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Leavers’ Concert 2017

The annual Year 13 Leavers’ Concert will take place on Friday 19th May at 7.00 pm in The Max.  It will feature many Year 13 students performing solos, duets and group items in a range of styles from the pop, rock, jazz and classical genres.  A level student Molly Sykes will be performing the first movement of Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto accompanied by a Chamber Orchestra consisting of students and parents. Soul Patrol, Jazz Band, Flute Quartet and Versatile Voices will also feature as these groups have a lot of Year 13 members.  The concert is open for anyone to come and watch. Tickets are now on sale from Student Services priced at £5 adults and £3 Under 19s.  They are limited to 120 so please purchase in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Bassoon “Invasion”

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The bassoon is one of the orchestral “endangered species” instruments and it’s been over six years since we last had a bassoon student at RSA. However, the bassoon is no longer a minority instrument at Robert Smyth Academy as no less than 9 students (eight in year 7 and one in year 11) started learning the bassoon yesterday with Rebecca Wong from the Leicestershire Schools Music Service.  Here are some photos from the first lesson where the very excited students had to learn to assemble the instrument – quite a challenge in itself!  We look forward to hearing them play some notes and tunes soon.

Xmas Concert 2016


Tuesday 29th November sees the return of our annual Xmas concert. This year is a special concert because we will be celebrating the support and commitment of our Chair of Governors, Max Corney, as he steps down after 28 years in the role.

Tickets are available now from Student Services priced £5 and £3. They normally sell out, so get yours now!

The concert will start at 7pm in the Main Hall and feature all of the Academy ensembles, including our new year 7 choir and jazz band, the AS Music class and other A level soloists.

Arts Week 2016

The Robert Smyth annual ‘Arts Week’ took place in the week before the half term break and involved students from all key stages discovering something new in the Arts.

‘Arts Week’ is a joint venture between the Art and Design faculty and the Performing Arts faculty, where students from across the academy can sign up for up to two different workshops and are allowed out of their curriculum lessons to attend these.

This years workshops were all organised and ran by our own in-house specialist teachers, showcasing again why Robert Smyth is such a good option for teaching and learning in South Leicestershire, particularly in the Arts.


Some of the workshops on offer this year were:

  • Salsa Dancing, which was very popular particularly with 6th form students this year.
  • Robert Smyth Bake Off – which was won by Jazira Uddin and Mary Welton for their upside down Oreo cake. Runner up was Scarlett Godefroy with Grace Bolton coming third.
  • ‘Parsnips’ youth theatre came in and had year 7 students creating a whole play in half a day!
  • Origami had students calmly folding paper and creating flowers, frogs, dinosaurs and rabbits!
  • The producing workshop pushed our year 7 students to the limits as they balanced, panned and added reverb and delay on to an existing multi-track recording of ‘Street Spirit’ by Radiohead.
  • Iquan Silcott from Addict Dance came in to deliver a session on Commercial dance to GCSE Dance students.
  • Mrs Petersen held a composing and arranging workshop using Sibelius notation software for year 7 composers.
  • Miss Syngajewski hosted a monologue workshop for our 6th form students who were going off for auditions.
  • ‘Paper Pokemon’ had year 7 students folding and glueing their favourite Pokemon characters together.

We need to say a massive thank you to Claire from ‘Parsnips’ youth theatre for coming in and running a workshop completely free of charge, it was very generous and the students absolutely loved it!

There were several other sessions running during the week as well, which culminated in the first concert of the year, the GCSE Music Concert in the Max, which was also fantastic and brimming with talent.

We need to say a massive “thank you” to all Art and Design and Performing Arts staff who gave up their free time to organise and run the workshops in an already very busy half term. It was a huge success and there was an amazing buzz around the academy as workshops brimmed over with students discovering new skills and concepts all week.

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RSA Performing Arts Newsletter

RSA Newsletter


It’s been a crazy, hectic and frighteningly busy few weeks back! But fear not though, we have managed to thrash together another Performing Arts newsletter reflecting on the “goings on” in the faculty during the last summer term.

Massive congratulations to all of our examination students who have achieved some of our best ever results and keeping us firmly at the top of the county in terms of results overall. Well done everybody involved….. together we are keeping creativity alive and kicking.

Please download the latest copy here sep-2016-rsa-perf-arts-newsletter

We’ve had to keep the issue shorter this time (8 pages) due to a short fall in sponsorship. A massive “thank you” goes to the Market Harborough and Bowdens Charity who are supporting us this year as we search for a more permanent sponsor for the newsletter.

A huge “thank you” too to former student Ava Forbes who has given us hours of her time in compiling this edition.


Big Band at Music for Youth National Festival

MFY big band 2016

On Friday 8th July, just 24 hours after returning from the Barcelona tour, the RSA Big Band performed at the Music for Youth National Festival at Birmingham Town Hall.

The band played 3 pieces: ‘What Were You Thinking’, ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘Back to the Basement’.  They performed extremely well and received some excellent feedback from the adjudicators.

Getting through to the National Festival is a big achievement as only 300 groups of the 1600 groups who performed in the Regional festivals nationwide were put through. From the 300 groups that performed at the National Festival just 30 will be chosen for the Schools’ Proms in November. We will have to wait till August to see if the Big Band is amongst the chosen ones.

