fire, Thirsty, and I have been super excited about seeing Action To The Word theatre company and their productions of Constance and Sinestra and A Clockwork Orange . As a teacher of the Arts I always find the fringe exciting and stimulating… I’m just sad that it still on when we go back to school.
I managed to get one of my students, Neil, an audition for Tumult in the Clouds theatre production of Fleeto and Wee Andy at The Pleasance. He was cast as Wee Andy and has been working with some amazing Scottish Actors. I’m really proud of him. This is an amazing experience for someone his age and the production is striking and harrowing! (and he’s been getting brilliant reviews!)
So as the festival draws to an end… I ask myself… why aren’t more Scottish school students involved… and how can we change this?
Posted in East Lothian Council, Edfringe, Knox Academy, SQA | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 25th August 2011
So we are now into the second year of Curriculum for Excellence at secondary level and I am so excited to be working with a fabulous department and faculty.
Our first year and second years are rotated in the Expressive Arts; each pupil gaining 3 periods a week for ten weeks in Drama, Music and Art… This year we have introduced an exciting new area into our curriculum for S2 pupils. Pupils will still gain their core experience in Drama, Music and Art on the rota for but they choose two ‘Creative Industries’ electives throughout the year to attend. These electives will last for 15 weeks each and will give the pupil an alternative insight into the Expressive Arts through the Creative Industries. Students are able to choose from Physical Theatre and Stage Combat, Animation, Theatrical Design, Musical Theatre, Rock Band, Sound Engineering and Puppet Making .
We hope this gives our pupils a chance to see what the Expressive Arts has to offer and how skills cane be transferred from one curriculum area to the other.
Exciting times ahead at Knox!
Posted in Curriculum for Excellence, East Lothian Council, Knox Academy, Physical Theatre, puppetry, SQA | 1 Comment »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 25th August 2011
So at the end of last term Knox Academy took part in an amazing day of theatre to celebrate the fifth birthday of the National Theatre of Scotland. We were so honoured to be taking part in what became an incredible day in the Drama Department. All the Standard Grade classes took part and received so much praise for the work that they created… we even got a mention in the Scotsman from acclaimed arts journalist Joyce McMillian…
For some shows, there is nothing more than a single camera pointing at a distant stage, across the heads of the audience; in others – like Knox Academy’s astonishing multiple one-on-one drama Secrets And Lies, broadcast live on Wednesday morning – the camera almost becomes one of the actors.
Full review can be seen here
So here we are… the finished pieces of work that was created by our talented students at Knox Academy… to say we are proud is an understatement!
Hold Onto Hope Love – S3
Flesh – S3
Cook – S4
Barry’s Ballad – S4
Secret’s and Lies – S4
So from everyone at Knox Academy… Happy Birthday National Theatre of Scotland!
Posted in Curriculum for Excellence, East Lothian Council, International theatre, Knox Academy, National Theatre of Scotland, SQA, Standard Grade, What is theatre | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 7th May 2011
The Standard Grade Drama pupils in third and forth year at Knox Academy have been accepted to take part to celebrate the National Theatre of Scotland’s fifth birthday by creating 5 pieces of five minute theatre.
A total of 235 Five Minute productions will be broadcast online over 24hrs from 5pm on Tuesday 21st June, 2011. Entries were received from all over the world with 37 successful entries coming from Edinburgh and the Lothian’s.
John Naples-Campbell, Teacher of Drama, Knox Academy, commented:
”Knox Academy are incredibly excited to be selected to stage 5 pieces of theatre created by our Standard Grade pupils as part of Five Minute Theatre. Our pupils aged 14 – 16 years old are looking forward to being part of this wonderful project. Each piece will be staged at Knox Academy on Tuesday 21st June, 2011 as part of a day of theatre at the school. We hope to create five engaging and stimulating pieces of theatre; performed, written and directed by the theatre makers of tomorrow. From all at Knox Academy…Thank you for giving us this amazing opportunity.”
The five groups from Knox Academy, whose performance proposals include a TV cookery show with a twist; tourists marooned on an island following the sinking of their cruise ship; a one to one confessional; a site-specific, physical theatre piece and a couples’ date night. The school are planning a day of theatre at Knox Academy on Tuesday 21st June, 2011 to celebrate the Five Minute Theatre programme.
Marianne Maxwell, Audience Development Manager, National Theatre of Scotland commented: “The response to Five Minute Theatre from all over the world has been fantastic. There is a huge range of ideas from a huge range of people. The creativity of each submission promises live and virtual audiences 24 hours of short, original, funny and brilliant entertainment on June 21st.”
