Author Archives: John Naples-Campbell

Gay Teachers!⤴

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I’m an openly gay teacher – I am proud of who I am as a person and what I have achieved, but that is it… I am a person, gay isn’t everything about me yet I feel in the world in which we live where ‘That’s so Gay’ is used on a daily basis by our young people and young LGBT students are committing suicide because of who they are I honestly feel I have to ‘wave my flag’ so to speak.

I recently came across this on a website…

One of his teachers is a gay male and is very obvious with it. And I think that makes for a bad influnence in the schools where our children are learning. It is bad enough their peers are influencing them and we have to guard them against drugs, and unprotected pre-martial sex, but now we have to deal with gay teachers. They are at the age where they are very impressionable, and seeing this may have some effect on them. I want to hear from everyone on this topic, whether you agree with me or not.

to which one replied….

A gay teacher preaching gay tolerance should not be allowed within a school.

Should our young people (gay or straight or anything in between) not have role models to look up… role models that they see on a daily basis? Why do School officials feel the need to say that gay issues are ‘delicate’ topics – isn’t everything these days? Maybe we need to stop wrapping our young people up in cotton wool and let them experience the wonderful diversity we have in our country without being worried what the ‘parents will think’.

I am a gay teacher and I teach about acceptance for all… yet I feel It’s frowned upon… yet maybe a black teacher teaching about racism, or a disabled teacher teaching about difference or a Jewish teacher teaching about the Holocaust  shouldn’t be encouraged either?

I walk into a classroom and see a photo of a fellow teacher with their husband or wife… what if I put a photo of my partner and myself up? Would anything be said? Happen? Maybe i’m thinking the worst.

The issue we are facing is that it’s not the young people we teach accepting openly gay teachers, they see gay people on TV, in Magazines etc all the time… but it’s the thoughts of the parents and colleagues.

Harvey Milk said… ”I was raised by heteosexual parents, taught by heterosexual teachers, lived in a fiercely heterosexual society, so why am I homosexual?”

Stonewall Scotland says ‘Gay teachers and staff should be out wherever possible. It’s good to be able to talk to a gay teacher about gay stuff rather than talk to a heterosexual teacher because they have probably experienced bullying and coming out. But teachers don’t want to come out in school because it’s such a hostile environment.’

As teachers… we are all role models… and we all have the ability to make a difference!

Gay Teachers!⤴

from

I’m an openly gay teacher – I am proud of who I am as a person and what I have achieved, but that is it… I am a person, gay isn’t everything about me yet I feel in the world in which we live where ‘That’s so Gay’ is used on a daily basis by our young people and young LGBT students are committing suicide because of who they are I honestly feel I have to ‘wave my flag’ so to speak.

I recently came across this on a website…

One of his teachers is a gay male and is very obvious with it. And I think that makes for a bad influnence in the schools where our children are learning. It is bad enough their peers are influencing them and we have to guard them against drugs, and unprotected pre-martial sex, but now we have to deal with gay teachers. They are at the age where they are very impressionable, and seeing this may have some effect on them. I want to hear from everyone on this topic, whether you agree with me or not.

to which one replied….

A gay teacher preaching gay tolerance should not be allowed within a school.

Should our young people (gay or straight or anything in between) not have role models to look up… role models that they see on a daily basis? Why do School officials feel the need to say that gay issues are ‘delicate’ topics – isn’t everything these days? Maybe we need to stop wrapping our young people up in cotton wool and let them experience the wonderful diversity we have in our country without being worried what the ‘parents will think’.

I am a gay teacher and I teach about acceptance for all… yet I feel It’s frowned upon… yet maybe a black teacher teaching about racism, or a disabled teacher teaching about difference or a Jewish teacher teaching about the Holocaust  shouldn’t be encouraged either?

I walk into a classroom and see a photo of a fellow teacher with their husband or wife… what if I put a photo of my partner and myself up? Would anything be said? Happen? Maybe i’m thinking the worst.

The issue we are facing is that it’s not the young people we teach accepting openly gay teachers, they see gay people on TV, in Magazines etc all the time… but it’s the thoughts of the parents and colleagues.

Harvey Milk said… “I was raised by heteosexual parents, taught by heterosexual teachers, lived in a fiercely heterosexual society, so why am I homosexual?”

Stonewall Scotland says ‘Gay teachers and staff should be out wherever possible. It’s good to be able to talk to a gay teacher about gay stuff rather than talk to a heterosexual teacher because they have probably experienced bullying and coming out. But teachers don’t want to come out in school because it’s such a hostile environment.’

As teachers… we are all role models… and we all have the ability to make a difference!

Edinburgh Fringe Festival!⤴

from

So last year I was Directing a production for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival… which received great press… and this year I have been working for MTM:UK as an assessor for the Music Theatre Matters:UK Awards for Musical Theatre in the fringe. As the fringe comes to an end I have seen 44 shows!

