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Winter Issue 7 2012

What’s Inside Bugsy Malone Performing Arts on show Simply Outstanding Standards Art & Design Exhibition BIG ART from Highfield

and much more!


an exhibition of art and design

On Thursday November 8th 2012, Abraham Guest Academy opened its doors to parents, governors and invited guests for an exhibition of art and design called “Standards”, which celebrates the remarkable achievements of our students. The exhibition focused on a selection of art work from years 7 to 11 showing extremely high standards in fine art, 3D design, ceramics, graphic design, textiles, digital projections and photography. The event was an informal opportunity for parents and guests to enjoy just some of the art work made throughout the last year. The evening also included performances by some Y11 students, Nicole Vizard, Shannon Gillespie and Lauren Sharrock, who entertained the guests with a short dance piece which they choreographed themselves. Music was provided by guitarists Shannon Gillespie and Jessica O’Mara and a debut from talented pianist James Iddon. Some cool, evening jazz was also provided by ‘The Saxy Ladies plus One’ which was led by one of our very own music teachers, Siobhan Tarbuck. Many students from the academy stayed in school to spend the evening making art work to show guests what it is like to work in the art studios. Refreshments for the evening were provided by our Y10 and Y11 catering students who spent all day preparing a delicious spread of food. Everything about the evening was great. It showed that Abraham Guest Academy has standards that are especially high and comparable to the best of national standards in art and design. Well done to everyone involved.


Murphinator THE

Ian Murphy artist in residence, now known in the academy as the murphinator because of his quick ability to solve artistic difficulties and develop practice with our students , is in residence for the second year. Ian works in his “open” studio on Tuesdays and Thursday. Students can visit him, during their art lessons and talk to him about his work or their own work. The picture shows Melissa Walsh from year 10 who is studying AS Art and Design , working with Ian. What a fantastic resource. A professional artist in the classroom. If parents wanted to come in and meet Ian on Tuesday or Thursday, they are most welcome, but please telephone in advance.

Exceptional Performance for year 9 GCSE Art & Design students

Abraham Guest Academy has realised an amazing standard in art and design. Last year 51 of our year 9 students elected to take a GCSE fast track qualification in Art and Design. This was a year of great challenge and ambition. Fast track courses are indeed a challenge in any subject, but to take a GCSE two years in advance of traditional year 11 GCSE entry in art and design, and to manage this is in two terms is indeed exceptional . Our 51 year 9 GCSE art and design students achieved……..

100% pass with 98.6 % achieving A* - C Results were A*- 6; A - 19; B – 20; C - 5; D–1 Outstanding achievement! Our year 9 GCSE Art and Design results confirm aspirational learning and remarkable progress. … Well done to all. Sharon Barnes Subject Leader Art & Design




Hitting the Highs in Groups of Year 5 pupils from Highfield St. Matthews Primary School have been spending Thursday afternoons in the Art Department at the Academy, working on a BIG ART project with Mrs Jennings and Mrs Freeman. The pupils have been looking at the work of Victorian artist William Morris, who created patterns, based on natural forms, and have been working in teams to create their own natural form and pattern images using lots of different art materials. These large scale pieces of work (in most cases bigger than the pupils!) have included a combination of oil pastels, collage and different painting techniques. The pupils have enjoyed getting messy whilst learning and developing their art skills! The pupils involved so far are: Georgia Myler, Ella Gaskell, Holly Bradley, Jay Speakman, Dylan Lavin, Emily Derbyshire, Connor Mundry-Atherton, Olivia Taylor, Rebecca Hitchen, Aaron Critchley, Sam Unsworth, Christopher Done, Corey Fairhurst, Jack Thompson, Charlie Cookson, Madeline Townley, Abigail Sedgewick, Kate Taylor, Ellie Cheetham, Isobel Bewell, Taylor Stanton, Noah Meadow and Toby Brannan. The Highfield St. Matthews pupils have worked hard to achieve their best and have been involved in a friendly competition with each other, as each week their images were judged by Mrs. Whittington and Mrs. Barnes to decide who would return to school with a reward. It was always a very difficult decision and often left the judges struggling to make a decision. All of the pupils have produced excellent work and their completed art work has also featured in the “Standards” art exhibition in November.

