For students who show promise in the performing arts, or simply a passion for it from a young age, there can surely be no better environment than a dedicated performing arts school. Australian Performing Arts Grammar School (APGS) is just that – a boutique, co-ed school with a goal of nurturing talent in the arts, alongside academic excellence. Students are given a head start in a very competitive industry, simply by immersing themselves in the arts every day. Former students, and indeed teachers at the school, are regularly seen in everything from Shakespeare revivals to musicals. It can be hard to picture what life is like in this ultra-creative environment, so we spoke to Head of School Operations Eunice Chung Lee about the school’s Open Mornings – the perfect way to get a taste of life at APGS.
“APGS is not quite like any other school you may have visited,” explains Chung Lee. “The best way to understand how truly special our school is, is to see us in action. At our Open Mornings, you can expect to meet our Head of School, academic staff and/or APGS students, see some of our students’ creativity in action, and have all your questions answered. You will also take a tour of the school where parents can view classes and see firsthand our facilities.” Those facilities include music ensemble rooms, an art studio and dance studios, all purpose-built.
The moment you walk through the doors, you can expect to feel warmly welcomed. “The school vibrates with creativity as students rush through the halls to classes and rehearsals,” describes Chung Lee. “It’s always abuzz with students rehearsing scenes, jamming in the music room, or choreographing a new dance.” APGS ensures that each and every student is given room to be creative in their own way, and Chung Lee believes you’ll experience that when you visit. “We have created a space where students support and challenge one another,” she continues, “and there is a true sense of camaraderie amongst our students who celebrate each other’s accomplishments.”
Perhaps the reason for the unique atmosphere at APGS is the shared commitment to the arts and to celebrating individuality. “We look for students who are passionate about the performing and creative arts and who show academic commitment,” says Chung Lee. “APGS students share a genuine passion and drive in the areas of dance, drama, music and/or visual arts. Through our interview and audition process we look not only for talent but also for potential, promise, and dedication in every student.”
Seeing the school up close is undoubtedly the best way to decide if it’s the right place for you – or your child, if you’re a prospective parent. “APGS is unique,” concedes Chung Lee. “We’re located in the heart of Glebe, and the school grounds are unconventional – looking in from the street you might not even recognise the building as a high school! An Open Morning is the best way to see the building come alive with the creativity of our students. They also provide a wonderful opportunity for parents to start a dialogue with our admissions officer about what to expect for the application and audition process.”
And, you can expect to walk away feeling inspired. “Parents and students will walk away with a sense of the spirit of APGS,” agrees Chung Lee. “We’re a close-knit community of creative and passionate staff and students, and after viewing the school in action, you will come away with an understanding of that and the unique environment that we have built.”
APGS caters for students from Year 7 -12 with entry to the school based on audition and interview. Once enrolled, students study NESA (Board of Studies) approved curriculum leading to their HSC, along with 1.5 days of rigorous performing arts training fostering the development of their chosen disciplines and interests covering dance, musical theatre, drama, visual art and music.
For more information on Australian Performing Arts Grammar School Open Mornings, taking place throughout the year, click here.
By Emily Newton-Smith of Dance Informa.