Resonating throughout the school, music is an essential part of the curriculum and school life, being taught by specialist music teachers as soon as children join us in Nursery. It gives every child the opportunity for expression, creativity, performance, appreciation and enjoyment. Many musical talents are discovered at an early age and we consider it a privilege to be able to nurture them.
In Pre-Prep violin is introduced as an additional option from Reception, choir in Year 1 and 2 and group ukulele and recorder lessons in Year 2. This is the start of musical opportunities as they develop further through our instrumental programme during Year 3 when children try a range of different instruments as part of their weekly music lesson. All pupils are encouraged to take up a musical instrument and therefore this is an ideal opportunity for pupils and parents to choose the correct instrument.
Over ten instrumental peripatetic teachers provide individual tuition in over 20 different instruments to over 200 children each week. Many children work towards exams set by ABRSM, with an examiner visiting the school every term. ABRSM is the UK’s largest music education body and the world’s leading provider of music exams. We enjoy outstanding results with many students gaining full marks for one or more of their pieces. Some go on to receive music scholarships at top senior schools.
Performance opportunities are extensive in Prep with ten ensembles across choir, strings, bass, woodwind and percussion. Regular concerts throughout the year, Monday and Friday assemblies, house competitions, carol services and performances at other schools provide ample opportunity to showcase their talents.
Our excellent facilities include four music rooms, several practice rooms and our superb new 110-seat Performing Arts Centre.
Always popular and highly enjoyable, drama provides children with a wonderful opportunity to express and project themselves, building self confidence, teamwork and responsibility. Opportunities are extensive through school performances and after school activities including LAMDA (drama), Stage Coach Performing Arts and musical theatre.
Perhaps the highlight of the year is the summer production, involving up to 100 children from Year 5 to 8 and many staff. The children take on performing and off-stage roles, with everybody playing a vital part. An ambitious task, the production never fails to leave families spellbound. Past productions include Pirates of Penzance, Godspell, Oliver, Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz, Bugsy Malone, Les Miserables, Grease and HMS Pinafore.
Our new Performing Arts Centre provides a superb venue for productions of all kinds.
A walk around Hoe Bridge will show that art is an important subject in the curriculum, with work from our talented young artists displayed in seemingly every spare space.
Our Early Years children are often up to their elbows in paint, playdoh, clay, water, glitter and glue, showcasing endless uses for yoghurt pots and the insides of kitchen rolls! As the children progress up through the school the use of different media becomes more structured and understanding of perspective, the effects of shading and colour mixing is developed through experimentation.
Representing an important way for children to express their thoughts, stretch their creativity and explore the use of both traditional and innovative materials. Children enjoy art in our dedicated light and airy art space in both Pre-Prep and Prep. Learning from specialist art teachers from Year 3 about the history of art, different genres, practical techniques, and painstakingly crafting their own work using a very wide range of media and substrates. Technology also plays its part with computerised graphic design included in the curriculum.
Our highly trained specialist teachers, excellent facilities and our children’s imagination and enthusiasm combine to produce impressive results in our Design & Technology Department. The design and practical skills learned are applied to progressively complex tasks and projects using a wide variety of materials and processes, with traditional wood and metalworking sitting alongside electronics, 3D printing and vacuum forming, and pencil sketches rubbing shoulders with computer aided design. The basics of practical mechanics are also learned, with the children dismantling and rebuilding a full-sized electric racing car which is then raced in a Green Power national competition.