It’s been a pleasure to see you all at the academy. 3

We WERE anything we wanted to be During December, the cast of Bugsy Malone performed for packed out audiences for three evening shows. The Arts Theatre was transformed into Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, the liveliest joint in town, full of razzmatazz, music and dancing....oh, and the odd spurge gun fight! Set in 1920s New York City, Bugsy Malone is the fun-filled gangster story where the sharp-suited wiseguys are kids and the guns all fire splurge. It was a great fun production to rehearse and produce. Special thanks have to go to Mrs Smith for her fantastic direction and Judith Holt and her band for the excellent music. An even bigger THANK YOU has to go to the cast for their hard work, determination and fantastic attitude throughout the process. Very well done! THE CAST: Rohan Stevenson, Josh Howard, Georgia Bannister, Liam Atkinson, Lewiss Ward, Matthew Lowe, Kieran Gallagher, Thomas Lyon, Eva Curless, James Doherty, Reece Banks, Steph Tomlinson, Josh Atkinson, Adam Fairhurst, Liam Fowler, Megan Fish, Chloe Turner, Mutsa Chinembiri, Chloe Garry, Lauren Sharrock, Ryhanne Shaw, Nicole Vizard, Debbie Jones, Rebecca Bradshaw, Katie Hames, Lucy Causey, Nathan Kennedy, Nick Howard, Philip Wheeler, Sam Jones, Declan Bridge, Alex Sheridan, Mark Roberts, Chloe Singleton, Jessica Atkins, Jessica Gee, Emily Sanders, Teri Aspinall, Jessica O’mara, Jessica Keegan, Janelle Stockwell, Danniele Williams, Gemma Rigby, Eleanor Fishwick, Chelsea Harrison, Kyle Bullough, Sam Ball, Lee Scrivens, Bethaney Ainscough, Tiffany Critchley, Ellie Crook, Cerys, Megan Kelly.

Blood Brothers- Brilliant!


In October a professional theatre company, Artz Northwest, came into school to perform Willy Russell’s successful musical, Blood Brothers. The popular stage production was packed with hilarious comedy moments, impressive musical numbers and breathtaking dramatic performances. Year 8 and 9 pupils got the chance to watch the moving and ill-fated tale of twin brothers separated at birth and brought up in contrasting social worlds in a post-war Liverpool city. The students were certainly inspired to work on the script in Drama lessons to develop their own acting skills. The year 10 Performing Arts GCSE group and the Year 11 Drama GCSE students engaged with the production, and will use the experience to increase their knowledge of performance skills, technical and artistic theatre roles as well as how a story can be effectively told on stage. They will also be writing a review of the production which will be submitted as part of their GCSE assessment.


...Lunch Time Live Session

Congratulations to our talented and brave performers who took to the stage for the first of our Lunch Time Live Sessions on the 23/10/12. The showcase was opened by the energetic band “No Intellect”, this was followed by a range of fantastic solo and group performances from the following pupils:

Chloe Turner Jess O’mara Mutsa Chinembiri Rohan Stevenson Sharmayne Swarbrick

Chloe Singleton Mathew Lowe Robyne Bushell Shannon Gillespie Tom Lyon

I would also like to thank our supportive audience, the atmosphere in the atrium was super and it was great to see each act get lots of encouragement to help them bring the stage alive. It is really important to give young people the opportunity to develop their performance skills, last week the performance arts team took three pupils (Chloe Singleton, Mutsa Chinembiri and Jess O’mara) to perform at Winstanley College. The girls performed along side college students in a performance evening called Multiphoney, we look forward to taking more pupils to the college and inviting the college students to our events. The next Lunch

Time Live Session will be in the last week before the Christmas holidays (18/11/12) and we hope to be joined by music students from the college. We aim to have a Lunch Time Live Session every half term so if there is anybody who would like to try out a song or two come and see Miss Tarbuck in MU2 to get you on the set list, next gig will be just before Christmas.

