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Creative Arts

Our programme of extra-curricular artistic pursuits provides pupils with a rounded education, igniting their passions whilst bringing creativity to life!

Every Senior School pupil participates in timetabled Art and Design, Drama and Music lessons from Transitus year, while more then 80% of learners go on to select at least one of these subjects from National 5 level onwards.

Away from these daily lessons, our programme of creative arts provides pupils with so many exciting opportunities that not only enhance their in-class learning but also showcase the talents of our aspiring artists, performers and musicians!

From regular musical ensemble performances at important School events to exhibitions of incredible artwork and lauded annual dramatic productions in the Senior Drama Studio, our extra-curricular creative arts offering is enjoyed by hundreds of pupils each year.

Senior School

Art

Pupil in Senior Art lesson

Our aspiring artists enjoy creating within our inspiring, light filled, double storey studio that opens out on to an attractive external courtyard.

Pupils quickly build a bond with the department, with many Higher and Advanced Higher pupils dedicating extra hours, away from timetabled lessons, to continue creating and working on portfolios.

Art and Design pupils put themselves out there, participating in a number of external competitions and attending external life drawing classes, while the department runs workshops and arranges talks from leading practitioners working in the field of fine art and design.

There are also short courses and extra-curricular clubs on offer, allowing pupils to enhance skills learned in class, our digital photography and pottery offerings proving extremely popular!

Our Art Department hosts a biannual art exhibition that showcases the incredible work of Senior School artists. Including pieces from each year group, our School community is invited to enjoy paintings, photography, textile designs and 3D sculptures from our talented pupils.

The exhibition is enhanced by the creation of delicious canapés, courtesy of our Health and Food Technology pupils, served to the soothing sounds of harmonious compositions from Senior School musicians.

It truly is not to be missed!

Senior School

Drama

Drama at the High School of Glasgow is a vibrant and inclusive activity, a creative outlet that aids the development of key skills amongst senior pupils.

Practical and academic lessons are scheduled from Transitus through to Second Year, covering all areas of theatre arts, with pupils able to pursue the subject to SQA qualification level and beyond. However, for a number of pupils, this simply isn't enough!

Our budding actors relish the chance to go beyond in-class learning as they tread the boards in acclaimed drama productions, unquestionably a highlight of the School calendar.

Following months of intensive rehearsals, including a residential weekend getaway for senior productions, spectacular performances entertain audiences over multiple night runs, with local elderly and care home residents invited to our dress rehearsals and opening nights. More intimate performances take place in our purpose built, 200 seater Drama Studio with professional light and sound rig, while large scale productions happen in our Senior Assembly Hall, that can house more than 700 guests.

From more intimate plays such as 'Men Should Weep' and 'Agatha Rex' to spectacular whole school performances of classics such as 'Lord of the Flies', our productions offer pupils the opportunity to shine, whether baring their soul on stage or giving their all behind the scenes.

Pupils write, direct, produce, design the set, organise the choreography, create the costumes, engineer the sound and control the lighting, working together to display the importance of teamwork while cultivating new and rewarding relationships.

Senior School

Music

Senior School musicians are committed to music-making, contributing significantly to the extra-curricular life of the School.

Curricular learning takes place within our impressive teaching spaces, fully equipped with keyboards, ukuleles, classical guitars and numerous other instruments, while those receiving one-to-one tuition learn within one of our 11 dedicated practice rooms. A large number of instruments are available within the department for pupils to borrow.

Many pupils begin specialist tuition during their time at Junior School before continuing to hone their skills in our Senior School setting. With a team of more than 25 full-time and visiting specialist music tutors, pupils have the option of learning to play one, or a number of instruments, with tuition available in the following instruments:

  • String - violin, viola, cello, double bass, acoustic guitar

  • Woodwind - flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone

  • Brass - trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba

  • Percussion - tuned percussion, drum kit)

  • Rock and Pop - electric guitar, bass guitar

  • Traditional Scottish - chanter/bagpipes, pipe band drumming, clarsach, accordion

  • Voice

  • Keyboard - piano, organ

Pupils may be presented for ABRSM, Trinity or Rock & Pop examinations that further their musical qualifications, while many actively participate in external music competitions that has led to recent success for senior soloists and ensembles on a national level.

Born to perform!

Senior School pupils simply cannot get enough of performing!

Our talented young musicians take part in numerous in-school ensembles including our acclaimed String Orchestra, Pipe Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble, amongst many more. For vocalists, our choral groups include Canto (for Transitus-S2 pupils), Intermediate, Senior and Chamber Choirs, catering to all abilities and skillsets. Regular rehearsal helps us perfect the art of teamwork, with our choirs and musical groups lighting up various School concerts and events.

Our musical productions are a long established tradition of High School life, as we show off the vocal talents of our musical cohort. Junior and Senior Musical performances are undoubtedly high points of each School session, entertaining thousands within the School community over multiple night runs. Recent performances have included spectacular interpretations of stage musicals 'West Side Story', 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Calamity Jane'.

Outwith the extra-curricular life of the School, and supported by the staff of our Senior Music Department, pupils go on to use their talent and experience in the wider world, performing with national choirs and orchestras. High School pupils participate each year with the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCOS) and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (NYOS), our budding musicians regularly making up more than 1/10th of the entire NYOS Junior Orchestra.