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The Department of Education recognizes the importance of dance, both as an art form and as a teaching strategy to enhance learning. Through movement, the most fundamental mode of human expression and non-verbal communication, students have the opportunity to participate in a way that differs from any other area of learning.
New understandings, since the mid-1980s, about how students learn have led to an increased interest in dance, and indeed, in all of the arts. Dance, because of its inherent ability to actively engage students emotionally, physically, intellectually, imaginatively, aesthetically, and socially, is recognized as a way of creating a learner-centered approach to curriculum. Moreover, dance, like other arts disciplines, provides students with ways of knowing and expressing ideas, perceptions and feelings.
The Dance 11 curriculum guide (1999) responds to this renewed interest in dance and provides a learning outcomes framework. Dance education provides students with opportunities to:
- appreciate the art of dance
- develop physical awareness and expression
- develop healthy attitudes by encouraging the integration of mind and body
- develop and apply creative and critical thinking skills
- communicate information, ideas, understanding, emotion
- develop self-motivation and enhance self-esteem through performance
- appreciate the role of community
- develop co-operation with and respect for others through knowledge and understanding of dance in world cultures
- acquire skills and attitudes for lifelong involvement in dance as a career for recreation
(Excerpts taken from Dance 11, 1999)
Drama 10, 11 & 12
The Department of Education has long recognized the importance of drama, both as an art form and as a teaching strategy to enhance learning. The use of role playing and dramatization have, for some time, been encouraged within programs such as English language arts and social studies.
New understandings, about how students learn have led to an increased interest in drama and, indeed, in all arts. Drama, because of it inherent ability to actively engage students emotionally, physically, intellectually, imaginatively, aesthetically, and socially, is seen as a way of creating a learner-centered approach to curriculum. Moreover, drama, like other arts disciplines, provides students with a way of knowing and expressing ideas, perceptions, and feelings.
The Drama 10 and 11 curriculum guide (1999) responds to a renewed interest in drama, and lays a framework for further drama studies. The curriculum is comprised of four components: foundation, movement, speech, and theatre. Drama 12: Theatre Arts draft curriculum was also made available in 2009.
Opportunities for students to share and to present their work are provided throughout the program, just as aspects of theatre may be shared at various points in the program. However, the theatre component enables students to bring together all of their learnings in drama and theatre in the development of a theatre piece or script. The theatre component in Drama 10 involves work in collective creation, which is the development of an original script by students using research, discussion, and improvisation. The theatre component in Drama 11 includes scene creation, working with script forum theatre, and drama symphony.
(Excerpts taken from Drama 10-11, 1999)
New to Rankin School for 2010-2011 is a Core Gaelic offering from Grades 4-9. This involves co-teaching to support the infusion of Gaelic in Grades 4-6 in co-curricular settings & in Gr. 7, 8 & 9 English & Healthy Active Living 9 with hands on workshops in various Celtic cultural topics geared to different age groups.
Mira Road Elementary School was the recipient of a Gaelic Grant in 2008 and have used this grant for music, drama and Gaelic being infused throughout the curriculum. In the spring of 2010 a black-light Gaelic drama production was performed.
Community Gaelic Arts was a locally developed program being offered to students at Rankin Memorial School in Iona is teaching students the Gaelic language through music, song, dance and story telling. While Gaelic courses are taught in other parts of Cape Breton, this course is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia allowing students to take their compulsory arts credit through cultural studies.
Community Gaelic Arts was designed by Rosemary McCormack, well known Gaelic scholar and teacher, and Eric Favaro, former Arts Education Consultant of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. The course was offered in Grade 10, and to provide students with a background before entering the program, a Gaelic language course is offered to Grade 9 students. Community Gaelic Arts is currently under review.
Students have opportunities to present Gaelic traditions through music and drama presentations in the school and in the community. In addition, the students complete a number of projects which bring them closer to their roots, and give them a greater appreciation for the culture and language of the early Gaels.