Performing Arts Evening

On the 18th July, Abraham Guest hosted it’s annual Performing Arts Evening. Groups from all years performed an array of exciting and inspiring work from their Music, Dance and Drama classes, workshops and clubs. It was fantastic to see so many talented students performing in the Arts Theatre!

Students involved in the performance were; Tom Lyon, Emily Sanders, Jade Baker, Mutsa Chinembiri, Amy Hern, Jessica Atkins, Robyn Bushell, Codie Gallagher, Shannon Gillespie, Chelsea Harrison, Adam Fairhurst, Terri Aspinall, Debbie Jones, Jade Hurley, Tiffany Critchley, Jessica O’ Mara, Lauren Kenny, Danielle Marsh,

Don’t just be a bedroom pop/rock star, swap that hairbrush for a microphone, take the stage and have fun! Katie Hames, Larissa Bradley, Rohan Stevenson, Matthew Lowe, Jade Ainscough, Emma Armstrong, Connor Barnes, Lauren Buxton, Danielle Doherty, Bradley Draper, Sarah Forshaw, Nathan Gaskell, Joshua Howard, Callum Hunter, Georgia Ince-Burke, Thomas Jennion, Chloe Johnson, Sonia Mikulasova, Ryan Miller, Chloe Myers, Sam Newman, Ellie Shepherd, Neve Tabberner-Colton, Lewis Topping, Matthew Towart, Robbie Tymon- Atkinson, Ben Wilding, Owen Wilkinson, Charlie Williams, Hannah Wood, Chelsea-Sue Wren, Molly Yates, Hollie McChrystal, Rebecca Howard, Fraser Tompkins, Jonathan Lynskey, Katie Hames, Bethany Thomas, Sasha Wood, Coley Ince, Samantha Fish, Milly Dickinson, Amy Heap, Lucy Coleman, Leah Coleman, Eva Curless, Nicole Vizard, Sophie Harris, Amy Heap, Georgia Bannister, Leah McCarrick, Jack Chapman, James Doherty, Billy Latham, Elizabeth Hilton, Jack Davies, Harry Jones, Hollie McChrystal, Lauren Melling, Rebecca Howard, Melissa Lowe, Jessica Atkins, Lewiss Ward, Chloe Garry, Rebecca Bradshaw, Nathan Kennedy, Matthew Lowe, Demi Reid, Lauren Sharrock.

Mrs Taylor would like to congratulate all who were involved, it really was an outstanding night! 5

Eva Curless

Year 11

A Poet In The Making

Let’s Sing! Summer Vocal Project The “Let’s Sing!” Summer Vocal Project is all about enabling pupils to enjoy and develop their singing. About 500 pupils, from the Wigan Borough, performed at Robin Park Arena and Sports Centre on Tuesday July 3rd, following a series of 4 workshops, lead by Keith Orrell, Vocal Projects Leader for Wigan Council’s Music Service. This was our 5th year of participation in the event and great and boost to the confidence of pupils. Our students demonstrated huge enthusiasm and commitment to this project, turning up regularly for rehearsals with Mrs. Woodall, after school on Fridays and Thursday lunchtimes. Auditions, for solo singing parts, took place in schools across Wigan. The standard of singing was exceptional and Abraham Guest Academy was successful in achieving more solo parts than ever before. Amy Hern, Tiffany Critchley, Teri Aspinall, Shannon Gillespie and Rohan Stevenson were selected for solo singing parts.

