Creative Arts

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.

"Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks." Yo-Yo Ma, virtuoso cellist and humanitarian.

Creative arts co-curricular options are grouped into:

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts
  • Filmmaking
  • 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).

Co-curricular Music

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

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String Ensembles

Strings players can participate in the Stanmore Strings or the Chamber Strings. There are also numerous Chamber Music and guitar ensembles.

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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.

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Vocal Ensembles

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.

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Pop, Rock and Jazz

One of the most exciting aspects of music making at Newington over the past few years has been the development of popular musical genres within the school.

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Individual Tuition

Newington offers individual tuition in a variety of instruments. These lessons are conducted at the three campuses by visiting specialists.

Co-curricular Drama

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 Long Form Improvisation formats. 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.

Junior Production

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 and is performed in our wonderful Drama Theatre in the Duckmanton Drama Centre. Most recently, our youngest thespians have starred in productions such as Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?, Shakespeare Shorts 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.

- Lachlan McIntrye (ON 2018), Peter Pan

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 alongside girls from nearby schools such as PLC Sydney and MLC School. Boys can be involved as performers or crew members assisting with lighting, sound and stage management. Our middle schoolers have enjoyed performing plays such as Animal Farm, the hilarious One Man, Two Guvnors, The 39 Steps and most recently an abridged version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in the Australian bush.

Senior School Production

The Senior School Production is open to boys from Years 11 and 12 who work alongside girls from nearby schools such as PLC Sydney and MLC School. Boys are offered the opportunity to be involved on stage in the performance of challenging plays or a chance to be involved in all aspects of production. Senior Drama productions have included Life of Galileo, Embers, Hamlet and Peter Pan. In 2017, our Drama Centre was opened with the performance of Michael Swordfish by Lachlan Philpott. This work was commissioned by the College and was created after a two-year collaboration between the playwright and Senior Drama students.

Love and Information

Musicals at Newington

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 biennial College Musical is performed with girls from nearby schools such as PLC Sydney, MLC School, Santa Sabina, Meriden and Burwood Girls High School at the beautiful Parade Theatre at NIDA. In this professional venue, students are able to work alongside industry experts in all technical aspects of theatre for a truly unique and exciting experience. 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. As with all productions at the College, boys can take part not only on stage as performers, but off stage as well by working in the crew, assisting with production co-ordination or in the orchestra.

Past musicals have included Oliver! The Musical, The Scarlet PimpernelSpamalot and Guys and Dolls.

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Teamwork and Versatility

Improvisation is a popular co-curricular activity at Newington with a number of boys taking part in weekly Impro Ensemble sessions. Impro helps develop crucial skills such as creativity, quick thinking and collaboration while having fun and developing performance skills as well.

A group photo of the Newington College Impro Australia team

Impro at Newington

Newington College has a thriving and successful Impro program that includes boys from Years 7 to 12. Our Impro Ensembles meet once a week to learn various improvisational skills, games and formats. Boys train with Drama Department staff as well as external coaches and specialists.

The Theatresports teams, made up of members of the ensemble, also participate in various external competitions, including PLC’s Carlton Cup, our own Inner West 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 the grand finals in all three divisions, Junior (Years 7 and 8), Intermediate (Years 9 and 10) and Senior (Years 11 and 12). In 2018, our Senior Team were placed first in this competition and our Intermediate team tied for first with PLC Sydney.

Boys also enjoy learning about long form improvisation and in the past have participated in a long form shows, The Room and Student Body President.

Visual Arts

Art Club

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
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Photography

Art Exhibitions

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

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.

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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.

rockfest_music_media production

Media Production

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.


There is a culture of mentorship in CineArts as Senior boys guide the younger boys through their creative projects.

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.

Film Festival

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 Wellbeing program.


Newington's Student Publication

New Enigma

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.