Previous Student Spotlights
5th May 2022-11th February 2023
Anton Beugelink & Pearl Kelly
This year Class 12 students Anton Beugelink and Pearl Kelly took up the challenge to create a Eurythmy piece. They chose their music (Debussy’s ‘Rêverie), their parts, and their costumes and choreographed their movements, with inspiration and support from their teacher, Michèle Hunter, and pianist, Matthew Ratcliffe. We are overjoyed to be able to share their work with you on our Student Spotlight this month.
16th December 2021-5th May 2022
As part of their Level 3 specialism, this year’s Drama students were required to select, cast and direct a piece of theatre. Rose Dowsing chose to work on Edward Albee’s one-act drama ‘The Zoo Story’, and cast her classmate Emil Barnard as the isolated, and somewhat disturbed, Jerry. Over the years we have been lucky to see many students give mature, nuanced performances, but what is so exceptional about this one is that not only did Emil give parts of himself to the role, he displayed true self-awareness in his use and control of these elements. Furthermore, this performance was the result of a collaboration between students, with almost no input from teachers.
(Note: another of their classmates was cast to play opposite Emil but unfortunately, due to illness, he was unable to perform. Therefore Rose is reading in the role of Peter.)
7th July – 16th December 2021
In July 2021 Class 11 produced and performed a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. During the course of their High School education students have the opportunity to take part in at least four major productions, and are asked not only to perform acting roles but to get involved with all aspects of the production including music, designs, costumes, stage management, and set construction.
This year Molly Meaker went above and beyond in her work on costumes. Not only did she design and dress all seventeen characters, she made all the major pieces of costume herself, with just a little work delegated to her classmates. The result was a feast for the eyes and a gift for the performers, all of whom grew further into their characters thanks to the attention given to their costumes. We are pleased here to be able to show you the highlights of her work.
11th March-7th July 2021
At the end of February, Class 9 had an intensive week of Collage. Students worked from photographs initially, reproducing images using coloured paper, before expanding into their own original designs.
A’ishah Malcolm produced these exceptional pieces of work.
20th October 2020-11th March 2021
Class 11 began their year with a four week Film Studies block, concluding with a series of presentations given by the students. In the block they studied a range of films including Vertigo (dir. Hitchcock, 1958), Elizabeth (dir. Kapur, 1998) and If Beale Street Could Talk (dir. Jenkins, 2018). Through study of these films discussions arose regarding both narrative themes as well as audio and visual techniques, and it was the relationship between these elements which the students were encouraged to explore in their own presentations.
This month we are pleased to share with you the work of Anton Beugelink. Anton chose to look at Arrival (dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2016), particularly considering the representation and use of non-linear time. His thoughtful and engaging presentation earned him much praise in the classroom and was one of several highlights in the final week of the block.
Spoiler alert: Anton does discuss the essential question and ‘twist’ of the film, so if you have not seen Arrival you may wish to watch that first.
11th August-20th October 2020
In Class 12’s Contemporary Literature block the students were challenged to choose their own texts, create their own research and essay questions, and undertake independent research resulting in an essay, a report, or a presentation. The students chose a diverse range of texts, and presented their work to one another along the way.
This month we are pleased to share with you the work of Leila Osman. Leila chose to look at Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s 1986-7 graphic novel, Watchmen. Due to the importance of visuals in this medium she chose to create a report using panels from the text and annotating them to show the development of her ideas. The result is an exciting and multi-layered exploration of the text, that engages with literature in a way we rarely see.
Two brief warnings
1. Spoiler alert: Leila does discuss the very end of the text in this work.
2. Content warning: some adult language appears in the panels.
11th July-11th August 2020
Students who choose to specialise in Art at Level 3 (Class 12) are given great freedom in their choice of subject, media, and process. They are allowed to make workbooks, portfolios, or crafted objects, and despite being given ample time at school, in order to truly excel—as this month’s featured student has—much of this work must be done in their own time.