The evening concert was a sell out and an overwhelming success. Abraham Guest Academy students performed the songs “That’s Entertainment”, “Set Fire To The Rain”, “Eye of The Tiger”, ”I Need a Dollar”, “Sewn”, “Jar of Hearts” and “When You Believe”. Mrs Woodall and Mrs Smith were among the singers, providing support with the challenging harmonies. Many thanks also to Mrs Taylor and Mr. Ashurst, who came along to support the pupils. Singers were: Rohan Stevenson, Amy Hern, Shannon Gillespie, Terri Aspinall, Emily Sanders, Jade Baker, Mutsa Chinembiri, Jessica Atkins, Helen Ashby, Eva Curless, Jade Hurley, Robyn Bushell, Codie Gallagher, Chelsea Harrison, Adam Fairhurst, Emily Powell Foster, Debbie Jones, Chloe Singleton, James Iddon, Tiffany Critchley, Jessica O’ Mara, Lauren Kenny, Danielle Marsh, Katie Hames, Larissa Bradley, Matthew Lowe, Tom Lyon and Jessica Keegan.

Any singers wishing to join the Abraham Guest Academy choir “Vocademy” should speak to Mrs Woodall. We meet on Fridays after school in MU1. 6

Eva Curless in year 11, really is a poet. Her recent poem called “Growing Up” has been published by a specialist literature publisher Poetry Rivals, and appears in their publication “Poetry Rivals Collection 2012”. Eva was inspired by the visit of Chris Preddie to Abraham Guest Academy two years ago. Chris Preddie was awarded the OBE in this years honours list for his outstanding contribution to youth work. Chris is a young black man brought up on a council estate in north London by his single mother, who had to work at three jobs to keep him and his two sisters in food and clothing, he was characterised by some sections of the press as “a former drug-dealing gang member”. But Chris Preddie does not have a hint of a criminal record and has been volunteering and working with young people at risk since he was 17. When Chris came to the school he captivated our students with his incredible appetite for literature and writing. Chris understands young people and communicates with them in a natural way, inspiring them to be creative and positive in all they do. He certainly inspired Eva who remembers Chris well. “I have been writing poetry for many years and so when I met Chris he inspired me to make my work more public. He helped me believe in my own capabilities. I think writing poetry really helps you express your ideas and feelings. Being a writer is something good. People often think writers are quiet people who might be boring. But in fact writing about your opinions and feelings takes some courage and I took my lead from Chris Preddie”. Eva’s poem is also inspirational. It will inspire our students to reflect on their lives at whatever stage they are at. I’m thinking we could share this wonderful poem in school assemblies and engage all our students with the opportunity to write about anything they feel strongly about. Perhaps an Arts Alive poetry edition could happen?

Frank Barnes

‘Growing Up’ A colouring book becomes Facebook, Twitter just isn’t the sound of a bird, the internet becomes a lifestyle, to be honest it’s all quite absurd. Orange juice becomes alcohol, another meaning is meant by ‘coke’, people judge your every word, you’ll wish you never spoke. Spelling tests become exams, and our nights are spent revising, now an hour of homework, maybe more, no longer seems surprising. Trips to the shop become a fashion parade, make-up is essential, you struggle to tell your secrets, because they won’t be kept confidential. You feel like you’re being judged, for everything you do, people always observing, you might as well be in a zoo. And it’s a lot easier, to bottle things up and cry, because friends can become enemies, in the blink of an eye. What happened to those times? playing out till late in the street, you didn’t have to mind how you looked, or watch how you’d eat. You’d share your memories with family, not all over Myspace, your room would be neat and tidy, now there’s stuff all over the place. The only male you cared for, was your brother or your dad, now the number of times girls cry over boys, is completely and utterly mad. You’d plan to have midnight feasts, and stay awake through the night, but you’d fall asleep at eleven, and wake up morning light. Now eleven is a normal bedtime, and we wake when it’s dark for school, and having a sneaky midnight feast, is no longer classed as cool. I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself, with these words I stand here and preach, I’m trying to give a valuable message, to the kids who I’m trying to reach. Growing up is sometimes cool, sometimes it can be a blast, but you’ll always miss your childhood, so don’t let it happen too fast.