This year has been incredible as I have seen some wonderful productions including Hamlet House of Horror  , From the Fire, Thirsty,   and I have been super excited about seeing Action To The Word theatre company and their productions of Constance and Sinestra and A Clockwork Orange . As a teacher of the Arts I always find the fringe exciting and stimulating… I’m just sad that it still on when we go back to school.

I managed to get one of my students, Neil, an audition for Tumult in the Clouds theatre production of Fleeto and Wee Andy at The Pleasance. He was cast as Wee Andy and has been working with some amazing Scottish Actors. I’m really proud of him. This is an amazing experience for someone his age and the production is striking and harrowing! (and he’s been getting brilliant reviews!)

So as the festival draws to an end… I ask myself… why aren’t more Scottish school students involved… and how can we change this?

Curriculum for Excellence⤴

from

So we are now into the second year of Curriculum for Excellence at secondary level and I am so excited to be working with a fabulous department and faculty.

Our first year and second years are rotated in the Expressive Arts; each pupil gaining 3 periods a week for ten weeks in Drama, Music and Art… This year we have introduced an exciting new area into our curriculum for S2 pupils. Pupils will still gain their core experience in Drama, Music and Art on the rota for but they choose two ‘Creative Industries’ electives throughout the year to attend. These electives will last for 15 weeks each and will give the pupil an alternative insight into the Expressive Arts through the Creative Industries. Students are able to choose from Physical Theatre and Stage Combat, Animation, Theatrical Design, Musical Theatre, Rock Band, Sound Engineering and Puppet Making .

We hope this gives our pupils a chance to see what the Expressive Arts has to offer and how skills cane be transferred from one curriculum area to the other.

Exciting times ahead at Knox!

Five Minute Theatre!⤴

from

So at the end of last term Knox Academy took part in an amazing day of theatre to celebrate the fifth birthday of the National Theatre of Scotland. We were so honoured to be taking part in what became an incredible day in the Drama Department. All the Standard Grade classes took part and received so much praise for the work that they created… we even got a mention in the Scotsman from acclaimed arts journalist Joyce McMillian…

 For some shows, there is nothing more than a single camera pointing at a distant stage, across the heads of the audience; in others – like Knox Academy’s astonishing multiple one-on-one drama Secrets And Lies, broadcast live on Wednesday morning – the camera almost becomes one of the actors.

Full review can be seen here

So here we are… the finished pieces of work that was created by our talented students at Knox Academy… to say we are proud is an understatement!

Hold Onto Hope Love – S3 

 Flesh – S3

Cook – S4

Barry’s Ballad – S4

Secret’s and Lies – S4

So from everyone at Knox Academy… Happy Birthday National Theatre of Scotland!

 

 

 

Edinburgh Fringe Festival!⤴

from

So last year I was Directing a production for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival… which received great press… and this year I have been working for MTM:UK as an assessor for the Music Theatre Matters:UK Awards for Musical Theatre in the fringe. As the fringe comes to an end I have seen 44 shows!

This year has been incredible as I have seen some wonderful productions including Hamlet House of Horror  , From the Fire, Thirsty,   and I have been super excited about seeing Action To The Word theatre company and their productions of Constance and Sinestra and A Clockwork Orange . As a teacher of the Arts I always find the fringe exciting and stimulating… I’m just sad that it still on when we go back to school.

I managed to get one of my students, Neil, an audition for Tumult in the Clouds theatre production of Fleeto and Wee Andy at The Pleasance. He was cast as Wee Andy and has been working with some amazing Scottish Actors. I’m really proud of him. This is an amazing experience for someone his age and the production is striking and harrowing! (and he’s been getting brilliant reviews!)

So as the festival draws to an end… I ask myself… why aren’t more Scottish school students involved… and how can we change this?

Curriculum for Excellence⤴

from

So we are now into the second year of Curriculum for Excellence at secondary level and I am so excited to be working with a fabulous department and faculty.

Our first year and second years are rotated in the Expressive Arts; each pupil gaining 3 periods a week for ten weeks in Drama, Music and Art… This year we have introduced an exciting new area into our curriculum for S2 pupils. Pupils will still gain their core experience in Drama, Music and Art on the rota for but they choose two ‘Creative Industries’ electives throughout the year to attend. These electives will last for 15 weeks each and will give the pupil an alternative insight into the Expressive Arts through the Creative Industries. Students are able to choose from Physical Theatre and Stage Combat, Animation, Theatrical Design, Musical Theatre, Rock Band, Sound Engineering and Puppet Making .

We hope this gives our pupils a chance to see what the Expressive Arts has to offer and how skills cane be transferred from one curriculum area to the other.

Exciting times ahead at Knox!

