ALPA’s cross-subject appeal

St Ambrose Concord West students merge Science and Music. Photo: Gene Ramirez

St Ambrose Concord West students merge Science and Music. Photo: Gene Ramirez

Sydney Catholic Schools project Authentic Learning through the Performing Arts (ALPA) connects Music, Drama and Dance with other key learning areas in the curriculum including English, Mathematics and Science. It was launched at the beginning of 2016. Seven primary and secondary schools will take part in eight demonstration projects throughout the year.

Each of the projects links a unit of work in Science, English, History, Religious Education and PDHPE to a performing arts subject. At Clancy Catholic College West Hoxton a Stage 4 History unit on the Egyptians incorporated Drama culminating in students recreating the character of an Egyptian figure and others taking on the role of interviewer.

They are being challenged to meet professional standards in their work. What could be more authentic?

– Dr Michael Bezzina

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary North Sydney Stage 3 students used movement and dance to illustrate their learnings in an English unit on Fairytales, which they recorded in short videos. Some of the students also adapted a classic fairytale with a group of boys turning Cinderella into Soccerfella, where the lost shoe was a soccer boot.

Each project is filmed by a teacher (and in some cases students) from another school to create quality videos which demonstrate authentic learning in action. These will be made available to other teachers as a professional learning tool.

CaSPA Education Officer Iris McGill said incorporating performing arts strategies adds a creative and critical thinking element to the students’ study of particular subjects and opens up both the students and teachers thinking on ways to express what they have learned.

Director of Teaching and Learning Dr Michael Bezzina said as the students work on ALPA they are learning in a new, real world context.

“As well as each project being filmed by a teacher, the students are also producing videos. They are collaborating with each other and with adult professionals in the production of materials that will enhance the working lives of their teachers. They are being challenged to meet professional standards in their work. What could be more authentic?”

ALPA action projects and film crews

Clancy Catholic College West Hoxton, filmed by Good Samaritan Catholic College Hinchinbrook
History & Drama: Year 7 students are interviewed while acting as an Egyptian character.

St Ambrose Catholic Primary Concord West, filmed by St Mary’s Catholic Primary North Sydney
Science & Music: Years 5 and 6 student produced a rap song on light. (Read more)

St Mary’s Catholic Primary North Sydney, filmed by Sacred Heart Catholic Primary Mosman
English & Dance: Years 5 and 6 students interpret fairytales through movement and dance and record this on video.

Clancy Catholic College West Hoxton, filmed by Aquinas Catholic College Menai
Religious Education & Music: Years 7 and 8 students create simple melodies for a response to a Psalm.

Bethlehem College Ashfield, filmed by St Vincent’s Catholic Primary Ashfield
PDHPE & Dance: Year 9 students use images, music and phrases to stimulate discussion on positive body image and express their views through gesture and movement.

Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary North Strathfield, filmed by St Therese’s Catholic Primary Denistone
Science & Dance: Year 1 students interpret sound and light through symbols and movement.

St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary Prestons, filmed by Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College Burwood
PDHPE & Music: Year 3 students use Spotify to create a playlist on their mobile devices that reflects a variety of emotional states and promotes caring and respectful relationships.

St Raphael’s Catholic Primary South Hurstville, filmed by St Mary’s Catholic Primary North Sydney
English & Drama: Year 5 and 6 students create a snapshot or freeze frame of the beginning of a scene from Pamela Allen novel Belinda.

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