Art Gallery 1

Abraham Guest Academy has managed yet another prolific period of art and design production, creating high quality art work across a range of disciplines and media. We continue to celebrate students achievements in art and design through classroom displays, the ‘virtual art gallery’, the school website, art and design exhibition evenings, ‘Standards’ being our most recent exhibition, and the Arts Alive gallery pages. The dedicated ‘Art Gallery’ pages show a range of works from different year groups which demonstrate the quality of outcome that many students achieve within the academy. Well done to all the students who have examples of their work shown in this issue of Arts Alive, but also to those who have worked hard to produce quality art work which can be seen in the art classrooms and around the academy throughout each term. Superb work of which we should all be proud, and long may it continue. Mrs. S. Barnes Subject Leader



5 4

Eva Curless 7


Art G 15



7 11

14 19 17





20 28 12





Gallery q q






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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Adam Ogden Y11 Danielle Shambley Y11 Ellie Sproat Y11 Chloe Bushell Y10 Lauren Melling Y9 Amy Hern Y10 Kirsty Smith Y10 Megan Dainty Y10 Leon Barnes Y10 Jakub Farmas Y8 Elizabeth Johnson Y8 Natasha Garry Y8 Laura Kenyon Y10 Racheal Keegan & Shannon Hurley Y11 Mutsa Chinembiri Y11 Melissa Forshaw Y10 Kelsey Higson Y11 Chloe Parkinson Y10 Megan McLoughlin Y9 Sophie Lee Y9 Emily Powell-Foster Y10 Amy Sherman Y11 Darren Higham Y11 Jazzmin Harber Y11 Rachel Bradshaw Y11 Lewis Winder Y7 Chloe Cavill Y7 Jack Pennington Y9 Rebecca Trotzko Y10 Megan Riley Y10 Jonathon Lynskey Y11 Jessica Hitchen Y11 Georgie Pennington Y11 Elysia Harvey Y10 Ellie Sproat Y11 Demi Reid Y11 Daniel Whalley Y9 Craig Holdsworth Y9 Christopher Hurst Y9 Amy Sherman Y11 Abigail Latchford Y9 9

Art Gallery 31


Turning Tables with

Tom Griffin Local DJ, Thomas Griffin, returned to Abraham Guest Academy to lead another series of DJ skills workshops with pupils from Y9. As well as being in demand DJing in the thriving Manchester Club Dance Scene, Tom finds the time in his hectic schedule to work in a number of schools across Wigan. He tutors pupils from all key stages, as well as supporting GCSE and BTEC students, who are studying Music Technology. In the sessions Tom selected musical material from genres such as Garage, Grime, Hip hop and Dubstep. Students learned some of the techniques of “turntablism”, how to mix tracks, add digital effects and beat juggling in their favourite styles of music! All pupils in Abraham Guest Academy can have the opportunity to learn how to be a DJ! For further information, see Mrs. Woodall. Pupils who participated in the DJ workshops this time were:

36 30

32 35

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Jessica O’mara

is Joining Jack

On Thursday November 22nd Jessica O’Mara represented Abraham Guest Academy at a major fundraising event for the Joining Jack charity. The charity is there to raise funds for the research into a fatal genetic disorder called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) which affects children around the world. Approximately one in every 3,500 boys worldwide is afflicted with DMD with 20,000 new cases reported each year in the developed world. Symptoms usually appear in male children before the age of five. Progressive muscle weakness of the legs and pelvis eventually spreads to the arms, neck, and other areas. By age 10, braces may be required for walking, and most patients are confined to a wheelchair by age 12.Eventually, this progresses to complete paralysis and increasing difficulty in breathing, requiring ventilation. The condition is terminal and death usually occurs before the age of 30. Andy Johnson is a renowned Wigan Rugby League player. He played nearly 100 first team games for his home town club. His four year old son is called Jack and he suffers from DMD. Andy is now retired from rugby and his new focus is in raising awareness and money in order to find a cure for DMD and, together with a dedicated group of friends from the Rugby League community and beyond, he is doing just that, one day at a time.

