Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Drama Update
by Alison Schnell

The second term has been a very busy but fun term with lots of different Drama projects on the go in the various grades.

The Grade 4s did very well with Reader's Theatre before we moved on to Impromptu Orals. The impromptu orals posed to be a far more difficult concept than expected, although the children certainly did enjoy the challenge. Here are some of the impromptu oral topics that the children were given to talk about:

Under the Sea,
The Grade 5s started off with Script Reading which we did as a class, where each class member was assigned a role and we worked through the script together. We did some lessons on Spacial Awareness and mime, which was very successful. The children got into groups and were given three items that they had to show through mime in a short scene.

 The Grade 6s began the term with the task of presenting Prepared Speeches. They were given 3 options of topics to choose from:

  1. The School Outdoor Programme.
  2. Promoting a Holiday Destination.
  3. Promoting a Sport.

This meant that they had to do the research, write the speech and then rehearse it for presentation. They did a great job of presenting some interesting and well planned speeches. The next task for the Grade 6s was to put together adverts in groups. The ads had to be short and energetic, and they had to be scripted. These were a huge success and the group with the best advert from each class was chosen to perform in assembly which was very entertaining.

 The Grade 7s were given the task of taking an excerpt from a children's novel. One being 'The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and the other The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, and from these excerpts, writing scripts for short scenes from the stories. They also has to design the set as well as costumes for the scenes. This project was time consuming and certainly stretched the children, but all in all they did a really good job of putting together well presented projects and then performing some entertaining scenes.

 Each grade has also been exploring Improvisation and Mime. The game 'Freeze As' is very popular where the class walk around the room and then I shout 'Freeze!!!' 'As a policeman,' for example. They all freeze in character before I then choose one child to improvise and take the act further. This means that they unfreeze and begin acting like a policeman. It works very well, and encourages quick thinking. Other ideas for Freeze As:

An old person,
A weight lifter,
A teacher,
As if you just won the lotto,
As though you are freezing cold,
As if you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Another game that the children love is what I call Frozen Tableaux. The children get into groups or teams, and I call out a scene that has to be created using their bodies to create the characters, or the furniture or any part of the scene they choose. They have to get into a Frozen Tableaux of the scene that is called as quickly, quietly and creatively as possible, and then I choose a winning team based on these three criteria. This is a great game for creativity, and group work.

Frozen Tableaux ideas:

At the beach,
An Enchanted Forest,
A Wedding,
The Classroom,
Sports Day,
At a Restaurant,
The Supermarket.

It's been a term filled with fun projects and Drama exercises to keep the children busy and thinking creatively!!!

Monday, 2 July 2012


      Created by the Grade 5's.


These angels were done in black fineliner. The pupils were not allowed to use any pencil to draw first. They were "freaked out" when I said NO pencils, this however taught them that you CANT make mistakes in Art. If you made an "oops",  turn it into part of your creation. I find than this kind of activity really builds the children confidence with drawing.  We beaded necklaces and bracelets for our angles! Hair extension were used for the hair. We mounted  them on African print paper that was donated by a parent- Thank you.
 I am sure you will agree that these are Gorgeous .

                              MAGNIFICENT MOLAS

                   Created by the Grade 4.S

Molas form part of the traditional costume of a Kuna woman of the San Blas Islands. Molas are an intricate reverse applique style, usually depicting animals, birds or fish.
We created our own Molas using a variety of coloured paper on a black paper backgound. These turned out vibrantly and the Grade 4'S had loads of fun doing them.

Grade 5
These beautiful fruit were done in pastel by the Grade 5's . We concentrated on looking at all the different shades, tones and colours in the fruit.  We painted turps on top of the two different tones of  pastel for the background. This really made the fruit stand out. 


