Non-Uniform Day Friday 14th November
A Mock the Week game show, lighthearted quizzes, 5-a-side football and a charity auction were among the highlights of 6th form events which took place in support of Children in Need. The school's tradition continued this year, where lower school raises money for local charities and 6th form donations to Children in Need. Many teachers and support staff joined the students in coming to school in a range of weird and wonderful outfits, from Scooby Doo to Superman and penguins to parcels. The Sixth Form Senate organised a range of activities throughout the week, including an auction with donations from around the town, which single handedly raised £650. Huge congratulations to everyone for their efforts.
Evita 25th - 29th November
Following on from the success of previous large scale school shows we have just over a month to go until this year's bold musical production, rehearsals are progressing well with a cast of students from Years 10 -13, with a fabulous support team of pupils working backstage to ensure this will once again be a truly memorable event..
Tickets are available through the main school office, please complete the order form and return it with a cheque in an envelope clearly marked with your child's name and form to the ticket box at reception.
Congratulations to Jack Bassham 7C, Evie Davis 7S, Oliver Peeters 7S, Maddy Boocock 8C and Maddy Colbourn 8C who took part in the Yorkshire heat of the International Kids' Lit Quiz, held at King James's School in Knaresborough on Tuesday 18th November 2014. We came an impressive 3rd place out of 25 local schools.
The Kids' Lit Quiz is an annual literature quiz for students aged 10 - 13 years. Quizzes are held in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, China, the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong. The winning team from each heat competes in a national final. National champions compete in the world final.
The quiz was founded by New Zealand quizmaster Wayne Mills, who reads enough books to write several thousands of questions each year. He has never asked the same question twice. Questions range from Who is the Caped Crusader? to What is the best selling book of all time? The author Martyn Bedford assisted at the event.
Hollywood Comes to St. Aidan's
Adi Granov, concept artist for Marvel Studios visited school to talk to students about his life and career. Originally from Bosnia, Adi studied in America and now lives in Ilkley. He has worked on films including Iron Man, Avengers Assemble and the Amazing Spiderman and is also well known for producing artwork for Marvel Comics.
He provided a highly entertaining and informative talk on the links between art and the movies and the creative processes that occur in order to bring stories to life on the big screen. Head of Art at St. Aidan's, Mr Matthews, commented "we are very privileged that Adi gave up his time to talk to students about his career. I am sure that many students were really motivated by his words." The session concluded with questions from the floor and the handing out of signed prints.
Music For Youth Festival Partnership
For many years now St Aidan's has regarded the National Festival of Music for Youth as a highlight of its musical year, with our flagship groups performing locally at a Regional Festival, often being invited to go on to the next stage, the National Festival in Birmingham, and frequently further being invited to the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. In recent years. St Aidan's has hosted a Regional Festival, with Mr Pallant, our Director of Music, as Regional Organiser. These festivals are a veritable feast of music-making, with musical groups from the whole region, as far afield as Hull and Teesside, performing in the school's Constance Green Hall with helpful feedback being provided by professional musician mentors. This year we have been designated as a Music For Youth Festival Partner, giving us the status and encouragement to develop and innovate within our Regional Festival. Our Festival this year takes place on Saturday 14th March 2015, with free admission to come and hear the best in local youth music making. The line-up for our festival is already looking very exciting! The closing date for entries is December 8th, so if you know any local music groups who would like to take part, please direct them to www.mfy.org.uk for more details.
Success for Andrew
Andrew Mellor has obtained a much coveted place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for this academic year 2014-2015. Andrew has played the clarinet for eight years and was last year in the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain. He will join the renowned orchestra after Christmas, playing on a number of occasions including an appearance at the BBC Proms. This is a magnificent achievement and the whole school is proud of him.
National Stage Success
Four former St Aidan’s students are celebrating outstanding success. They all studied Drama & Theatre Studies at St Aidan’s before going on to places at different top-flight drama schools across the country.
From sixth form, Joel Pitts trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and under his stage name as Joel Benedict he is performing in the major role of Eddie Lyons in the latest production of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, which kicked off its full UK tour in Cambridge earlier this month.
Verity Kirk, who trained at RADA [Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts] is starring as Mary Warren in Arthur Miller’s epic, The Crucible, which begins a one month run at The West Yorkshire Playhouse at the end of September.
Matt Johnson, whose equity name is Matthew Coulton, has landed the key role of John Darling in the Christmas production of Peter Pan at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. Matt studied at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
James MacCallum is currently training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has been awarded the best actor of the year award at the end of his first year of training.
Fran Bray, Head of Drama & Theatre Studies at St Aidan’s and drama teacher for all four students, said "They were all actively involved in St Aidan’s theatre productions, as well as studying our formal Drama & Theatre studies course. Gaining a place at any of the top Drama Schools requires outstanding natural talent and the academic rigour of A Level qualifications in the subject. To then go on and secure major acting roles is a brilliant achievement."
The trio appeared in numerous productions at St Aidan’s and on stage together in Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, and The History Of Tom Jones. Their success is the latest in a long tradition of careers in the creative arts for former Aidan’s alumni. Another former student, James MacCallum, has just won ‘actor of the year’ for his stage craft at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and Pete Allison continues to win national awards as a radio DJ.
Fran continued, "At St Aidan’s we have a reputation for supporting students as they pursue a career in the performing arts, so it is fantastic when we see results like this. I’m so proud of all of them."