The event at the DW stadium on Thursday November 22nd was called “Jack’s Factor” and was presented in the form of a performance competition with an audience of hundreds and a celebrity judging panel from the world of entertainment and sport. Jessica was one of nine finalists performing on that evening. The standard of performance from all the finalists was indeed excellent, and although Jessica didn’t win, her performance was, without exaggeration, outstanding. Jessica chose to perform without backing tracks using only acoustic guitar for accompaniment. She stood out because she let her natural voice and relaxed manner drive her performance. She reminded me of a very young Joni Mitchell, one of the greatest ever female singer/songwriters, because of her laid back stage presence and honest vocal delivery. We were all very proud to be associated with Jessica and Abraham Guest Academy, because of the charitable nature of the event and the outstanding representation Jessica gave to the academy.

Thanks to all the performing arts staff who supported Jessica and to all who attended the event – Mrs Taylor, Mrs Woodall, Mrs Smith, Miss Tarbuck, Miss Jones, Mrs Hogan and Mr and Mrs Barnes. Special thanks to Jayne and Hannah Wood whose dedicated work for the Joining Jack charity is exceptional and of course to Jessica O’Mara whose performance was dignified and professional in standard. If you want to find out more about Joining Jack , and I hope you do, go to The charity is supported and sponsored by many top sports and entertainment celebrities such as Bradley Wiggins, Vinnie Jones , Ronnie Wood, Jenny Meadows, Andi Peters, Ricki Hatton, Jason Robinson, Johnny Nelson and so many more.


The year 10, Lens and Light Based Art GCSE group went to Southport to view and record images from the New Pleasureland Fun Fair and the local coastal shoreline in response to a GCSE Unit 1 topic called “Surfaces”. Their aim was to collect visual source material they could develop and refine in the Academy art studios and present as part of their GCSE coursework. We started at the New Pleasureland funfair, on the morning of October 19th, where we were able to photograph the coloured and reflective surfaces that are unique to fairground environments. We were fortunate to explore this fantastic fairground environment on a day when the fairground staff were preparing for the first half term weekend. The fairground was closed to the public and we were privileged to be shown around by the New Pleasureland owner, Mr. Norman Wallis. The weather was perfect, the lighting exceptional, and the fairground looked brilliant. Mr. Wallis took great pleasure in showing the students round and led them to viewpoints that provided superb visual opportunities . We are indebted to Mr. Wallis for his kindness and interest in our students work. Our students really appreciated his guidance and the time he spent with us. Thanks Norman. Norman Wallis is the man responsible for bringing some of the magic back to Southport after resurrecting the resort’s run down Pleasureland funfair attraction in 2007. In the last five years, he has rebuilt and made this funfair into a unique and exceptional family attraction. A vibrant venture, with plans to expand even more, including the development of a music festival venue capable of staging mega- events such as Creamfields and the V Festival. His family have been linked with fairgrounds and shows for as long as he can remember. He is a man with community at heart. From New Pleasureland , Mr Barnes and Mrs Jennings gave way to a McDonalds lunch. The sun was shining and we were at the sea side. This was a great day. The students were a credit to the Academy. They continued to work as hard in the afternoon as they had done in the morning. We explored the coastal pathway capturing the natural surfaces of the shoreline and the debris left by human carelessness. Then we saw something VERY SPECIAL …a black swan , very rare to the U.K. . This bird would have travelled many miles to be in Southport. Black swans are like “hen’s teeth” ….extremely rare, and there it was , posing for our photographs. See the pictures. This day was one to remember, because everything was completely right. Our students were a credit to the Academy, the weather was perfect, the venues were excellent, the lighting fantastic, and the work ethic …superb. Well Done to the GCSE Lens and Light Based Photography GCSE group. Mrs Jennings & Mr. Barnes