Well done to all the performers (soloists indicated with a *):


  • Andrew Martin* – flute
  • Natalie Crook*, Jane Earland & Alice Riches – alto saxes
  • Esme Butler Davies* & Kim Jeffs – tenor saxes
  • Holly Barnett – baritone sax
  • Molly Sykes*, Sophie Burleigh, Maddie Oakland, Josh Watson – trumpets
  • Joe Horspool* & Tom Jenkins – trombones
  • Taylor Burton* – piano
  • Jake Cartwright* – guitar
  • Jake Bentley – bass guitar
  • Jonny Nicholson – drum kit
  • Lyle Burton – auxiliary percussion

To listen to the performance, please click on the uploaded files of the three pieces which were:




  • ‘Back to the Basement’ by Erik Morales, featuring Taylor Burton (piano), Andrew Martin (flute) and Jake Cartwright (guitar)

‘Learning South Leicestershire’ Performing Arts Day


Wednesday, 22nd June saw Robert Smyth Academy host a Performing Arts day for Gifted and Talented year 7 students from across the south of Leicestershire. Gartree High School, Welland Park Academy, Manor High School, Thomas Estley Community College and Lutterworth High School all sent students who were gifted in Performing Arts subjects to Robert Smyth to learn the opening of the musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ in one day.

The day consisted of three individual workshops focussing on the three disciplines of Performing Arts; Music, Dance and Drama. Each workshop focussed on student’s exploring each discipline within the context of the opening Prologue, a song, a dance and two scenes from the musical.

Drama teacher, Claire Parsons was directing the drama workshops and had a group becoming ‘human scenery’, one group acting out the characters and another group providing us with two human based ‘Audrey II’ plants, the villain of the musical.


Head of Music, Helle Petersen and singing teacher, Debbie Smith were on hand to take the singing workshop where students learned two of the songs from the musical in two-part harmony.


Head of Dance, Marie Routledge and year 12 RSA student, Helen Spacie led the dance workshops where students were taught a very lengthy 3 minute dance routine which they all learnt from memory. A fantastic achievement in itself!


The day culminated with all of the elements of the workshops being put together to create an opening dance/song and first scene from the musical, which was directed by Claire Parsons.

The day was organised by Robert Smyth Gifted and Talented coordinator, Rachael Eddy and Head of Performing Arts, Nick Hughes in liaison with the ‘Learning South Leicestershire’ group of schools.


Rachael Eddy said this about the day “It was fantastic.  This was a group of students who absolutely threw themselves into what was a fun and fast paced day. What I really noticed was how much fun the Performing Arts staff has together – a great mix of brilliant teaching and enthusiasm. And how great to see so many 6th form students happily giving up their time by helping out in the workshops.”

Hopefully all the students will take away many positives from the day and understand that hard work, perseverance and team work, always yields outstanding progress and results.

The whole day was a huge success with all students thoroughly enjoying their day away from their regular schools to explore and be challenged in the Performing Arts. Who says the Arts don’t benefit young people?? Not us. #bacc4thefuture

A level musicians put on public lunchtime recital

On Monday 9th May three of the eighteen students studying A level Music at RSA gave a lunchtime recital open to the general public at the Methodist Church in Northampton Road.  The three performers were: Emily Newlyn (violin), Joe Horspool (trombone), and Georgia Whittle (soprano) accompanied by our peripatetic piano teacher Nicholas Scott-Burt.

Emily and Joe both performed their full A level recital programme, lasting 12-15 minutes and consisting of four contrasting pieces with a theme.  Emily’s violin recital focused on music by Eastern European composers whilst Joe’s trombone recital featured Romantic music. Vocalist Georgia Whittle had already recorded her A level recital at the academy the previous month, the theme of which was musical theatre songs through time, so she performed just the final song from her recital.  The recital constitutes the performance coursework element of the A level music course and counts for 30% of the A2 year and 15% of the overall A level. All three students performed exceptionally well and to a very high standard reaching the top A*/A grade band for the A level performance unit. Below is the full programme from the concert as well as Emily’s own programme notes.

The concert was very well attended by family, friends, students, staff, governors as well as people from the general public.  Following the concert, we received the email below from one of the members of the general public who regularly attends our academy concerts:

Soul Patrol to Headline at 2016 School Games National Finals

Following submission of an audition DVD of three original songs written by Year 13 students Taylor Burton, Jake Cartwright and Georgia Whittle, Soul Patrol have been selected by the YST (Youth Sports Trust) Factor to perform at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 School Games National Finals.  This will take place on Sunday 4 September at 3.45 pm at Loughborough University in front of 2,500 spectators. On the panel of judges were Youth Sport Trust ambassador and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Bounce from Flawless and Lizzie Gough from Alesha Dixon’s Street Stars.


The School Games National Finals brings together 1,600 of the UK’s best young athletes for four days of sporting competition. Many Olympians and Paralympians hoping to head to Rio this year have competed in previous School Games including Dina Asher-Smith, Jonnie Peacock, Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockroft. The School Games National Finals are supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, the Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association.


Youth Sport Trust Director of External Relations, Phil Chamberlain, said: “The School Games National Finals is a huge event that gives a true taste of high-level multi-sport competition to the UK’s best school-aged competitors. It has the feel of a mini-Olympic and Paralympic Games and as such the YST Factor offers an excellent opportunity for young talented performance artists to realise their dreams in front of a large audience.”


Many congratulations to all members of Soul Patrol on being selected to headline at this event!

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