West Hill Fine Arts

 

WHAT DO WE OFFER?

The Arts department focuses on hands-on, experiential learning about a variety of disciplines in the arts. We offer classes from grade 9 to 12 in Instrumental Music, Visual Art, Media Arts, Dance, Drama, and beginning in 2021/2022: Integrated Arts. We have partnered with the STEM+ program to create more opportunities for artistic innovation and design. 


OUR CLASSES:

MUSIC

In grade 9 we offer two choices for music courses: Instrumental (AMI)  and Vocal Music (AMV). Normally instrumental music would focus on wind, brass and percussion instruments, but due to Covid 19, we have had to get creative. Our students learned various drumming styles, including drum line, West African drumming and bucket drumming. They also learned about film music, and sound editing. In Vocal Music students learned about songwriting and Music production, as well as the basics of playing guitar and the music industry. Our focus is on building practical skills, learning about musical careers in thriving industries such as film and video games and in learning how to write their own music. Students can take music from grades 9 to 12. 

VISUAL ARTS

In the Visual Arts department we focus on many different mediums, including drawing, painting, print-making, digital art and many others. We help students to develop visual literacy, problem solving, creativity and collaboration, which are important transferable skills. In junior level students will learn about art from an indigenous perspective through guest speakers and community partnerships. In senior level classes, we focus on portfolio building for those who are interested in pursuing Art in post-secondary studies. Students can take Visual Arts classes from grades 9 to 12.  

MEDIA ARTS

In Media Arts we teach students all about creating Art through digital media. Students learn through practical projects that introduce them to the basics of photography, photo editing, stop-motion animation and many other areas of digital media. We have a large Mac lab, where students can develop skills needed in many artistic careers in the modern world. Our students have contributed to our many video assemblies and special events throughout the year. Students can take Media Arts in Grade 10 and 11. 

DRAMA

In Drama students will learn different dramatic forms and techniques. In groups and individually, students will create pieces that are relevant to their lives and develop their communication skills and self-expression. They create performances for a variety of audiences, including our school assemblies and other community events. Students will learn how stories and dramatic works influence our everyday lives and practical applications for these skills, whether or not they pursue a career in the Arts. This year in Drama we have learned about choral speaking, radio play, script work and monologues. Drama students improve their collaboration, communication, creativity, problem solving and awareness of the needs of others. Students can take drama from grades 9 to 12.

DANCE

In Dance students will learn about movement and self-expression. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with others to create a variety of dance pieces, to learn about the rehearsal process and to develop their own style as dancers. They will experience a variety of different styles, different cultures and develop an appreciation for dance around the world. Our dancers participate in performances throughout the school year. Students can take Dance from grade 9 to grade 12. 

INTEGRATED ARTS

This course is an option for grade 9 students in the STEM+ program. It allows students to get an introduction into a variety of different art disciplines and to develop important skills such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. Students will create multimedia projects and learn how the Arts can tie in with traditional STEM fields. Students in the STEM+ program can take Integrated Arts in grade 9.

 

MISSION

To foster the creative and intellectual development of Scarborough youth through quality arts programs, led by arts professionals. Through collaboration, students develop the tools needed for greater success in the arts. This in turn, leads to greater success in other subject areas through inquiry, critical thinking and investigation. We believe that studying the Arts leads to more well-rounded, successful and confident students. All students deserve to have an education that includes the benefits of artistic leadership and education: developing their own works, supporting the work of others, learning to see the world through the artistic lens.  As skilled observers, they use their imagination and critical thinking to create in exciting, innovative ways.

 

COVID-19 SAFETY IN THE ARTS DEPARTMENT

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, we need the Arts more than ever. Our department is committed to providing Arts experiences for our students in a safe and caring environment. All of our Arts studios have access to sinks for frequent hand washing, hand sanitizer and room to allow space for each student. We have provided students with individual supplies, to reduce the risk of contamination and students have their own storage spaces for personal belongings in each class. In the Music classes, we are not singing or playing wind instruments. Instead we are focusing on percussion, guitar and music production. Students are staying safe, while still participating in meaningful Arts learning.