at the Sea Side Looking through the lens

A great day at the

Tate Gallery


Pushing the boundaries On September 18th, 32 year 10 students went to the Tate Gallery in Liverpool to view a very special touring exhibition called “Turner, Monet, Twombly – the Later Paintings”. This exhibition brought together three of the greatest painters in the history of art. JMW Turner (1775-1851), Claude Monet ( 1840-1926) and Cy Twombly, (1928 – 2011). The exhibition was unique in showing the links between three controversial and influential artist’s work who had lived at different times and in different countries. On this day, our students were taking on a task that would have been a challenge for art students studying at university. They had to work independently, analyse each artist’s work and make written responses relating to their initial engagement with the work, how the works were made, their opinion of the meaning and subject of the works and how the works related to the world we live in. Our students did not disappoint. They showed clear confidence and a highly developed ability to demonstrate critical and cultural understanding, and we were very pleased to be informed by Tate Gallery staff that they were very impressed with the way our students engaged with the artworks. They commented on the way our students could work so independently, how they interacted, the maturity of their conversation and the level of understanding they showed. Our students made us very proud. Our student party included students who had achieved exceptional GCSE art and design results in year 9, on a one year fast track course, and who are now studying AS level art and design, together with students who have elected to study GCSE fine art in year 10. A really exceptional day. Thanks to all the students for setting such high standards of learning and thanks to our artist in residence, Ian Murphy, for accompanying, and supporting the students in their work. Mrs S. Barnes Subject Leader Visual Arts


Winstanley WORKSHOP

Many thanks to Winstanley College for such a special day


Late in the summer term Winstanley College opened its doors to students from Abraham Guest Academy, inviting them to take part in a master class within visual art and design. Sixteen Y9 students who had just successfully completed their ‘early entry GCSE’ in art and design, enjoyed a workshop where paper construction and drawing techniques were the focus of the morning’s activities. In the afternoon the students also had an opportunity to view the A-level Art and Design and Art Foundation Studies exhibitions of work. They were impressed with what they saw and were inspired by the range of work on display. Our students made us very proud in the way they engaged with and discussed the art work seen in the exhibitions, pointing out their favourites along the way. All sixteen students are now following an AS level Art and Design course in Y10 at Abraham Guest Academy, and I am sure that with continued commitment and enthusiasm their own aspirations will become fulfilled. The students who attended on the day are:

Larissa Bradley Megan Dainty Amy Hern Craig Holdsworth Rachel Maloney Megan McLoughlin Kieran Melling Lydia Molyneux

Louise O’Brien Shantel Patel Jordan Prescott Emily Sanders Kirsty Smith Melissa Walsh Hannah Young Leon Barnes

Wowed by


On Wednesday 26th September, Mrs Taylor and Mrs Smith took some of the Year 11 GCSE Dance students to Winstanley College’s Open Evening of their brand new Performing Arts Department. The new department of the college comprises of exquisite Dance and Drama studios, state of the art Music suites and an extremely impressive Media suite. It was a delight to see ex-students James Rosental and Bethany Howe performing for the event. James had been selected to perform beautiful dance pieces and Bethany performed a very moving monologue from A Streetcar Named Desire. It was also a pleasure to see our students who had worked with Mrs Caslake and had provided the catering for the whole event. The food was delicious and the professionalism of the students was commendable. With squeals of “It’s amazing” and “I want to come here!” I think it is safe to say the Year 11 students were definitely impressed and inspired! 15

Circus Days


on Siobhan Tarbuck...

