Education studies and teaching news at Brighton

: Extravagance and Desperation by Tom Hammick

Glyndebourne partnership for PGCE students

The School of Education has worked in partnership with the education team at Glyndebourne Opera for several years.

Cast of Don Pasquale photographed by Bill Coope

In October, Glyndebourne invited trainees studying our (Secondary) Art and Design PGCE and (Secondary) Modern foreign Languages PGCE to attend the performance for school’s opera, which this year was ‘Don Pasquale’.  The performance introduces young people from local schools to live opera and the associated arts.

Sally Johnson, course leader says, “The experience of attending the opera live is to have the opportunity to see a world-class arts performance first-hand. There are several aspects that link with art and design from the staging to the set, costumes, and imagery.  The trainees take part as an audience alongside pupils from a range of schools across the region, where they are able to see how pupils engage in the experience. This will help our trainees to understand the importance of seeing the arts directly.”

Art PGCE students at Glyndebourne Opera

Following the opera, trainees then took part in a critical reflection workshop, led by renowned composer and conductor Howard Moody, who was also joined by an opera director and Glyndebourne singers.

During the day, trainees were introduced to a piece of music representing a key moment in the opera. After an initial discussion, they were then tasked with making their own composition based on the piece and had to create a scene in collaboration with an opera director.  By the end of the day, trainees had worked collaboratively exploring concepts such as composition, plotting, scene-setting, and sharing.

These activities support trainees to develop their teaching skills, including thinking about their presence in the classroom, using your body and voice successfully, collaborative work and planning, listening to others, thinking creatively, putting yourself out of your comfort zone (which is sometimes how children might feel in a classroom)  and a sense of achievement.

Art and MFL trainees in critical reflection workshop

Julie Howards, art and design lecturer commented that “these workshops are critical for trainees to gain an insight into the benefits of cross-curricular teaching and learning and allows them to gain experience working with an outside arts company as well as bond and work together as a team to create a successful outcome.”


Christina Camm • November 18, 2021

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