This was a very ambitious project for the grade 6's. They however, did magnificently! They worked on them tiresomely for 6 weeks and produced amazing Nguni. These were done in pastel, with painted backgrounds.  A few visitors to the school asked if they could purchase them. 
WELL DONE GRADE 6's! I am sure that these will all be framed and hung in your homes.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Choir News - 2nd Term

HCA Singing Angels

The 2nd term started with a fun choir workshop at Mrs Hawthorn's home. We had lots of fun jumping off the roof into the pool, bubbling in the jacuzzi and playing musical games before putting in some hard work practising the National Anthem.

Soloist - "Consider Yourself at Home"

On Saturday 21st April we sang at the Kloof Conservancy Open Indigenous Gardens event at Forest View Primary School. The choir sounded fantastic and our version of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" which we've dedicated to the fight to protect our rhino's was especially moving. First time soloists Ellya Crosby, Nandi Mavume, Mandisa Makhathini and Caitlin Ivins joined Joshua Milne and Abigail Kane in singing their solo's beautifully. Organiser Cecily Salmon had this to say in her thank you letter:

"All the music items were great, but the HCA Choir stands out for me personally for the variety of its repertoire, the quality of the soloists and the irrepressibly joie de vivre of the choir and its leader.  Thank you to the students, their teachers and parents who made it all look so effortless (though I can only imagine the hours of practice required to reach that standard).
The weekend went very well and the music added a very special festive atmosphere to the tea garden.  The feedback has been extremely positive."

Grandparent's Day on 26th April was another highlight for the choir.  Our new choir stands were "christened" with a performance of "In the Mood" that had the audience humming along, "Joyfully Sing" which was met with loud approval, and finally our spectacular version of the National Anthem.  What a pleasure it was to be able to move and dance on our new stands which are much wider.  No more worries about falling off!  Many Grandparents came to congratulate us afterwards on the lovely singing and the high standard of musicianship!  Well done children.  The choir continues to grow in ability, confidence and musicality and I am exceptionally proud of you all!

Soloist - "Memories"


Mrs Hawthorn and HCA Choir

Soloist - "Shenandoah"

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Art Attack!! First term projects!!

Grade 7 Cubist Style Dogs - Picasso!

The grade 7's looked at the Cubist artist Picasso.  We decided to try to create large scale Picasso style dogs! The children experimented with tones and shades of different areas of colours. The dogs were  done on size A1 paper with fluorescent pastels. Metallic paint was used for the backgrounds. We are so proud of these dogs and excited to see how each individual dog's personality comes alive in these pictures!  Woof!!

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Grade 6's

 St Basil's Cathedral at sunset -
No pencils allowed!!

The Grade 6's looked at the amazing St Basils Cathedral in Russia that was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible. In this project pupils were not allowed to draw in pencil first. This was a very good learning experience for them and they learned that you cannot make "mistakes" in art! Incorrect lines could be made into interesting patterns and designs!   Repetition of patterns and shapes filled the buildings, while the background was painted in watercolours. Crosses and domes sprang to life with gold glitter! Well done Grade 6's!  These were amazing! Thanks to for inspiration on this lesson.

Grade 5

Egyptian Portraits - Watercolour project

The Grade 5's completed these beautiful Egyptian portraits that were used as the decorations in their annual Egyptian Feast in watercolours. Pupils were encouraged to experiment with different shades of colour and blend these colours together to create different effects. I am sure you will agree that these are stunning!

Grade 4

Gigantic Bugs - Bugs alive!!!

The Grade 4's completed these amazing bugs.  Can you believe that this was the first time they were introduced to the concepts of Tone and Blending!

And WOW!!....... Did they apply these skills amazingly, messily and amid heaps of fun, especially whilst finger painting the background with two different tones of metallic paint!

Grade 4
Pirate Ships - Ahoy there, matey!!

This project was an introduction to watercolour painting.The pupils used warm colours to creat a sunset in the background. Shades of browns were used in the boat and blues and greens in the sea!  The result:  Stunning Pirate Ships!!!