Posted in Curriculum for Excellence, East Lothian Council, Knox Academy, National Theatre of Scotland | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 20th April 2011
After reading a discussion on twitter and with the introduction of the new Curriculum for Excellence I would like to add this to the blog and as you to discuss it…
Is there a culture of fear within Scottish education?
Posted in Curriculum for Excellence, East Lothian Council, Extra Curricular, GLOW, Knox Academy, National Assessment Resources (NAR), SQA | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 9th April 2011
So with the draft documents of National 4 and 5 out, the first year of Curriculum for Excellence almost over… what does the future hold for us?
I’m excited about the future of education in Scotland, the possibility to do a lot of interesting work, the new areas of development in the pupils learning with the National 4 and 5 and what we are doing as a Department, Faculty and School.
We have developed this year our S1 course to meet the new CfE and have worked on the theme of Heritage within our Faculty, we are developing resources and assessments that we can include on the NAR (National Assessment Resource) site. We hope to offer a ‘specialism’ for one period a week in S2 and then possibly the new SQA Creative Industries course in S3 for those pupils who are able to achieve it.
In Senior school we are already offering the new National Certifiacte in Acting and Theatre Performance (both at Acting and Musical Theatre strands) and have offered for session 2011/2012 NPA Techical Theatre, NPA Acting and Theatre Performance, NPA Musical Theatre and Higher Drama – focusing on giving pupils a brochure of subject related courses to Drama.
Over the next year you will read Blog posts from me regarding how we are moving forward with CfE, as a Department and as a Faculty. From what we’ve discussed the feeling seems to be that we are still walking in the ‘mist’ but one thing is for sure that we need to give pupils ‘options’ to developed their needs.
I found this video and would love you to discuss it with me so please leave your comments…
Posted in Curriculum for Excellence, Drama training in Scotland, East Lothian Council, Higher Drama, Knox Academy, Learning and Teaching Scotland, National Assessment Resources (NAR), SQA | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 27th February 2011
So our senior school pupils are back from a weeks trip to New York, New York and what an amazing trip it was!
The week started by flying from Edinburgh to New York (via London) and arriving into the city that never sleeps at night. The pupils experienced the buzz of Times Square as they walked from their central hotel for a Chinese late dinner.
Waking up in the morning we made our way to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island where the wind was icy and snow was still lying on the ground. Having met Ranger Joanna (Or Ranger Dan as we called her) we learnt about Lady Liberty and Liberty island. Ellis Island is always an amazing place and pupils spent some time being shown round and looking at the history of immigartion to the USA.
Our evening meal at Planet Hollywood was great with memorbella from Broadway Shows and Movies were around us… 44 students then ran round Times Square trying to complete a challenge that got them use to the area but asked them to get photographic evidence of all the tasks on the page (lots of photos of hotdogs, yellow taxi’s, poses and NYPD)
We left our hotel the following morning and took a wonder to Ground Zero, Wall Street and The Greenwhich village. Our evening meal was at Bubba Gumps (Famous from Forrest Gump) and then we spend Valentine Day evening on the 88th floor of the Empire State building… at hurricane force winds and ruining a few couples wedding proposals…
We took a lovely walk to the American Natural History Museum where the pupils spent the morning looking at the wonderful history of the nation we were visiting, including some famous faces from ‘Night at the Museum’. We took a peaceful walk through Central Park, seeing some famous film locations before heading to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. We then finished our day at Spiderman – The Musical (Turn off the Dark) and eh… well… visually stunning but I think we might have seen a Broadway Flop… the critics are still out on that one!
A packed day followed as we headed off to the United Nations Building and I for one was impressed at how good it was. We later went onto NBC studios and went on a guided tour of this iconic television building. After dinner back at the Empire State Building some of the group went to see the New York Knicks play in their home town, whilst others went onto shop at the worlds biggest department store… MACY’s.
The pupils had a free day for shopping on 5th Avenue before heading to Little Italy for dinner and then the group split and some went to do more sightseeing in Times Square whilst others went to see ‘American Idiot’ a Broadway Show by Greenday and some others went to see ‘Mamma Mia’ on Broadway.
Our final day was spent doing various things including some final shopping as well as a trip to the MOMA before we headed to the airport and flew home (via London)
PHEW… we were shattered but had an
Posted in American Schools Link, Citizenship, East Lothian Council, International theatre, Knox Academy, New York Trip | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 9th January 2011
As 2011 starts as does a new term and therefore new events; curricular and extra curricular to look forward to…
With still no word from SQA/Government re examinations for senior pupils sitting Curriculum for Excellence we move forward with developing our S1 and S2 courses with a cautionary step. I have to say that I feel we are currently doing some excellent work at Knox on how to meet the needs of our young people in S1 and S2.
