It is widely recognised that we receive by far the majority of our experience and knowledge of the world around us through visual means, through images that define, images that explain and images that express. Our subjects are about how this visual experience of the environment around us can be personally expressed and individually studied.
Visual Arts and the Photography and Digital Media subjects are offered as elective subjects from year eight through to year twelve following the completion of the mandatory hours in year seven.
At James Fallon High School students are fortunate to have all the facilities necessary for the study of these subjects in one area of the school. This enables unprecedented sharing of expertise and materials across and between classes, especially in Stages 5 & 6. Our school has a strong tradition in Visual Arts and broad representation in local, State and Nationally oriented exhibitions and competitions.
In the digital media subjects, all aspects of photography and image making are available to students, from the fascinating traditions and processes of ‘wet’ photography through to the increasingly sophisticated, engaging and challenging areas of digital still and video imaging.
The study of our subjects can lead to myriad careers and further study at all tertiary institutions in Australia. Past students have gone on to many related areas from working in Graphic Design, Media Studies and Television production to running a large advertising agency in London.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Performing Arts at JFHS includes the Rock Eisteddfod, the biennial Musical, opportunities to attend the Riverina and State Dance Festivals and participation in local and regional events.
In the last nine years James Fallon has produced ‘In your Dreams’ , ‘Bye Bye Birdie’, ‘Oliver’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Every second year a student company is formed that finances and produces the show. Students from Years 7 to 11 in every part of the school are encouraged to take part. It is great fun for the students, especially the last night when huge energy and adrenalin kick in to push the show to great heights.
James Fallon also enters the Biting Dog Theatre Festival which is run by Hothouse Theatre on the Lincoln Causeway between Albury and Wodonga. This is a schools’ festival where students get assistance to perform on a professional stage with industry professionals to help. Traineeships are also available for Stage Managing, Lighting, Sound and Media Promotion.
Wakakirri is a very significant part of the Creative and Performing Arts Faculty at JFHS with around 150 students and their teachers rehearsing during sport for three terms to prepare for the performance.
The aim of Wakakirri is to teach students about themselves and others through creating and sharing stories and by this process develop students’ educational outcomes, lifestyle choices and community awareness. A great story can change the way people think about the world around them and Wakakirri gives schools the opportunity to do just that. Each year, hundreds of schools across Australia create Story-Dances for Wakakirri that reflect their students’ thoughts, ideas and aspirations. These stories are performed in professional theatres in front of the official ‘Wakakirri Panel’ who are searching for the ‘Story of the Year’. Over 1 million people watch these performances each year.
During Year 7 all students do the Mandatory Music Course. During this time they will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for active engagement and enjoyment in performing, composing and listening.
Learning to read music is done mainly though performance work – using the information being learnt. To start Year 7 the classes learn the recorder and then progress to guitar and then to keyboards. A variety if listening activities reflect tops covered in Year 7 such as Sound, The Orchestra and Australian Music.
Students are then offered the opportunity to further develop their skills in Years 8 – 10 Elective classes if they wish to do so. Music is also a subject that can be undertaken as part of the Higher School Certificate Course.
Drama is studied at James Fallon High School in years 8 to 12. Studying Drama is a great way to learn and have fun at the same time. Students can study a wide variety of forms such as mask, puppetry, clowning, physical theatre, small screen drama and improvisation. Styles studied include Realist, Melodrama, Theatre of the Absurd, Brecht, Elizabethan, Commedia dell’Arte, Greek and Modern American.
All students perform whether for their own class, other classes in the school, for parents and friends, in the Biting Dog Theatre Festival and for our feeder primary schools. There have been regular class plays and showcase evenings. Students from Drama participate in the biennial Musical and in the Rock Eisteddfod.
Each year students are invited to attend the Riverina Drama Camp held in Wagga in Term 2. Three senior students are invited to the State Drama Camp in Term 3.
- Dance involves the development of physical skill as well as aesthetic, artistic and cultural understanding.
- Learning in dance and learning through dance enables students to apply their own experiences to their study of dance.
- They learn to express ideas creatively as they make and perform dances, and analyse dance as works of art.
- They think imaginatively and share ideas, feelings, values and attitudes while physically and intellectually exploring the communication of ideas through movement.
- The school has a magnificent, brand new, fully equipped studio, specifically designed accommodate Dance and Drama. The school is also the Management Centre for the Riverina – Albury District Dance Ensembles.