Making Creative Careers a Reality
Careers in creative subjects can only come about through a passion for getting involved in a hands-on kind of way. At Richard Lander School, we encourage our young students to do just this.
I would argue that the transferable skills that students learn from their Creative Arts lessons such as empathy, listening, co-operation, creative thinking and team working are skills to set you up in any job really. In the Drama department we have a team of actors, designers and technicians who patiently learn the ropes as they come up in the classroom and through annual school shows. The older students mentor and teach the younger students how to use the lighting and sound desks and set up for other school events such as concerts and presentations. Staff are very reliant on our student team and although they are supervised at all times, these students work independently and have ownership over the work.
A number of these students have gone on to study the events management course at Truro College and they are now out in the world with successful careers as sound and lighting technicians all over the country. Our music students have the opportunity to study the Music Technology course here as a Btech, which is very industry-based. They visit recording studios, work with singer/songwriters and set up and perform at gigs. We have regular art workshops with visiting artists and this leads to our students’ work being exhibited in local galleries and at Falmouth university. We have won numerous prizes at competitions both locally and nationally. For some students this is the first time they (or their parents) have ever walked into gallery. To see their work displayed in a professional setting prompts them to ask themselves if this is something they see themselves doing in the future.
We are a rural school and it is vital to get our students out of Cornwall to enable them to realise there is a land of opportunities in creative careers. We facilitate this through regular trips to theatres and galleries, as well as an annual London trip to visit exhibitions, experience a backstage theatre tour and watch a West End show. I love to see our students watch the vast teams of people at work shifting set in the National Theatre for instance. It is moments like these when they see people being paid for the job they love to do.
All of these opportunities only come about because we have a team of passionate specialist practitioners as Art, Drama, Music, Photography, Dance and Textiles teachers. Their rich breadth of knowledge is imparted to the students to ignite a passion for the arts. This is reflected in a broad Creative Arts curriculum and through the extra-curricular activities we offer too. I love getting letters from ex- students who are now working as professional actors, TV producers, directors, designers, technicians and musicians. I am so proud of them and all they have achieved.
Richard Lander School are a platinum-awarded Artsmark school. To find out more about Artsmark, visit the page here.