The creative and performing arts become choice based in the Senior School, with Grade 10 students typically selecting two arts courses for the year. We also offer Group 6 arts in the IB Diploma Programme which students can elect to take regardless of whether they pursue the full IB Diploma or our Enriched Pathway to graduation.
Our students have access to incredible specialist spaces to pursue their artistic endeavours such as our Upper School Design and Makerspace, Theatre, Black Box, Film Studio, and Dance Studio. Well-equipped and purpose-built, these spaces, coupled with guidance from expert faculty, provide environments for our students to gain deep knowledge and skills while their artistic expression to flourishes.
In Grade 10, visual arts becomes an elective course where students hone their skills through 2D, 3D, new media, and collaborative projects. Our choice-based curriculum allows them to further develop their individual artistic voice through critical investigation, the creative process, reflection, and critique. For those who would like to continue to Diploma Programme Visual Arts, MYP Visual Arts provides the foundation skills and frameworks for students to build upon and achieve success.
During their two-year Diploma Programme (DP), students engage in more creative ways of self expression, grow into more well-rounded individuals, and build creative confidence for the rest of their lives. In Grade 11 students focus on developing skills and pushing the boundaries in 2D, 3D, and new media while participating in rigorous critical investigation. Grade 12 students pursue a self-selected area of interest for their exhibition, which is the culmination of the course.
A major aspect of DP Visual Arts is investigating artwork. As such, students attend a multitude of field trips to see work firsthand at galleries and artists’ studios, and work alongside our Artist in Residence in our studio space. This exposure to the local arts scene stimulates engaging, purposeful investigation and provides students a unique entry point into their creative process and self-expression. Students act as emerging artists and gain momentum to create a coherent body of work for their exhibition in March of Grade 12. The opening of the show is a proud moment for young artists, their friends, family, and the entire Mulgrave community.
Students pursuing creative post-secondary opportunities are well-prepared to build their portfolios through the visual arts course and with the guidance of our teachers. Students are supported through the application process by our university counsellors and have successfully been admitted to top visual arts programmes including Emily Carr University of Art and Design, University of Arts London, The New School - Parsons School of Design, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, School of Visual Arts, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Rhode Island School of Art and Design, Cornell University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Southern California Institute of Architecture, Otis College of Art and Design, and Savannah College of Art and Design.
Design, new technologies, and the development of evolving systems touch all aspects of modern life including how we acquire information, communicate, interact with our environment, and respond to the world around us. Design encourages creative problem-solving that is human-centred through prototyping, experimentation, and adaptation.
Mulgrave students are expected to solve problems related to genuine local and global issues. Whether the issues revolve around the UN Sustainable Development Goals or culturally appropriate products, students in design learn to apply the design cycle in a creative, analytical, and productive manner.
Using a systematic approach, students conceptualise and evaluate ideas, turning them into tangible inventions, products, and solutions. The designer's role is to combine art, science, and technology to create new products or solutions that others can use. Digital tools such as 3D printers and CAD software facilitate this evolving role allowing designers to communicate, visualise, analyse, and produce tangible ideas in a way that would have required a greater workload in the past.
Two course options are available:
Design Robotics allows students to solve problems with the use of robotics. Students merge the use of the same design cycle they have used in Grades 6 to 9, with their knowledge of robotics systems to build and code robots, whilst considering topical global issues.
Students use their creative thinking skills to develop innovative, robotic solutions and hone their communication skills within design teams, digitally, and through their portfolios. A variety of robotic equipment helps students realise their realistic and useful designs through iterative development to enhance learning opportunities independently and collaboratively.
The Design General course allows students to deepen their understanding of the design cycle and also their ability to respond to our ever-changing, global environment. Students explore topical issues autonomously, applying a variety of material responses to manufacture appropriate and innovative solutions. They develop their critical and creative thinking skills to work both individually and within design teams, whilst extending their subject-specific knowledge.