The summer term saw a first for Abraham Guest Academy, when the arts theatre became a circus space for a day! Students from Years 7, 8 and 9 had a great day learning some exciting new skills with circus performer Jay Linn in a series of circus skills workshops. Students got to watch an amazing circus performance from Jay, then got to have a go themselves at learning some circus skills, including juggling, stilt walking, feather balancing and even riding a unicycle! Students got to test their balance, dexterity and team work when experimenting with these skills, which were difficult to master but great fun to try!

...the new Music Teacher on the block

In September Abraham Guest Academy welcomed a new music teacher, Siobhan Tarbuck. Siobhan brings with her a great expertise and an enthusiasm that is setting music in the academy alight. The interview with Siobhan Tarbuck was conducted by Arts Council reporters Craig Sweeney. Chris Jones and Jakub Farmas (Arts Council) What inspired you to become a music teacher? (Siobhan) This is going to sound a bit cheesy but I think it was my mum. She has worked in a lot of schools because she is a teaching assistant. She has worked with a lot of students which are apparently naughty and come over with a lot of tales to tell, some good and some bad. She has inspired me to do it myself because when you have good day and pass on what you know to other students and you see them doing well because of what you have taught them. I think that is a bit of a buzz, I have shown them how to do that and it’s brilliant. (AC) Did you always want to teach music? (ST) No, I studied sports science first. When I was at school I loved both music and sport and I was a bit torn over whether I was going to do a netball event or go and see a band. I had a passion for both but I decided sport won at the time. I did a GCSE in PE and then I studied it at A Level. Then when I went to a music club, that’s when it clicked, so then I wanted to be a music teacher. (AC) What instruments do you play and which ones do you like? (ST) I am a woodwind specialist but my main instrument is the saxophone. I have most of the family of saxophones at home. I started to play clarinet when I was little. I picked up the flute two years ago. 16

(AC) What concerts have you been to and what music do you like? (ST) I like lots of different music. I went to see a band called Savages in Manchester and they were brilliant. They are an all female band. I have been to a lot of festivals but I do like pop, people like Bruno Mars. I also love going to live jazz festivals. (AC) What instruments can the students at AGA learn? (ST) We are hoping the students will have a complete free choice very soon. We are hoping Wigan music will come in. Then whatever the students fancy hopefully they will be able to have a go at. We have guitar club on Wednesday and Thursday night after school in until four. On a Tuesday lunch time we have drum club. So we play a wide range of instruments. (AC) Do you have any future ideas/plans for music at tha Academy and if so what are they? (ST) “You can’t touch music-it exists only at the moment it is being apprehended-and yet it can profoundly alter how we view the world and our place in it. Music can get us through difficult patches in our lives by changing not only how we feel about ourselves, but also how we feel about everything outside ourselves.  Its powerful stuff.” (David Byrne of Talking Heads, 2012).

Everyone listens to music, we can all recall songs that have got us through the good and the bad times, therefore music is important and music in schools is really important because it should be accessible to all. Music in school should be cool, I would like to see more people playing more instruments and coming to extracurricular clubs.  I would like the music department to be loud and proud!  We have a number of pupils who come to drum sessions and guitar clubs, I hope that by providing instrumental lessons through the music service we will have even more pupils keen to take up new instruments. I also hope that with the support of the music service we will have pupils learning a range of instruments and we will then be able to set up a wind band, brass band, orchestra etc.  I think it is really important to provide pupils with the opportunity to develop their performance skills in front of a supportive audience, our first Lunch Time Live Session went really well and we hope to have one every half term. Last week the performance arts team took a group of students up to Winstanley College to perform alongside their students in an event called Multiphoney, we hope to maintain a strong link with the college and look forward to inviting their students to perform at our next event. The music industry has evolved over the last ten years due to advances in technology, if you own a computer you have the ability to produce your own music and show the world. Therefore technology should play a key role in music lessons, with this in mind the school has recently become a Roland Championship School. This scheme will support us in updating how we teach music in school and provide the pupils with better equipment.


In School magazine


In School magazine