400 per cent increase in SAP students

Daneka HillNorth West Telegraph
Teacher Alice Langa conducts the SAP music group.
Camera IconTeacher Alice Langa conducts the SAP music group. Credit: Daneka Hill

The Specialised Arts Program at Hedland Senior High School has seen its attendance increase by nearly 400 per cent after an overhaul at the start of the school year.

The program was the only one of its kind in the State outside of Perth, but last year it had just 35 students participating.

Now SAP has transformed into an after-school program that accepts all interested students instead of pulling skilled students out of normal art classes and into higher level ones.

With 110 students involved and no assessments or exams in sight, SAP has also expanded the disciplines on offer and allows students to pick the one of most interest and dedicate time to their own choice.

SAP co-ordinator Caitlin Dominey said the school had even managed to increase numbers in the Year 10-12 age group, which was previously the least interested in the program.

“This year we’ve had a huge improvement — and that actually comes from us specialising, because an 18-year-old student who loves singing is not going to want to do all this other stuff, they are going to want to work on their specialisation,” she said.

“We have got some amazing singers, some amazing dancers, we also have some kids that don’t really know that much about dance but they really want to learn, so that’s why we are doing it as a specialisation.”

Ms Dominey said the fact so many students were putting in the time after school was impressive.

SAP student Damon Angel, 15, said he liked having something to do after school — anything to “get away from the house as long as possible”.

Matiko Langa, 13, said she enjoyed having the uninterrupted time with friends.

“You get to improve on things that you love,” she said.

A showcase of SAP work will be open to the public on June 26 at the Matt Dann Theatre.

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