We have had a very exciting afternoon with our Sixth Form Gold Arts Award students who had a visit from Kate Griffiths: katesfxmakeup a renowned stage makeup artist who taught them different special effects makeup techniques. The afternoon was made even more memorable when the BBC arrived to film the class for this evenings local news.
‘Network’ at the National Theatre.
Mr Smith and Mrs Makepeace took Year 13 Drama students to see Network at The National Theatre on Wednesday 28th February. The play had received 5* reviews from many critics and certainly lived up to the reviews. The performance was a real masterpiece and although set in 1970s is extremely relevant to our lives today. The students demonstrated incredible commitment to make it into London despite heavy snow, with some of the students walking for up to 3 hours to meet at Tonbridge station! Everyone enjoyed a really entertaining and thought provoking play which had truly excellent production values.
A Level Dance and Musical Theatre students spent 4 amazing days in New York City over the half term break. Upon arrival the students got straight into their first masterclass at the Ripley Grier studios where they learnt the opening sequence from ‘A Chorus Line’ which they all loved! On day two students went to see the Statue of Liberty as well as the haunting 9/11 Memorial. After a quick slice of pizza it was on to another incredible workshop at the Pearl Studios to learn how to prepare successfully for auditions. This workshop was particularly valuable for the students wanting to pursue a career in the industry. Dinner was then at Ellen Stardust which is a dining experience like no other where Broadway stars perform for you whilst you eat a yummy dinner! Needless to say the students didn’t want to leave and were up dancing most of the evening. On the Sunday it was time for the students to visit two of the most iconic dance studios in the world and experience another two amazing masterclasses. The day begun at the Alvin Ailey Studios and ended at the Martha Graham studios. The day was then finished off with a trip to the theatre to see Kinky Boots! The final day was all about the shops! Students had such fun looking around and buying souvenirs. As well as the shops the students visited the Empire State building, Grand Central Station, Rockafeller Center, Radio City Music Hall and Central Park. All in all, an amazing trip!
Stars in their Eyes
Our annual ‘Stars in their Eyes’ concert, this year featured a ‘Back to the 80s’ theme. There was definitely an energy in the air as the performers took to the stage with a 6-piece live band, awesome lighting, makeup and costumes to deliver some knock-out performances. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of talented singers and professionalism shown by our students. It is a joy to work in an environment where the arts are respected and supported and we would like to thank all the staff that have supported us, as well as the audience who bought tickets to see the show.
The Grant Museum and the British Museum, London.
If you do not know the Grant Museum of Zoology, it is a wonderful…yet macabre wunderkammer of a museum full of animal skeletons and specimens in jars and cases. The students were awestruck by the incredible range of specimens…some of which are now extinct…a timely reminder of the damage that we have an are inflicting on our delicate planet. The year 12 students are working on a project called ‘Witness: Art, Animals and Us’. We are planning to enter their work for the Turner Contemporary Portfolio Competition. In the afternoon we went on to the British Museum on a quest for representations of animal across time and culture. The students worked amazingly hard and produced excellent drawings.
Flow’ Exhibition, Tonbridge School
Year 12 Fine Art students visited the Old Big School Gallery at Tonbridge School on Thursday morning. They were given an very informative interactive seminar by Sarah Pointon (Gallery Educator). The ‘Flow’ exhibition is really interesting; it presents artworks that are informed by process and manipulation of media, materials and space. The students were really engaged in discussion and visual exploration, understanding the subtleties of the work, which they found to be quietly challenging. A particularly interesting piece is the video by Solveig Settemsdal, which raises the question of what a drawing actually is…can a video be a drawing? (Answer yes, it won the Jerwood drawing prize in 2016…hmm or maybe it is a sculpture?). On returning to Hillview one of the classes immediately set about responding to the vitality of the exhibition in their own work. Just in case they are wondering 12B will be doing this next week!
We had two exciting events in Art & Design this week. On Wednesday international video and projection designer Nina Dunn took time out of her busy schedule to run a workshop for our students. Nina explained how her career in theatre and live events developed, introducing the students to the exciting possibilities of video and projection design as a future career path. The students were then introduced to creative exploration with light and projection. They really enjoyed and became engrossed in their light and image experiments. I do hope they realise how lucky they are to have such exciting input into their art education. You can see some of the spectacular things that Nina does on her website: https://somethinggraphic.net
Neonatal Visit to Health and Social Care students.
Year 12 Health & Social Care students recently received a visit from the Neonatal Sister at Pembury Hospital, who spoke to our students about her role and responsibilities. She gave an insight into the reality of working for the NHS in a caring capacity and how the 6Cs (Care, Compassion, Communication, Competency, Commitment, Courage) were recommended following the Francis Report after the investigation into Mid-Staffordshire Hospital.