Caspian was the first student to be featured on our Student Spotlight, and in fact it was his beautiful reimagining of a Hockney portrait, which he painted in acrylic in Class 10, that inspired the creation of this feature on our website. Since that time Caspian’s skill has developed significantly, and he has become accomplished in the use of many media, but, most prominently, oils—he claims that ‘once you paint with oils, there’s no going back’. In September he is taking up his place at The Royal Drawing School, and so it seemed appropriate to close his time at St Michael’s by spotlighting is beautiful Level 3 portfolio.
9th May-11th July 2020
Back in the Michaelmas Term, four Class 12 students prepared a selection of monologues and performed them before an audience. Through this process the students had to develop skills specific to solo performance, such as timing, fine nuance, relationship with audience, and storytelling. They primarily worked independently, coming together only for warm-ups, feedback and advice. The result of this block was that they all took full responsibility for their own work and produced four highly affecting monologues.
This month we are proud to shine the spotlight on the work of another of these students: Charlotte Beugelink performing a section of ‘A Bed Among the Lentils’ from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.
18th March-9th May 2020
In English lessons throughout the High School students learn how to read, understand and study a range of different texts, including film. By looking at the visual choices filmmakers make, the dialogue, the story, the character development, students become increasingly analytical viewers, able to read and watch with a critical eye. In January Class 12 had their final Film Studies block, and with fairly fine-tuned skills, each chose a film to study and present to their classmates.
This month we are pleased to share the work of Constance Kelly. Constance chose Bruce Robinson’s 1987 cult classic Withnail and I, and in her presentation looked at the ways in which the film explores the act of leaving.
Warning: this video contains spoilers.
16th February-18th March 2020
In February, Class 10 studied music from the classical period, the socio-political environment from which the music arose and in particular the works and biographies of Hadyn, Mozart and Beethoven. The class examined the sonata form – a compositional technique widely used during the classical period.
For his individual project, Anton Beugelink composed a theme of 24 bars using classical compositional techniques. The ternary form of ABA was used to organise the 24 bars of musical material. The A section of the ternary form was written as a sentence with 4 parts: opening statement, response, continuation and cadence. The B section was written as a period with 2 parts: antecedent and consequent. The theme that Anton composed could form the main theme in the sonata’s exposition.
9th January 2019-16th February 2020
Dan Waring & Herbie Halligan
In December, Class 10 studied the Palaeolithic and early Neolithic periods – covering about 2.5 million years. We looked at some of the oldest human artefacts, including ‘Venus’ figurines and cave paintings. We looked in detail at the 32,000-year-old Chauvet cave in France, which is the subject of Werner Herzog’s 2010 documentary ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’.
Two students – Dan Waring and Herbie Halligan – decided to recreate one of the walls in chalk on the blackboards in their classroom. They began by covering the board with yellow and red ochres, as well as white chalk, and then drew with dry sponges to take off the colour and reveal the black underneath. They then added colour. The dark inverted ‘Y’ shape in the centre is a spring, around which a large number of the animal drawings are concentrated in the cave.
8th December 2019-9th January 2020
The Class 12 Play is an essential element of the High School. From choosing and casting the play to the performances and down to the detail of props and costumes, the Class 12 students (supported by their teachers) are responsible for mounting a professional production. This year Class 12 chose to produce a new adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw.
Leila Osman played the central role, the nameless Governess, whose fears or hallucinations drive the drama of the story. Leila put an immense amount of work into this production, and the result was an incredibly affecting and effective performance which moved teachers, parents and students to tears. We are very proud to be able to spotlight her work, illustrated by some dress rehearsal photos which demonstrate just a glimpse of the wide range she played onstage.
9th November-8th December 2019
Before half term four Class 12 students prepared a selection of monologues and performed them before an audience. Through this process the students had to develop skills specific to solo performance, such as timing, fine nuance, relationship with audience, and storytelling. They primarily worked independently, coming together only for warm-ups, feedback and advice. The result of this block was that they all took full responsibility for their own work and produced four highly affecting monologues.
This month we are proud to shine the spotlight on the work of one of these students: Cameron Curry’s performance of Aston’s monologue from The Caretaker, by Harold Pinter.
8th October-9th November 2019
Each student in Class 10 was given a photograph and asked first to recreate it in collage, tracing the shapes and recreating the colours themselves, using gouache. The second stage was to take the same or another photograph and use the colours and shapes in a different way.
