The purpose of the drama program at The Franciscan School is to provide nourishment for children’s imaginative life and develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of personal issues and a broader world view. Students will learn knowledge and skills in acting, performing, directing, theater history, use of body and facial expressions and vocal projection.
In grades three through five, students will learn the essential vocabulary and processes of theater through hands-on games and activities. In class, we will explore creating an ensemble, movement & space, creating ‘where’/ environment, character development, objectives & tactics (why?), developing focus/ concentration, utilizing voice, listening/ reacting, and understanding stage directions/ blocking. Finally, we will put it all together with a short in-class play presentation.
Drama becomes an elective in middle school and offers in-depth instruction on specific topics relating to theater. Some examples of electives offered include stage combat, movie making, audition technique, musical theater, Shakespeare, improvisation, speech and debate, and more!
Additionally, the school offers an opportunity for advanced theater students to become Junior Thespians, part of the International Thespian Society, a National Honor Society for theater. The International Thespian Society, part of the Educational Theater Association, offers membership to those middle school students who have earned enough points through their participation in school theater to join our Junior Thespian Troupe.
Junior Thespian Point System Summary:
- One point represents approximately 10 hours of excellent work.
- To become a Junior Thespian, a student must earn 5 points (the equivalent of 50 hours of excellent work). 3 of those points should be acquired at the school where they are to be inducted.
- Thespian membership is offered to all students who qualify. No student can be elected to the troupe, nor can a student be denied membership if all membership requirements have been met.
The troupe participates each year in the North Carolina Junior Thespian Festival where students have the opportunity to compete for awards and immerse themselves in all things theater. Superior scores from the State Festival qualify students to compete at the International Thespian Festival each summer. Students interested in joining the Junior Thespian troupe should contact Mrs. Daurity for more information.
Musical Beginnings with K, 1 and 2nd grades
Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders begin their musical journey at TFS by being introduced to music through
- A variety of musical sounds and instruments
- Developing young ears and voices through song
- Taking advantage of the many classroom instruments in a hands on approach to learning rhythm and pitch
- Musician spotlights highlight famous composers and musicians of the past and present.
- Begin learning to participate musically at school masses
Continuing General Music with 3, 4 and 5th grades
3rd, 4th, and 5th graders continue their musical education through their weekly general music classes, learning to
- Read and perform written music and rhythms on classroom instruments
- Sing and understand intervals using solfege
- Respond to recorded music
- Continued vocal development with opportunities to sing in choir for school masses
- Musician spotlights continue to highlight the lives of famous composers and musicians of the past and present
4th & 5th Grade String Orchestra
4th and 5th Graders at TFS have the opportunity to continue their musical education through participation in orchestra, providing these young musicians with an experience that is one of a kind and unique to The Franciscan School
Students add to their bass of musical knowledge by learning to
- Work together as an ensemble to learn and perform music arranged for beginning string orchestra
- Learn to play violin, viola or cello
- Become proficient in reading music
- Grow their talent and share their gifts with the school and parish community
Middle School Orchestra and Band
Middle school students are given the opportunity to continue their musical education through participation in our Middle School Band and Middle School Orchestra ensembles, which are offered as electives in the middle school curriculum.
Through further developing skills on their instruments, our older students are able to
- Advance to new levels on their instruments
- Give back to the school and parish community through performances at School Masses and other events
- Audition and win placement in local high school band and orchestra programs for 9th grade
- Compete as an ensemble in regional competitions
The art department at The Franciscan School aligns with all of the North Carolina State standards with the addition of catholic education standards. We strive every day to apply art vocabulary, technique, and history into our student’s visual arts education. A way we help set students up for success is by helping them view the world "outside the box". We do this by providing the skills needed to be both creative and innovative. This is accomplished in our classroom by providing the students with an opportunity to solve artistic problems through critical thinking. Ways we help promote critical thinking is by teaching the foundations of art through the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design.
We also expose each student to many different art materials. With each material, they explore and learn information on how to use and manipulate different materials to create desired effects. This foundation provides the students with the skills needed to analyze a work of art created by a vast array of famous artists and successfully identify the various mediums used to create each artwork.
In K-5 art is a required class once a week for 45 minutes where we build a stable foundation. Each student learns that they have a creative voice and gains the confidence to express that voice. Students who are in 6-8 choose to take art as an elective and get the opportunity to attend art three days a week for a whole trimester.
In addition to art class, we also hold an Art Show every year that displays artwork from each student that attended art that year. Typically we have over 600 pieces of art on display for the parents and the church community. We have many volunteers who help us put things together before the big reveal. We invite the orchestra students to perform on the opening night of the art show as well as provide food and drinks to create a gala-like experience. The Art Show is a wonderful event celebrating the hard work and artistic skills of our talented students.