Students watched a video made by a parent and heard the events, as written by the mother, accompanied by her photographs, of twins born at 26 weeks. There were clothes to fit very premature babies, blood pressure cuffs (as in the photograph) and feeding tubes to help visualise and imagine the size and needs of these very vulnerable babies.
Our students found it very informative and gave excellent feedback, including that they were now considering a career in nursing.
Our congratulations go to all of our students, who have worked incredibly hard to achieve their grades, particularly to: Adil Azim; Applied Science Dist*, IT Dist*, Business Studies C, Megan Brown; Biology A, Core Maths A, Psychology A, Drama B, Hannah Coulstock Deputy Head Girl; Business A*, Biology B, AS Maths B, Maths C, Carys Hatcher; Health & Social Care Dist*, Dist, Applied Science Dist, Childcare A, Phoebe Horn Student voice Leader; Dance A*, Drama A, English Lang & Lit B, Lucy Smith; Dance A*, Performing Arts Dist*, Drama B and Kelsey Sowerby Head Girl; English Lang & Lit A*, Fashion Dist*, Media Studies A, Classical Civilisation B.
Headteacher Hilary Burkett commented “I am delighted by the success of this fantastic year group, who have always shown high levels of maturity and commitment, they truly do deserve their outstanding results. Our students wouldn’t be able to achieve these levels of success without the passion and dedication of our fantastic staff or wonderfully supportive parents. This success belongs to all members of the Hillview community”.
The 2nd September marked a special occasion for The Hillview Sixth Form. Following a student competition in March 2016, the successful designers: Phoebe Horn, Kelsey Sowerby and Megan Brown, together with their parents, saw their designs turned into reality at the opening of the new Sixth Form facilities. The areas which include: a Sixth Form café/social space; large student centre, including its very own ‘snug’, library and ICT suite with PCs and MACs, have been redeveloped in a clean, smart, modern style to offer dedicated facilities to the 250 strong student body within the Sixth Form. Evie Webb, an Art Ambassador and Year 13 student at the school, designed a striking geographic motif which now defines the Sixth Form area from the rest of the school. Evie, along with younger sister Grace, mum and friends, gave up their time in the holidays to turn the design into reality.
Mrs Burkett commented “It is essential that our students have access to facilities to enable them to study independently, work with their peers and relax. All the students involved did an incredible job and created fully functioning Sixth Form areas. I am so proud of what they have achieved, for the benefit of their peers and future Hillview Sixth Form students. These facilities will support the ongoing high achievement of our students in the future.”
The new facilities were opened by Tom Tugendhat MBE MP and long-standing friend of Hillview,
“I was delighted to open Hillview’s newly refurbished Sixth Form area. This will give the elder students at the School greater independence this year as they make the transition from GCSE studies to A Levels. Hillview School for Girls takes pride in being a place where students want to study, and impressive facilities such as these help cement their reputation in the community.
“The work of staff, and also the students involved who gave up their summer holidays to contribute is incredibly worthwhile and I know the space they created will be used and appreciated by sixth formers for years to come.”
Hillview Sixth Form are proud to announce the continued success of their students at A Level, with around 50% achieving the top A*-B grades or equivalent and over 75% achieving A*-C grades. Hillview students’ outstanding achievement in Visual and Performing Arts was mirrored across a wide breadth of subjects, particularly in the Science and Social Sciences.
Amongst the many successes across the student body, particular congratulations go to: Rachel Rose, who followed on from her success in winning Young Fashion Designer of the year by securing Drama A*, Fashion Distinction*,Media A and Jennifer Rowan who achieved Psychology A*, English Lit A , History B, Extended Project B. After a successful year on the student leadership team, our Head Girl Juliette Green and Deputy Head Girls Naomi Green and Florence Fanthome-Hodgson shared in outstanding results, collectively achieving 2 Distinction*; 1 A*; 2 As ; 3 Bs and 1 C.
Headteacher Mrs Hilary Burkett stated: “Our students have shown incredibly high levels of commitment to their studies and to the school as a whole; today they are receiving the rewards for their hard work and dedication. It is a real pleasure to see so many students succeed and be able to move on to their chosen career paths and universities with a good set of grades in their back pockets”.
The event, which was organised by Hillview’s Music department, featured a wide range of songs, including those from Adele, Pink and Rhianna. Some students even wrote their own songs to perform on the evening, whilst many students provided their own musical accompaniments – from guitar to keyboard and drums.
Many of the songs chosen this year had a soul/acoustic element and students really delighted the audience with their stunning vocal ranges and polished performances. The quality of students’ musicianship, singing and talent was exceptional.
Councillor Owen Baldock, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, who attended the show said ‘What a fantastic evening – amazing talent!’
Rhiannon Williams and Hannah Etheridge presented the show and kept the audience entertained throughout with their witty repertoire between acts, as well as performing several times themselves.