Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts
|Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts|
|785 Trafalgar Street
London, Ontario, N5Z 1E6
|School type||Elementary School|
|School board||Thames Valley District School Board|
|Grades||4 to 8|
|Colour(s)||Red & White|
Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts is a public, elementary - Grades 4 to 8, school in London, Ontario, Canada, part of the Thames Valley District School Board. An application process must be completed by mid December, and then potential students attend a 2-day "Selection" workshop. Most students begin in the Grade 4 year. Only occasionally are there are openings in other grades.
The twentieth anniversary of the school was celebrated with reunion activities: May 29, 30, 31, 2009.
The academic program is rigorous and based on the Ministry of Education (Ontario) curriculum. Teachers are fully qualified members of the Ontario College of Teachers and are specialists in their particular arts area. The school day is about an hour longer than other public schools, to allow for the arts enriched curriculum. Students at Pearson carry a heavy homework load. EQAO results reflect the value of an arts education for all students. Identified gifted students participate in the TVDSB Itinerant Gifted Program. Extracurricular sports include Volleyball, Basketball, Cross Country, and Track & Field. Pearson teams and individual athletes do very well in inter-school and regional competitions.
Students have dance class several times a week in studios with sprung wood floors. Dances go from Ballet to Hip-Hop to Swing, with emphasis on collaboration, expression and technique. Grade 8's host an annual dance show called Art Harvest.
At Pearson, there are different shows going on throughout the year. The grade 4s do a small performance that is usually composed of a number of skits. The grade 5s do a play that is based on the historical curriculum on "Ancient Civilizations'. In the past years the grade 6s have done many performances including: "Number the Stars", "A Mid Summer Night's Dream", "Ready Steady Go", "Clowns", and "How to Eat like a Child'. The grade 7s spend most of the year doing drama units including Voice Unit, Improvisation, Character Unit, Stage Combat, Design Unit, and sometimes a staged weapons unit, but the 7s do not actually produce a show. The Grade 8s do two shows. They always produce a Shakespearean Play, and an original play that they write, design, and perform themselves.
Three components: Vocal, Keyboard, and an Instrument.
Each grade has Single Vocal where you learn theory and music history, and Double Vocal where both the classes in a grade learn to sing together as a choir and develop individual choral technique. The Pearson Singers, an auditioned SAT choir of approximately 70 Grade 5-8s, rehearses twice a week in the early morning. The Singers have toured Carnegie Hall, Canterbury Cathedral, Chicago, and New Brunswick. The "Twelve" is an SATB group of approximately 12-18 Grade 8 students who perform more complex pieces with more solo work. At the end of the year the whole school does a massive Choral Celebration at H.B. Beal Secondary School.
Every student receives instruction on the keyboard. Grade Fours are introduced to recorder and Piano instruments. Beginning in Grade Five, each student trains on either a String or Wind instrument and performs numerous concerts with that instrument all the way through Grade Eight.
The Stage Band is a special winds group consisting of only saxophones, trombones and trumpets that play jazz music and tour around the city.
You do everything from Picasso to Two Point Perspective: Art History, Drawing, Painting, Stained Glass(Grade 8), Ceramics, Design & Colour Theory.
It is worth noting that the school has a workshop, used to build and store props and sets for plays. In the winter after New Years the whole school goes on a Ski Trip at Boler Mountain. At year end, Grades 4,5,7 go to East Park for a day. Grade 6 goes to Camp Kawartha, 7 to Canada's Wonderland and 8 to Quebec City
Summer Arts Camp
Each year a series of two-week summer arts camps are offered at the school, with Pearson teachers or other TVDSB art specialist teachers. Some kids come back every year.
Though Pearson is not a performing arts school, some graduates have gone on to performing or arts-related careers.