Blatchington Mill has an unrivalled commitment to Performing Arts and our command in this field is well recognised having been awarded Performing Arts Specialist College Status. We have recently been awarded the Artsmark Gold status for the fourth time (in May 2012). Our Arts provision means that the quality of our regular performances is outstandingly high in addition to the excellent standards we achieve in our curriculum and exam results. Our annual performance programme includes two full-scale musicals as well as Music, Drama and Dance performances in the Windmill Theatre. We also perform at the O2 in London, The Brighton Dome, Concorde 2, Chichester Festival Theatre and this year we will be performing at Disneyland and in Paris itself.
Our music studio and Windmill Theatre – equipped with the latest recording, sound and lighting technology – offer an excellent learning environment, not only for our performers but also for our increasingly popular Stage Management course at Blatch 6 which has led to a number of students studying Stage Management at RADA. Other highlights of our annual performance programme are the Blatch 6 student union run events - 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Strictly Duets' which sees students teaming up with members of staff to perform for charity.
We aim to develop leadership skills in our students through the Performing Arts and in recent years, students have taken on the role of Conductor, Musical Director, Choreographer, Band Leader and Assistant Director. We have also developed an Arts Leader programme which gives 12 students in each year group the opportunity to take on a leadership role working alongside the Head of Year and Director of Performing Arts, influencing the Performing Arts provision; feeding back on curriculum issues; acting as 'student voice' for their year groups and running performance events such as the popular 'Stars in Their Eyes' show and 'Blatch Has Got Talent'.
Our extra-curricular programme aims to be both outstanding and inclusive and many of the groups are open to all abilities. The Arts Leaders coordinate the termly 'Performance Assemblies' in which all students are invited to perform at least once throughout the year, either as part of their class performance or as soloists /smaller ensembles. Community groups play an important part in our extra-curricular programme and Windmill Young Actors, New Rock Generation and Big Mouth adult choir offer opportunities for our wider community to benefit from the Performing Arts provision at Blatchington Mill.
Our most recent initiative is to invite members of our wider community (parents / family / friends) to share their Arts skills, experiences and contacts with our students and we look forward to seeing this idea develop and positively contribute to our students' curriculum.