Through self-expression in the arts, the boys also learn focus, self-discipline, innovation, creativity and emotional expression as well as verbal and non-verbal communication skills. They learn to use movements, symbols, visuals and sounds as well as words to convey meaning.
Arts for learning, thinking, reflecting.
Creative arts co-curricular options are grouped into:
- Visual Arts
- Creative Writing
Research confirms that students who are involved in creative arts activities are practising aesthetic inquiry and reflective thinking. Teaching either visual or performing arts, requires the teachers and students alike to make aesthetic judgements. The arts is a way of connecting learning to social and personal life, building thinking dispositions and developing cognitive capacity.
Nilson, C., Fetherston, C. M., McMurray, A., & Fetherston, T. (2013). Creative Arts: An Essential Element in the Teacher’s Toolkit When Developing Critical Thinking in Children. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(7).
The Music Department manages a comprehensive classroom learning and tutoring program. Throughout the year, there are a number of concerts which showcase the talents of the school’s various student ensembles, orchestras, choirs and bands.
Playing in a Band or Ensemble
Newington offers a great variety of ensembles for our boys. As well as developing solid group skills, our ensemble philosophy focusses on reinforcing the concepts presented in music classrooms. Musicians are welcome to take advantage of each of the four streams of co-curricular music available.
- String Ensemble
- Woodwind, Brass and Percussion
- Vocal Ensembles
- Pop, Rock and Jazz
Strings players can participate in the Stanmore Strings or the Chamber Strings. There are also numerous Chamber Music and guitar ensembles.
Woodwind, Brass and Percussion
The award-winning wind, brass and percussion program at Newington College consists of a core stream of wind ensembles. There are four bands within the structure with entry to the top three ensembles subject to an audition.
Singing together as class groups, year groups, or in small ensembles, is one of the most rewarding and powerful musical experiences that boys will engage in at Newington.
Newington offers individual tuition in a variety of instruments. These lessons are conducted at the three campuses by visiting specialists.
Co-curricular Drama at Newington provides a creative outlet for boys who do not study Drama as a subject, as well as offering an opportunity for Drama students to further their performance skills. It is a continually growing program which offers meaningful and challenging performance practice for boys across all year groups regardless of experience.
Junior Drama Program
Year 7 Impro Ensemble
Year 7 Impro Ensemble runs one afternoon every week and is open to all Year 7 boys. In this ensemble, boys learn the fundamental skills of performance and improvisation through Theatresports games and scene work. This is a great way for Year 7 boys to make new friends as well as develop their interest, passion, skills and confidence in performance. Boys have the opportunity to work with older student coaches and to audition for the College’s Junior Theatresports Team to compete at the Impro Australia School’s Challenge.
Boys in Years 7 and 8 have the opportunity to audition for the Junior Production. This play, held in Term 4, will include a cast and crew of boys across both year groups. Most recently, our youngest thespians have starred in productions of the plays seen most often on the Newington stage in Stages of the Past: A Year with Frog and Toad, Julius Caesar and Rinse the Blood Off My Toga and prior to that in Shakespeare Shorts, shortened versions of two of Shakespeare’s classics, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet and Mobile Phone Show.
No matter what year you’re in or what form of drama you’re taking part in, there’s always this profound sense of achievement after being in a show with people you’ve worked with for so long.
Senior Drama Program
Middle School Production
The Middle School Production is open to boys from Years 9 and 10. Each year in Term 2, these boys will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform a full-length play directed by a member of the Newington College staff. Boys can be involved as performers or crew members assisting with lighting, sound and stage management. Our middle schoolers have enjoyed performing Stories in the Dark by Debra Oswald, where in a cardboard box city, they find themselves parent-less and on the dangerous streets of a war-torn country, the classic Animal Farm, and most recently in the hilarious One Man, Two Guvnors.
Senior School Production
The Senior School Production is open to boys from Years 11 and 12. Boys are offered the opportunity to be involved in challenging productions that extend their performance ability or offer a chance to be involved in all aspects of production. Senior school Drama productions have included an Australian piece by playwright Campion Decent called Embers, which recounts, from real life events, a story of community spirit and resilience during Victoria’s North and East Gippsland Bushfires in January 2003. This was a joint production with PLC Sydney. A re-interpretation of the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet adapted by the Sport for Jove Theatre Company, was an ambitious recent Senior production. A present day setting in an examination hall, where students are busily writing essays about Hamlet, sees the story come to life as the students become the characters in the play.