This Student Spotlight is on Herbie Halligan’s work from this block. The images show the original photograph and the finished work in each case.
29th May-8th October 2019
In a block of Poetics Class 9 students looked at the different elements that make up poetry: rhythm, metre, rhyme, alliteration and assonance, amongst many others. They also read, studied and wrote a variety of poems in different styles, including ballads, memory poems, limericks, haiku, and villanelles. At the end of the block they bound their collections of poetry into books, each taking home their own copy.
This month we are pleased to present a ballad and a villanelle written by Rose Dowsing.
Lucy Raggot (a ballad)
Plump little Lucy Raggot
Ate and ate just like a maggot,
Stuffing pies, ice cream and jelly
‘Til swollen and bloated was her belly.
And when they all sat down for dinner
Naughty Lucy, that lawless sinner,
Gobbled all those tasty dishes,
Left none for the others, ‘cept tails of fishes.
It happened that some time in June
Young Lord Albert Wilfred Moon
Was hosting a party at his mansion;
Drenched in excitement was Lucy in passion.
Now on the table of Albert Moon
The young Miss Lucy did nearly swoon
For before her eyes a feast behold
That greedy Lucy could not withhold.
Chocolate eclairs and light soufflé,
Jellied fruits and creme brûlée,
Sandwiches with creamy brie.
Lucy soon lit up with glee.
So Lucy with a giant leap
Jumped to the table in a sweep
And in her greed began to eat,
Gnawing, on a leg of meat.
She ate the jellied raspberries,
The syrup sugared cranberries
And when at last gone was the spread
She mopped the juice with deep fried bread.
And swiftly dreaded Lucy fell
As stomach, head and legs did swell
Bigger and bigger and bigger she grew
‘Til suddenly in shock…. she blew.
Now how horrific is this tale
As Lucy died with one big wail
The story took a sharp edged bend
Concluding with a sticky end.
For no sin deadlier can be, to that of one named Gluttony.
* * * * *
Sea (a villanelle)
White lace, blue silk lies the tranquil sea
Flotsam and jetsam shows tales once told
Deceptive peril, beauty is she.
Ships once sailed in frivolous glee
Sunken with pride, brave, bold
White lace, blue silk, lies the tranquil sea.
And horses dance, they beckon to me
Salt sprayed face so bitterly cold
Deceptive peril, beauty is she.
A wild mystery, seemingly deadly
Listen, abide and soon behold
White lace, blue silk lies the tranquil sea.
Don’t let her rest or leave her be
Pollute her waters as they dare unfold
Deceptive peril, beauty is she.
The moon does rise I sharply see
A monster stirring uncontrolled
White lace, blue silk lies the tranquil sea
Deceptive peril, beauty is she.
29th May-3rd July 2019
Understanding the human body and how it works from the senses through the nervous system to the brain and taking into account the rhythmic system of the heart and lungs is the essence of class 9 biology. Class 9 students achieved this via various experiments in class but also via many drawings. Milton Glaser (a renowned US designer and ‘visual explorer’) in his book ‘Drawing is thinking’ uses solely paintings without written words to inspire the reader to create links between different paintings. In this biology lesson students created drawings to allow themselves to get closer to the processes of the human body and then write about them. Drawing the part of the body allows the student time to think about how it works. Each student wrote a descriptive passage explaining each sense/system studied as well as a more in-depth, independent essay on a given topic such as ‘strokes, what is love?, motor neurone disease, colour blindness, Alzheimer’s’ and presented their research orally to class.
This month we are proud to be able to present a trio of drawings by class 9 student, Anton Beugelink.
8th March-29th May 2019
Emily Barnard, Fernando Coxon-Aristizabal, Molly Meaker,
Dominic Mugenis Mendonça, Alexandra Skilbeck-Murray, Daniel Waring
At the beginning of the year Class 9 entered the Design Ventura competition. The brief was to create a product which the Design Museum could sell in their shop, design the packaging, and build a prototype. The class first split into two groups and competed against one another within the school. The winning team, creators of The Copper Line, soon found out that they had been chosen by the Design Museum of one of three final teams. Today (Friday 8th March 2019) the team are going to find out how they have done against the other two teams. In the meantime we are proud to present to you their work, and to congratulate them on their already significant accomplishment.