Our Standard Grade Pupils are currently involved in a playwriting project with a school in America and are developing their plays based around the theme of ‘Home’. The aim of the project is to write a 5 minute play that will then be directed by a student in the other school, so the Americans will be directing modern Scottish plays and we will be directing modern American plays.
Our Higher students move into the Examination period with the Acting Exam just around the corner…
The NC pupils are currently working on their Musical Theatre Cabaret’s which will be showcased in Feburary before starting their final productions.
on an Extra Curricular side of things… Our school production is being shown in February after being delayed because of Snow in December. So Sweeney Todd is getting gorier by the second…
Our NC Make-Up course is going from strength to strength thanks to my wonderful collegue…
KWN will start filming their Global Citizenship video…
We have our trip to New York and London…
So as you can see… it’s all go… nothing like starting the New Year hitting the floor running.
On a personal note I was given my sabbatical for next session and have applied for some post graduate courses. I have applied for a few promoted posts lately which I haven’t been lucky to get and am kind of feeling maybe teaching isn’t for me. So this sabbatical will be a breathe of fresh air.
Teaching is a great job but there is too much paper work, red tape, people to impress, new ideas, governement schemes (i could go on and on and on) to actually be able to do the best in your job – we can but try – but it’s hard and this holiday I have realised that. I love my job but can I actually do everything that is asked of me? I try but can I do it to the standards I am happy with? Anyway… my sabbastical will hopefully make me fall in love with the job I currently do again… cause at the moment i’m on Act 5 of The Crucible!
To all the teachers out there… you do a wonderful job! Just keep reminding yourself that.
Have an amazing 2011!
Posted in Curriculum for Excellence, Extra Curricular, Higher Drama, Knox Academy, Learning and Teaching Scotland, London Trip, NC, New York Trip, Playwriting, S6 drama, Standard Grade, The Scottish Government | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 21st September 2010
This month seen the annual International Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.
Around two people die from suicide in Scotland every day and it is the biggest killer of young Scottish men, yet suicide is still one of society’s remaining taboos.
Did you do anything in your school for this? I don’t think we did.
I feel as teachers we need to enable our young people to open up and discuss their feelings without the fear of stigma; like it or not, we all have feelings of depression at some point in our lives and maybe if we, as human beings, were taught to talk about how we feel then ‘suicide’ wouldn’t be the difficult topic it is today.
As a teacher of Drama I am aware that I have the skills to be able to discuss, through Drama exercises using Boal techniques, various issues that affect our young people and the world in which they live in BUT I am also aware that some teachers find it difficult to tackle topics we don’t know much about; as I have found with Holocaust education. Scotland as a country needs to tackle the difficult issue of suicide and make people realise that by talking we can change the outcome.
Choose Life is a Scottish Government run organisation which tackles the issues of Suicide – I hope someone in the Government reads this posts and makes Suicide prevention a priority training for all teachers – we all have responsibility to make sure our young people feel secure in themselves.
Posted in Boal, Choose Life, Curriculum for Excellence, Forum Theatre, Knox Academy, Suicide, T.I.E | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 14th September 2010
I have been an active educator of Holocaust Education since I started my teaching career, from being a personal agenda is has now become a passion to enable young people to look at the issues the Holocaust has raised and how they have the chance to make sure that it doesn’t happen again and enable them to change the world inwhich they live in.
The theme this year is ‘Untold Stories’ – On HMD 2011 – 27 January – we’re asking you to consider the role you can play in sharing Untold Stories.
It’s easy to talk about the numbers murdered and persecuted during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. It’s less easy to appreciate what these figures mean. The millions murdered under the Nazi regime of hatred aren’t a statistic. They were individuals. Somebody’s friend. A mother. A father. A child. A colleague. A neighbour.
There are millions of stories we will never know. But we can still honour the memory of those affected by genocide by playing a part in these Untold Stories. We can listen and learn from them, we can tell others the stories we hear. Some stories are not easy to hear. They can speak of danger, pain and suffering. We must not shy away from these stories – it is vital to recognise the consequences of exclusion and persecution in order for us to learn the lessons of the past.
We all have the power to play a part in the lives and words that are remembered, it is our role to ensure that the Untold Stories from the past do not get lost. On HMD 2011, we are asking everyone to tell these stories that enable us to learn from history, from the real stories of those who are no longer with us in order to create a safer, better future.
How can we relate the Holocaust to our subjects? There are many ideas and some great lessons on the HMD website here at the HMD website
Posted in Holocaust Education, Knox Academy | No Comments »