One Man, Two Guvnors
Involvement in a musical provides the boys with the unique opportunity to develop skills across a number of areas of performance including singing, acting and dancing. The Drama and Music staff are proud of the fact that the musical is a truly inclusive activity, with any boy wishing to be involved invited into the cast. Yet again, boys can take part not only on stage as performers, but off stage as well by working in the crew or assisting with production co-ordination.
Every two years, the Drama and Music departments come together to produce a Musical. Boys from Newington College have combined with girls from PLC Sydney, MLC School and SCEGGS Darlinghurst to present Oliver! The Musical by Lionel Bart and The Scarlet Pimpernel, music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics and book by Nan Knighton. Both were staged at the Parade Theatre in Kensington. The sell-out shows were shown over four consecutive nights each and were a marvelous opportunity for the boys to work on an industry standard production set with sound and lighting professionals.
Teamwork and Versatility
Improvisation and Theatresports are popular co-curricular activities at Newington with more than 40 Newington boys taking part in weekly Impro Ensemble sessions. Theatresports in particular helps develop a boys creativity, quick thinking and performance.
Theatresports in the Impro Competition
Our Impro Ensembles meet once a week to practice various improvisational games aimed to pose creative challenges for students to solve. Boys train with members of Newington staff as well as external coaches and specialists. The teams, made up of members of the ensemble, also participate in various external competitions, including PLC’s Carlton Cup and also the biggest Theatresports challenge for Secondary students across NSW, Impro Australia’s Schools Theatresports Competition. This competition includes approximately 80 schools in each age group from across the state with the Grand Finals held at the Enmore Theatre. Newington regularly sees teams make it to this grand final and most recently we had finalist teams inall three divisions, Junior (Years 7 and 8), Intermediate (Years 9 and 10) and Senior (Years 11 and 12).
Boys also enjoy learning about long form improvisation and in the past have participated in a long form show, The Room, a co-production with The Scots College and involving Sydney Secondary College (Blackwattle) and Sydney Girls High School.
Each Wednesday afternoon the Visual Arts department is abuzz with creative energy courtesy of some very talented and enthusiastic Year 7 students. Art Club helps broaden boys’ artistic knowledge, develop their skills and share their wonderful works outside of school hours.
Art Club members explore different art making conventions and procedures in:
- Digital media
Our ongoing student exhibitions showcase the talent and sophistication of our boys and demonstrate the diversity and excellence of their artmaking. At the end of the year an exhibition of the art club member’s work is presented to the school. The final exhibition gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their achievements to the rest of the school and the wider Newington community.
Concordia Gallery is located on Stanmore road opposite Newington College. It is an exhibition space committed to showcasing emerging, established and international artists and explorative art education models. It supplements the Newington College Visual Arts program and is a proud supporter of Australian Visual Arts education.
Our artist-in-residence Program
Concordia Gallery offers a unique opportunity for artists to engage with a well-resourced educational community. Likewise, the learning and experience gained by students through masterclasses and workshops with professional practising artists is invaluable.
The Other Room
Lines of Inquiry
One Idea Per Canvas
2015 with resident artist Mitch Cairns
Media production allows students to follow their interest in film and video production. This team of students learn how to set up cameras for a live feed of events such as important awards assemblies, The Anzac memorial service, Rockfest and other significant events at the school. The emphasis is on the boys shooting and editing all video footage for archival or live feed purposes.
Filmmaking is a co-curricular option offered under CineArts. Cinearts supports budding filmmakers from concept to screening. Students in Years 9 to 12 come together with a wide range of experiences and interests to produce and film documentaries, comedies, and dramas.
Throughout the year, CineArts boys collaborate on story ideas and scripts, cast actors and set up film locations.
At the end of each year, all CineArts boys are encouraged to enter their final films into the Cinearts Film Festival held in Centenary Hall where student works are shown the way they way should be – on a big screen. Increasingly film plays a major role in the English, IB Film and Visual Arts curriculum as well as in the Well-being program.
Newington's Student Publication
The New Enigma is a student driven publication that showcases the best poetry, short stories and artworks produced by students during the year.
Student’s submissions to the New Enigma are selected for publication by a team of Year 11 editors and teachers. Every year this process culminates in the production of the New Enigma journal and a launch with a guest poet appearance and student readings.