Five Minute Theatre!⤴

from

So at the end of last term Knox Academy took part in an amazing day of theatre to celebrate the fifth birthday of the National Theatre of Scotland. We were so honoured to be taking part in what became an incredible day in the Drama Department. All the Standard Grade classes took part and received so much praise for the work that they created… we even got a mention in the Scotsman from acclaimed arts journalist Joyce McMillian…

 For some shows, there is nothing more than a single camera pointing at a distant stage, across the heads of the audience; in others – like Knox Academy’s astonishing multiple one-on-one drama Secrets And Lies, broadcast live on Wednesday morning – the camera almost becomes one of the actors.

Full review can be seen here

So here we are… the finished pieces of work that was created by our talented students at Knox Academy… to say we are proud is an understatement!

Hold Onto Hope Love – S3 

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/f5OXDpBtW18?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

 Flesh – S3

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/u-AA9NbR7jk?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Cook – S4

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZ1n9ttYuO8?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Barry’s Ballad – S4

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/2DroFGj2ZsA?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Secret’s and Lies – S4

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/SyyD2ZCbKms?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

So from everyone at Knox Academy… Happy Birthday National Theatre of Scotland!

 

 

 

Knox Academy creates Award Winning film!⤴

from

Third year pupils at Knox Academy have spent the past seven months working on a short documentary film called ‘It Gets Better’. The film focuses on homophobic bullying in schools and gives hope to young Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender people that ‘It Gets Better’.

The pupils were part of the Panasonic Kid Witness News project, a Global contest, which asks young people to create an engaging short film with Global importance.

At the Panasonic awards day in Derby on May 4th 2011 the Knox Academy KWN Team were awarded the ‘Best Global Citizenship’ National Award. Out of the fifteen schools involved in the UK, the Knox Academy team were the only Scottish representatives.

Gill Brigg, Education Director for KWN, had this to say about the Knox Academy film. ‘The judging team was deeply impressed by the commitment of the Knox Academy students in bringing such a loud and proud message to the competition. Their film encapsulated the spirit of KWN through placing citizenship at the core and leading the audience through a challenging, yet optimistic, narrative. We loved the film. Well done! We will ensure that this film reaches as wide an audience as possible. Panasonic supports KWN in  679 schools across 26 countries and we will ensure that this film reaches as wide an audience as possible.’

The pupils worked alongside Stonewall Scotland to help create their KWN film. Laura Ferguson, Education Officer at Stonewall was very impressed by the Knox Academy KWN Team and wanted to thank them, she said  “I hope this team of motivated and intelligent young people will inspire others around the world to speak out about homophobic bullying; a problem that destroys lives. I was delighted to work with such a passionate group and I’m thrilled that the panel have recognised their efforts.”

Maura Drew, a third year pupil and member of the KWN team said ‘It’s been such a fun day; we didn’t expect to get any award. Some of the final films were really good. I was just pleased that our work has been recognised. I’ve learnt so much about film production from doing this. It’s a great project.

The team worked with professionals from Panasonic on film production, editing and camera skills.

‘This has been an amazing opportunity for our young people and I am so proud of them. Homophobia is a serious issue in schools and I want to thank these young people for getting the message heard that ‘It Gets Better’. This is our first year in the contest and to come away with the Best Global Citizenship award is really special, I’m truly honoured to work with so many inspirational people.’ Commented Drama Teacher, John Naples-Campbell

National Theatre of Scotland five minute theatre⤴

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The Standard Grade Drama pupils in third and forth year at Knox Academy have been accepted to take part to celebrate the National Theatre of Scotland’s fifth birthday by creating 5 pieces of five minute theatre.

A total of 235 Five Minute productions will be broadcast online over 24hrs from 5pm on Tuesday 21st June, 2011. Entries were received from all over the world with 37 successful entries coming from Edinburgh and the Lothian’s.

John Naples-Campbell, Teacher of Drama, Knox Academy, commented:

”Knox Academy are incredibly excited to be selected to stage 5 pieces of theatre created by our Standard Grade pupils as part of Five Minute Theatre. Our pupils aged 14 – 16 years old are looking forward to being part of this wonderful project. Each piece will be staged at Knox Academy on Tuesday 21st June, 2011 as part of a day of theatre at the school.  We hope to create five engaging and stimulating pieces of theatre; performed, written and directed by the theatre makers of tomorrow. From all at Knox Academy…Thank you for giving us this amazing opportunity.”

The five groups from Knox Academy, whose performance proposals include a TV cookery show with a twist; tourists marooned on an island following the sinking of their cruise ship; a one to one confessional; a site-specific, physical theatre piece and a couples’ date night. The school are planning a day of theatre at Knox Academy on Tuesday 21st June, 2011 to celebrate the Five Minute Theatre programme.

Marianne Maxwell, Audience Development Manager, National Theatre of Scotland commented: “The response to Five Minute Theatre from all over the world has been fantastic.  There is a huge range of ideas from a huge range of people. The creativity of each submission promises live and virtual audiences 24 hours of short, original, funny and brilliant entertainment on June 21st.”