The Department of Education and Culture has developed a Grade 11 course entitled Gaelic Cultural Studies, and this was piloted at Rankin Memorial during the 1999-2000 school year. The course was developed by a group of teachers from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board and the Strait Regional School Board.
Currently Gaelic 10, Gaelic 11 and Gaelic 12 (2008) are all available courses registered with the NS Department of Education.
For more information contact Rankin Memorial School, 725-2210
Throughout history, music has provided processes that nurture personal growth and celebration of the universal connections among individuals. Music enables learners to know themselves, experiences the natural and created worlds, and create dynamic new worlds in ways that are both personal and global, real and magical.
The development of aesthetic awareness is intrinsically related to learning in, through, and about music. However, music also provides for the development of a broad range of cognitive, language, personal, and social skills.
The fundamental belief that underlies this curriculum is that music provides a range of unique experiences for all students and that are essential for their development. The implication for schools is that they must devote time and resources to music at all levels, the goal being to enable students to experience a broad range of cumulative music experiences in a regular, planned and coordinated way.
There are a variety of ways to achieve the outcomes for music: through classroom music experiences, instrumental music including band and orchestra, and choral music. A well-rounded program at all levels provides opportunities in a range of musical activities for students, and allows them to develop skills and techniques in all aspects if music making.
Music P-6 (2001) provides a practical resource for music education curriculum that may be used as a resource for learning and teaching. It provides a framework within which teachers, learners and others work collaboratively in the learning community may make decisions concerning learning experiences, instructional techniques and assessment strategies. It reflects an integrated view of learning.
(Excerpts taken from Music P-6)
Music 7 & 8 (2010) along with Band 7 & 8 (2010) are new curriculum providing students opportunities to continue in music whether they take the "band" route or use other musical venues to continue their students. Music 7 & 8 contain modules which include guitar and world drumming units, as well as others. These are currently being implemented in some of our schools.
Music 10, Music 11, and Music 12 (2005) provide opportunities to students who wish to continue music making and performance in traditional instrumental or choral settings. Music 10 may also provide opportunities to students with limited or no prior music training to take Music 10 as an arts credit. Some schools have achieved this by offering entry-level band, choral programs, popular music using guitar and/or percussion, and other schools have locally developed courses such as Traditions of Music in Cape Breton. Advanced Music 11/12 (2007) is also being piloted in some schools for students wishing to further their musical education.
Art has nourished our intellectual, social, aesthetic, and emotional development since ancient times. Through the visual arts, people communicate their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and hopes. Examination of traditional and contemporary artworks helps us to understand history, culture and society. Visual arts are unique and often unpredictable. Visual arts provide opportunities for students to learn and express themselves in ways not always possible in other subject areas.
Experiences in visual arts enable students to think critically, imagine, and express their individual spirits. These experiences enable learners to know themselves, to experience the natural and created worlds, and to create and understand new worlds in ways that are personal and global, real and imagined.
Visual Arts P-6 (2000) offers a practical framework for visual arts curriculum that may be used as a resource for learning and teaching in and through visual arts. It provides guidelines upon which teachers, administrators, students, and others working collaboratively in the learning community may base decisions about learning experiences, instructional techniques, and assessment strategies. It reflects an integrated view of learning.
(Excerpts taken from Visual Arts P-6, 2000)
Visual Arts 7 & 8 (2010) are currently being implemented at the junior high level. These curriculum units are designed in modular pieces which enable the teacher to tailor the instruction to the student interest and scheduling times.
Visual Arts 10, 11, 12 (2005) is currently available as draft curriculum. The three main curriculum strands in the Visual Arts program consist of 1) creating, making and presenting, 2) understanding and connecting contexts of time, place, and community, and 3) perceiving and responding.
Advanced Visual Arts 11/12 (2007) is also being piloted in some schools for students wishing to further their arts education along with a locally developed course Digital Art 12 (2007) which focuses on using PhotoShop in the digital arts.