‘The Copper Line
A kit to make a “train” which moves through a tunnel. This is based on a simple science experiment using a batter, strong magnets and copper wire. These produce electromagnetic waves that propel the train through the tunnel. The packaging makes the product very appealing and changes the scientific experiment into an attractive kit worthy of the Design Museum Shop.’
7th February-8th March 2019
(Emily Barnard, Anton Beugelink, Fernando Coxon-Aristizabal, Rose Dowsing, Pearl Kelly,
Elizabeth Marriott, Molly Meaker, Dominic Mugenis-Mendonca, Sophie Poll-Hulshoff,
Alexandra Skilbeck Murray, Daniel Waring, Joseph Woods)
In October, Class 9 had an intensive week building benches for the garden. They worked every day measuring and cutting (measure twice; cut once) according to plans drawn up by a Class 11 student, of the existing benches in the grounds. They worked in teams of 3 and each team made a bench. At the end of the week, there was some time left, and the hooks on the wall outside their classroom had fallen down for the second time, so some of them worked together to adapt the bench design and made a free-standing coat rack for outside their classroom.
8th January-7th February 2019
In the Autumn Term Class 11 were challenged to choose a theatrical work, research it, and design a set for a production. Between them they chose a variety of different works, from musicals, to Ancient Greek drama, to Shakespeare, to 70’s kitchen sink plays. Charlotte, who already has a very finely established eye for design and detail, chose to work with Verdi’s opera La traviata. She researched the story’s setting and background, other productions, and found her own style in which to design. Here we are pleased to be able to share with you two final drawings for her sets (above), as well as her workbook.
25th November 2018-8th January 2019
18th October-25th November 2018
In Class 10, students were set the task of choosing a famous portrait and producing a self portrait from it, combining the two images. They worked from photographs of themselves and the source painting. This self portrait by Caspian Azarmi is affectionately called ‘Fridaspian’ and is based on Frida Kahlo’s ‘Self portrait with monkeys’. Caspian used acrylic paint on dark brown card. He didn’t include the monkeys because he says he has no relationship with them, which is fair enough…
26th June-18th October 2018
Inès Courtney-Guy, Maya Forster, Ilana Lloyd & Phoebe Woods
This year Class 12 students Inès, Maya, Ilana and Phoebe opted to study Eurythmy. Having spent the previous three years working with music, this year they decided to work, instead, with poetry. They chose ‘somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond’ by e. e. cummings and, working mostly independently with some guidance from Michèle Hunter, all four received Achieved with Excellence for their Level 3 Eurythmy assessments. They performed this piece at the school Easter Eurythmy Festival and at the Youth Eurythmy Festival, and it is our pleasure to be able to share it here with you as well.
18th May-26th June 2018
Essay: Freud & Philosophy
This year, Class 12 had an overview of western philosophy in a four week block. The students each chose an aspect on which to focus and presented their research either orally or as an essay. Sigmund Freud’s influence on philosophical thinking in the twentieth century is undeniable and Ottie Wallace chose to demonstrate that, contrary to his own claims to the contrary, his work is, in every important respect, philosophy. Ottie has chosen to study English at York University, beginning in September, having also been offered places at Sussex and the University of East Anglia.
20th April-18th May 2018
Three Biology Essays
At Level 3 of the Certificate of Steiner Education students are asked to choose three specialisms. Maya (Class 12) has chosen, as one of her specialisms, to study Biology. Part of this study includes a portfolio of four pieces of work. Over the year, Maya has looked at topics including human anatomy, zoology, sleep, and digestive health. This work is produced to a high standard and Maya has been required to use level 3 terminology and reference in APA format.
Here we are fortunate to be able to share three pieces of her work with you.
20th March-20th April 2018
In January, Class 10 were given a painting project brief with the aim of developing their skills. They were asked to choose a famous portrait and re-interpret it as a self portrait, using photographs of themselves, which were posed as ‘tableaux’ of the original paintings.
Caspian chose this painting by David Hockney and used this photograph of himself to create the self portrait in acrylics. He is currently working on a Frida Kahlo-inspired self portrait.