Through their journey in the course, students can create professional ePortfolios that showcase their usage of the design cycle, including inquiry and analytical skills, development of new solutions, a range of manufacturing techniques, and higher-order evaluative thinking. Students will build on their experience from Grades 6-9 to extend their understanding of how to solve problems genuinely and meaningfully, reaching more people with their responses to each design context.
Film Studies 10 is an introductory class which prepares students for film in the IB Diploma Programme. Students develop a strong understanding of basic film/video composition skills and gain confidence in their own ability to create within this technical medium. This collaborative class allows for students to work as director, cinematographer, editor, and sound designer. Units range from narrative film and musicals to documentaries. Working with professional level equipment, students develop a range of skills. Lessons alternate between the classroom, professional film studio, and on location.
An important part of Middle Years Programme (MYP) Film is film history and understanding cultural contexts of films worldwide. Students explore a variety of genres and their evolution. They are asked to draw upon their own knowledge, skills, research, and experience in their evaluation of films from various eras and cultures.
In addition, this course puts a strong emphasis on life skills and collaboration, providing students with experiences that will go beyond the perimeters of this course, whether or not they decide to continue to pursue film studies in their senior years.
Diploma Programme (DP) Film provides students with a chance to study film and filmmaking from around the world, while learning the technical skills required to create their own film. With a production skills focus through 60% of the course, each class includes some aspects of the pre-production, production, and post-production processes. Students work together and independently to explore, experiment, and hone skills as writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and sound designer/editor. Through the creation of films, many students also learn about acting, art direction, and composition. This hands-on and skill-based course provides students real life experiences and challenges in regards to collaboration, social skills, self-management, project management, personal expression, and most of all, creative thinking.
In addition to the production skills that students develop, there is also a focus on artistic appreciation and understanding of film, both as a communication tool and an art form. Students explore cultural contexts of films, looking at their historical, geographic, and technological significance and investigate the messaging around economics, politics, social, and industry influence. Students study many film genres, film theory, and film movements, allowing them to discover their interests, understand films' role in culture, and analyse how film impacts society.
ZOOM is a BC-wide student film festival which Mulgrave has been running since 1999. Students from across the province are challenged to make a film based on a prop and theme in 48 hours. This dedicated weekend sees students from more than 40 schools challenge themselves to make the best film that they can in a very fixed timeline. Films are judged by a panel of professionals from the film industry and awarded over $75,000 worth of prizes and scholarships annually. The gala screening and awards night is a highly attended event complete with red carpet, photo wall, and all the glitz and glam that one would see with a film premiere.
As one of BC’s most prestigious student film festivals, teachers and students often claim that their best work comes out of this weekend in October. The focused time, need to meet a deadline, and collaborative spirit set this festival apart from many of the others.
More information and winning films are available here.
Grade 10 Theatre is a physical, fun and dynamic course which aims to further develop students’ confidence working creatively and collaboratively with others. Students will develop their understanding and abilities in the theatre arts through the exploration of six different areas of practice:
- Physical Theatre: using the work/method of the Frantic Assembly Theatre Company, students use movement and dance choreography to break down every interaction on stage into its essential movements and then rebuild it to deepen the storytelling.
- Advanced Vocal Skills: students learn how to improve verbal communication with different audiences by performing dynamic Shakespeare scenes tied to the English curriculum.
- Trestle Mask Skills: students are introduced to clowning and physical comedy, not only because it is fun but also because it requires them to step outside of their comfort zone and express themselves in a new and different way.
- Contemporary Playwriting: students stage 21st century plays that are of interest to them and through which they explore themes and issues that they see reflected in today’s society.
- Devising Theatre: students work in small groups to create their own plays about topics that speak to them personally.
- Theatre Design: by applying art, craft and film/photography skills to live performance, students have the opportunity to design the lights, costumes, set, and sound for group and individual pieces.
Students also create a full-scope, whole class performance each spring where all of these skills are tied together.
The study of theatre in the Diploma Programme (DP) is a wide-ranging examination of what it is to communicate, collaborate, and create in the 21st century. Students work on their feet, exploring ways in which we have shaped our collective conversations over thousands of years and across world cultures. Students hone a sense of where they fit within those conversations and consider how they might most effectively initiate change in the modern world.
