A love of the Arts
Nestled deep within the lush 22-hectare campus of Nambour Christian College is G Block, home to CAPA, the Creative and Performing Arts Department. On any given day you might see students setting up cameras and tripods to film a documentary, hear the sounds of a 5-piece rock band emanating from one of the 8 practice rooms, or watch several lithe bodies dressed in black choreographing a physical theatre scene. From early morning choir practices, to afterschool drama rehearsals, CAPA breathes passion and a love of the arts into the entire NCC community.
With ever expanding subject offerings in Media, Film & Television, Drama, Visual Arts, and Music, and state-of-the-art facilities, it’s easy to understand why CAPA classes are consistently filled to capacity. Known on the entire Sunshine Coast for their exceptional professional quality musical theatre productions, and excellence in achievement at annual Eisteddfod competitions, CAPA students have a clear knowledge of what is expected from them.
“We set our bar very high,” says acting-Head of Department, Judi Allen-Ankins, teacher and mother of former CAPA-kids!
“As a part of CAPA, students learn about going that extra mile and not falling short of their own expectations. It’s an important lesson for life – set the bar high and you can achieve anything, with a little extra effort and belief in yourself!”
It has been well documented, in a recent large-scale study by the University of Sydney, that students who spend high amounts of quality time in creative and performing arts subjects in school have higher school motivation, engagement in class, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.1 This is clearly evident amongst CAPA students who seem to have that “X-factor”.
“We have all sorts of students participating in CAPA subjects, with all sorts of gifts and abilities. CAPA kids are creative and love being involved in a number of things!”
It’s not unusual to see CAPA students participating in multiple school-wide and community functions simultaneously – from Open Day and Grandparent’s Day performances, to leadership conferences, elite level athletics and music competitions, and advanced academic classes. Whether it be upfront in the limelight or behind the scenes painting sets for the musical, running the light and sound board for Shakespeare performances, or assisting with costumes and program design, the talents of CAPA students enrich the entire college campus.
The CAPA staff, a group of passionate, dedicated teachers, consists of Judi Allen-Ankins (Drama, Music), Anita Arnold (FTVNM), Samantha English (Drama), David Hadley (Art), Jenny Keogh (Media), Ross Miller (Drama), Dalton Schloss (Art, Music), Renae Stanley (Music), Trisha Walkden (Music), and Shari Hall (Teacher Assistant). In addition to class time, you’ll see CAPA staff before school, afterschool, lunch hours, morning tea times, and weekends. They are devoted and dedicated above and beyond the call of duty.
“We really go that extra mile to get that something special out of our students. It’s something we are all prepared to do, especially when we see the wonderful result at the end of it.”
With the continuing growth and development of the Primary Arts Department, lead by Belinda Eracleous and Liz Chamberlain, as well as the Instrumental Music Department, lead by Phil Smith and assisted by Danielle Burns, students at NCC are encouraged to blossom creatively from a very early age. By Grade 6, many are auditioning for the bi-annual musical. Many are being cast in lead roles, like little Ruby Lanham, who secured the role of ANNIE in the most recent NCC production. Children are encouraged to simply get their feet wet and try something new! To all those who have never previously participated in the performing arts before, Mrs. A says,
“Have a go! There’s lots of opportunities to get involved! You never know when you are going to find that extra something to love about you and your life. You’ll meet great people, you’ll be working as a team, and you’re going to be so richly fulfilled and happy just to do something different!”
Once a student joins the CAPA family, they are part of it for a lifetime. CAPA Alumni regularly return to the spontaneously fun staff room, often greeted by a water pistol or a nerf gun. They come to ask, “How can I help?” with the next CAPA event, or simply just to say hello and receive a laugh and a smile. There is a lot of heart in the CAPA Department, and from that continuous outpouring of love, great achievements are born.
1. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 105(3), Aug 2013, 709-727.