Clubs and performances
We run a wide range of Music, Dance and Drama clubs, and these lead to regular performances throughout the year within school and in the wider community. These include the Hastings Holocaust Memorial service, Senior Citizens Christmas concert, Our Town Dance Festival, Spirit of Youth Festival, AAA Arts Festival and Academy Open Evenings.
Ark Alexandra is renowned for putting on high quality dramatic and musical productions. We produce regular showcase performances modelling the outstanding dance and drama being created by our students. We produce regular whole school productions including our annual musical. This year’s musical All Shook Up involved over one hundred students from every year group across the academy. Our annual Dance Show features a similar mix of students from across all year groups and showcases work of professional standard. We also take part annually in the National Theatre Connections programme which offers our students the opportunity to perform in professional theatres including Brighton Dome and Marlowe Theatre Canterbury.
Trips and workshops
We offer an innovative enrichment programme which allows students to engage with a range of cultural experiences. This year, students have taken part in high quality instrumental workshops run by East Sussex Music Service, and Jazz and Rhythm workshops from the Hastings Piano Festival. We have had professional dance workshops run by Hofesh Shechter. Trips have included Rambert Dance and Hofesh in London, Shakespeare’s Globe (Othello), White Rock Theatre (Blood Brothers), Stables Theatre (Treasure Island), Stratford East (I Think We are Alone), and a live streamed production of the RSC production of Romeo and Juliet. We also subscribe to Digital Theatre and National Theatre Live, which has allowed us to screen live theatre productions to our students to support their learning across the curriculum. These have included Macbeth (RSC), Things I Know to be True (Frantic Assembly), An Inspector Calls (BBC Productions), and Frankenstein (National Theatre).
Royal Shakespeare Company Associate School – Ark Alexandra has been awarded Associate School status with the RSC. This is a unique achievement offering a partnership with a national company. The programme develops the teaching of Shakespeare and aims to raise literacy standards across the curriculum.
Schools Connect Programme – The Associate School programme offers opportunities to connect with other schools across the region to support engagement with Shakespeare and deliver high level literacy teaching and learning in classrooms.
Shakespeare Festival – Spirit of Youth – Hastings and Rother Arts Education Network (HRAEN) have been awarded funding by Artswork and Hastings Opportunity Area to deliver an innovative festival programme of workshops and enrichment. This is a bold, creative programme initiated by HRAEN, and our Head of Performing Arts Mr Whitehead has been asked to lead the project.
Hofesh Shechter Hub School – Hofesh have secured funding from Hastings Opportunity Area Funds to develop a major dance project for the local community featuring schools from across the whole town. Hofesh Shechter are a leading international Dance company and have developed a unique partnership with Ark Alexandra who will be the main hub school for the project.
National Theatre Connections programme – Ark Alexandra has been selected to take part in the NT Connections programme, which means we shall be working in partnership with NT practitioners to produce an original commissioned play which will be performed at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.
Artsmark – Arts Council England Award – In 2019 we were recognised as an Artsmark Gold school and we are in the process of applying for Artsmark status for our new academy to celebrate the high-quality arts practice which is taking place across the curriculum and through our innovative enrichment programme. This will be a major programme which will touch all departments.
1066 Youth Theatre – We run an annual Summer Youth programme every August at The Stable Theatre in Hastings Old Town. This is a thrilling theatre project which is free to young people and provides a valuable enrichment for everyone involved. The programme is open to young people across Hastings and Rother. Many of our students participate in the project and the high-quality rehearsal and performance has supported their Drama skills development and raised the quality of their work in school.
Many of our Performing Arts students continue to train and work in the industry in many ways. Recent pathways include BIMM Brighton, Mountview Theatre School, Liverpool University, Chichester University Dance and Drama, BBC, Goldsmiths London, Central School of Speech and Drama, The Place (LCDT), Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, Guildhall, and Rose Bruford.
We maintain links with our alumni who regularly visit the academy to support and inspire our current students.