The arts magazine for teachers

New analysis of trends in GCSE entries over the last five years by the New Schools Network shows that, contrary to popular belief, the introduction of the EBacc has had no discernible impact on the popularity of the arts at GCSE. In fact, the number of arts GCSEs per pupil is up since introduction of the EBacc in 2011/12 and most interesting, the more arts GCSEs students do, the better their schools perform!

Most notably, schools with higher levels of per-pupil GCSE arts entries got above average results in the EBacc, Progress 8 and Attainment 8, suggesting that the best state secondary schools in England are those that combine high expectations in a core of academic subjects with a strong focus on the arts.

As you, dear readers, are naturally aware, arts subjects help create rounded pupils, better results for schools and ultimately, an increased contribution to society. Let us hope that the Government takes heed and that the teaching and studying of arts subjects is given as much emphasis as, say, that of maths and the sciences.

As author Ian McEwan said: “Science, the humanities and the arts are all forms of investigation, driven by curiosity and delight in discovery. The child who flourishes in one should flourish in the others. The best, the liveliest education would nourish all three.”

In this packed issue, we have an interview with a genie, Ben Ofoedu, advice for young dancers encouraged to look after their bodies to prevent injury, suggestions on how to combine the use of digital technology with social media into your teaching practices and a peek inside the successful ArtsEd Schools. In addition, we drop in on rehearsals for Running Wild before it embarked on a UK tour, highlight the new Playing Shakespeare season for schools at the Globe and find out why the Mountview Academy is heading south. Our exhibition feature this month focusses on the various sculpture displays available around the country, plus there are theatre and book reviews and our extensive What’s On listings to help you find a production near you in the coming months.

Please forward to your fellow arts colleagues and interested students.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… Michael Volpe

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… Michael Volpe  

Michael Volpe is the director of Opera Holland Park but his background is unusual. He spoke to Susan Elkin

Book Review: The Story of Drama: Tragedy, Comedy and Sacrifice from the Greeks to the Present

Book Review: The Story of Drama: Tragedy, Comedy and Sacrifice from the Greeks to the Present  

by Gary Day Bloomsbury Methuen Drama So how did it all begin? It’s easy to forget, when you’re sitting in the National Theatre absorbed in, say, the current Christmas show, Peter Pan with all its technical smoothness, that drama as a genre is constantly changing and involving. It has a long history and key periods [...]

Book Review: Drama Games for Young Children & Drama Games for Rehearsals

Book Review: Drama Games for Young Children & Drama Games for Rehearsals  

by Katherine Zachest Drama Games for Rehearsals by Jessica Swale Nick Hern Books A couple of new additions to the bestselling Drama Games series from NHB landed in our office. These dip-in, flick-through, quick-fire books would make an excellent addition to the resources at your disposal – whether you are working with young children or [...]

Theatre Review: Mamma Mia – Novello Theatre

Theatre Review: Mamma Mia – Novello Theatre  

Owing to the popularity of the 2008 film, there are no real surprises with the stage version of Mamma Mia; you go expecting – and getting – a thoroughly entertaining night out. Now in its 18th year, the ABBA numbers could almost have been written with this musical in mind, so seamlessly do they weave [...]

Theatre Review: Half a Sixpence – Noel Coward Theatre

Theatre Review: Half a Sixpence – Noel Coward Theatre  

This comedy of social class and socialism, based on HG Wells novel Kipps, first saw the light of day in 1963, written by Beverley Cross and David Heneker for Tommy Steele who played Arthur Kipps. Now reworked with book refreshed by Julian Fellowes and lots of new Stiles and Drewe songs and lyrics, it’s deliciously [...]

Design competition for schools

Design competition for schools  

The Design Ventura competition organised by the Design Museum invites product design entries from secondary schools. Susan Elkin visits the Museum’s stunning new home.

EXHIBITION: Robert Rauschenberg

EXHIBITION: Robert Rauschenberg  

Eager not to miss the Rauschenberg retrospective at the Tate Modern, Graham Hooper guides us through this extraordinary show.

School Play

School Play  

Poor SATS results putting pressure on a headteacher’s job… a new play examines the issues and Susan Elkin meets the playwright.

Supporting Students Through Design

Supporting Students Through Design  

Hot on the heels of the new Digital Theatre+ platform release featured in last month’s InkPellet (see bit.ly/IP112Nov16), we asked Matthew Nichols (Director of Drama, Manchester Grammar School and Chief Examiner of GCSE Drama, AQA) to take us through his ideal playlist on DT+, as a guide for drama teachers looking to use digital resources to support the teaching of design skills in the classroom

Beautiful Maths

Beautiful Maths  

A visit to the new Winton Gallery at the Science Museum highlights the role mathematics has in shaping our world. Susan Elkin is our guide.