Lessons are collaborative with major projects requiring students to produce portfolios, give presentations, and perform. There is no final written examination. Furthermore, there is no need to be an accomplished performer to achieve at the highest level; students will learn and develop through the course. There is a high degree of autonomy over the specific work that students do and there is huge scope for interdisciplinary study. Taking Spanish? We can cover Lorca. Really enjoy math? We’ll take in Complicite’s ‘A Disappearing Number’. Students also help choose the live theatre and performance events they’ll enjoy which are key to developing a critical eye. Indeed, it is this combination of flexibility of content and the study of essential communicative skills which make this theatre arts course such an excellent topic for discussion in any university application or interview.
Students complete the course not only with a firm grounding in the skills and techniques required for employment in the arts, but with a strong sense of how to express themselves, their beliefs, and their vision in the complex and crowded world of mediated communication.
Music 10 is a joyful, expressive, and engaging course that focusses on working independently and collaboratively to create and perform music from many genres, eras, and contexts around the globe.
Throughout the year, units may include:
- Rhythmic Compositions: students create short pieces for pitched and unpitched percussion in various musical styles.
- Creating Melodies: students learn how to create melody from various stimuli (text, motif, rhythm).
- Group Performing: students learn how to improve their collaboration skills and include their voice in group decision making, applying these skills to a live performance.
- Solo Performing: students continue to refine their performing skills, working in the genre, and with the instrument of their choice.
- World Music: students explore unfamiliar musical contexts as a listener, performer, and researcher.
- Recording: students learn how to apply art, craft, and film/photography skills to live performance.
Music study in the Diploma Programme (DP) is a rich exploration of creating, performing, and researching diverse musical genres from contexts around the globe. Students’ work in this course is process and evidence-based, where the emphasis is less on the final product, and more centered around the ability to experiment with and discuss new musical contexts and ideas and bring them to a point of artistic fruition.
Students work both collaboratively and on their own to collate folios that demonstrate their growth as a creator, presenter, and contemporary music maker; there is no final recital or examination. Students do not need to be an accomplished performer in order to achieve at the highest level, they will learn and develop through the course. Students will have a high degree of choice over the projects they embark on, and there is huge scope for interdisciplinary study both within the arts and beyond. As a class, students decide which music performances they will attend throughout the two years to help to inform their own creative decisions.
Students complete the course with a rich understanding of music and its role in many different contexts and genres. In addition, they gain performance skills that transfer to presentations in any context as well as a deep understanding of the creative process and how to develop and expand ideas into a final product. Students experience firsthand the joy, freedom, and self-accomplishment that comes alongside creative experimentation and expression.
Students can join ensembles through our co-curricular programme, before and after school. Participants develop their abilities, make new friends, and perform in all genres and styles. Groups perform at school concerts and some participate in local festivals such as Kiwanis in Vancouver and Con Brio in Whistler for senior choir and band. Offerings for Senior Schools students include choirs, bands, and strings.
Senior School students participating in the Grade 10-12 production are invited to enjoy original choreographic works, created specifically for their unique roles. Students have agency in their learning and are involved in opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and choreographic input. Learning opportunities are relevant to their interests and differentiated to each student, allowing for challenging and rewarding experiences. Emphasis is placed on performance skills essential for both individual and group dance pieces, such as timing, musicality, synchronicity, projecting to an audience, body language, stage directions, transitions, and expression.
Senior School Dance Ensemble allows for two unique dance opportunities. Students may partake in either Rehearsals and Repertoire, the Contemporary Fusion class, or both. Rehearsals and Repertoire hosts rehearsals for dance in the Senior School production as well as a range of new choreography. Contemporary Fusion class encompasses warm-up, centre work, across the floor technique, and choreography. Contemporary technique will be used as a base, providing a platform to incorporate elements of multiple genres, including lyrical, jazz, and hip hop.