Specialist Visual & Performing Arts
The Specialist Visual and Performing Arts (SVAPA) course at Mount Lawley Senior High School blends the 4 Arts forms of Drama, Media, Music and Visual Arts. SVAPA is a community within the Middle and Senior School that continues throughout your secondary education.
It is unique in promoting excellence across the arts. It also provides ongoing pathways through the Middle and Senior School for students who want to enrich their learning through the development of arts ideas, skills and processes and creative and critical thinking.
Being in SVAPA means that you are able to be part of some extraordinary projects that link the Middle with the Senior School and with the broader community.
SVAPA students study the 4 Arts forms throughout Year 8 and 9. In Year 10 they are able to choose to follow their main arts' interests. They remain in SVAPA classes for the three years.
In Year 11 and 12 they would be expected to be part of our strong Senior School Arts' programmes.
They are able to audition for Certificate IV courses in Jazz and Classical Music at WAAPA @ ECU; Certificate III courses at TAFE in Art and Design and Arts Events Management while completing their Senior School studies. Students who have had interaction with the WAAPA and SOCA courses while in the SVAPA programme have a better chance to gain entry to prestigious Arts' programmes.
Arts courses are strong for ALL students at Mount Lawley Senior High School, but the arts culture and environment offered in SVAPA is about arts' learning that is based on contemporary arts practice of working in multiple art forms and developing an aesthetic awareness on a practical and philosophical level.
All this is above and beyond the rich Middle School learning community provided at Mount Lawley Senior High School .
History of the SVAPA Program
The first students entered the SVAPA programme in 2001. These students have now graduated and were the award-winning Music, Drama, Media and Visual Art students. Their initiative, creativity and commitment models the benefit of an education with an arts' foci.
In 2003 the programme was recognised by the Department of Education as a specialist course and since 2005 we have recruited students across the metropolitan area.
One student from each feeder primary school will be offered a scholarship toward their fees.
Combined Arts Focus
The particular aspect of the specialist arts programme at Mount Lawley Senior High School is that it provides a broad-based arts course, requiring the students to participate in the 4 arts areas of Drama, Media, Music and the Visual Arts.
All students take all 4 arts in Year 8 and Year 9. In Year 10 students may specialise their arts' interest as a pathway into Senior School Visual and Performing Arts' courses.
In both Years 8 and 9 there is opportunity to work in a combined arts focus.
SOCA @ SVAPA
In the past students from Year 9 & 10 SVAPA have been working with students from the School of Contemporary Arts at ECU under the direction of their lecturer on a joint project. It is a wonderful, ongoing learning experience for our SVAPA students.
Community Arts' Festivals
We encourage involvement in community festivals such as the Maylands Earth & Fire Festival and the Awesome Children's Arts Festival. Artists work with the students and teachers to develop the projects.
Year 8 & 9 SVAPA classes attend an annual camp in the fourth week of the year at Point Walter. This is to allow the two groups to work together and to introduce the Year 8s into the 4Arts' flavour of the SVAPA course. The teachers and the students develop creative arts' practice and friendship.
It is valuable to maintain and extend the link between the two year groups and every month there is a small project of an extracurricular (even extraterrestrial) nature.
Artz with Attitude is the annual MLSHS arts' festival. It has a Senior School focus with the school production, the art exhibition, music soiree and Echidna film awards.
At the end of the year we have been paving the way for an arts' festival with a multicultural flavour. The SVAPA offerings will be part of this celebration.
Year 10 SVAPA students will also develop performance, exhibition and screenings and a polymedia project as a forerunner of the Year 11 YOCA Festival.
Youth Original Contemporary Arts (YOCA) is a MLSHS Arts' initiative for Year 11 students and for students from other schools. It involves ECU pre-service teachers and artists from SoCA.
Senior School Opportunities
Success in Senior School arises from interest, developing excellence and a joy of learning that is nurtured by the SVAPA pedagogy. We offer visual and performing arts' courses in Year 11 & 12. Since 2003 Certificate courses at TAFE and at ECU have given students some very exciting options. Certificate 3 Design courses and a proposed Events Management course are offered at TAFE and Certificate 4 Jazz and Classical courses in conjunction with WAAPA are available at ECU.
Selection Process for SVAPA
1. A portfolio which includes:
SVAPA Portfolio Requirements
An A4 booklet which includes the following:
- Cover page with name, photograph, address, phone number and attending primary school
- Handwritten letter in which the student explains why they want to join the SVAPA program at MLSHS.
- Copy of most recent school report
- 2-4 pages of creative work which could include: photographs of visual art, dance, performance, musical experience, examples of creative writing.
The booklet will be returned after the selection process is complete in August. The handwritten letter is retained by the school.
- School reference requested from class teacher to be sent from the primary school directly to:
Dr Dale Irving
Mount Lawley SHS
65 Woodsome Street
Mount Lawley 6050
2. Drama Workshop: all candidates take part in a workshop which will demonstrate their ability to work with others and their performance capacity.
3. Music Test: aural test, no previous experience necessary, simply aptitude not ability.
4. An interview with student and parents may be requested.