ART & DESIGN
Art and Design as a subject gives pupils the opportunity to develop their creativity and to express themselves in a meaningful way. Pupils learn about past and present art and produce their own work based on a variety of ideas. They explore a range of art materials and techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics, textiles, ceramics, computer design, and/or photography.
The Art and Design department’s facilities include a ceramic studio, a dark room for photography and a spacious and well-lit art room. Pupils have access to a range of resources including the internet, computer software and an art library. Regular visits are made to art galleries and museums and the Department is always involved with school productions and events.
Drama is taught throughout the school from Year 7 to Year 9 and is a popular GCSE subject in Years 10 and 11.
Every year there are major school productions that range in difficulty from contemporary works to those more suited to junior members of the school.
Our intention is that every pupil in the school should have the opportunity to be involved in a production, either by ‘treading the boards’ or in the vital support functions, such as make-up, sound or lighting.
Through drama, pupils can explore their own emotions and through empathy, explore the perspectives of others. The use of drama in English lessons gives pupils every opportunity to develop their confidence and communication skills. LAMDA qualifications can be taken as an optional subject. This is very popular with our pupils who can enter for the Verse and Prose, and Acting and Reading for Performance examinations.
Music is an important part of school. Our highly regarded Music School, with its numerous practice rooms, is at the heart of an active Music Department. All our pupils are encouraged to discover and further their musical ability and participate in a musical activity.
A team of eight visiting teachers gives individual lessons for the full range of instruments and can prepare students for exams or simply allow the development of skills in order to gain a positive musical experience.
Singing plays a significant role in weekly musical activities and also in Chapel. About a third of the school is involved in the Concert Choir which performs twice a year in our carol services and in our choral concert on Speech Day. The Chapel Choir consists of our best singers and regularly contributes to Chapel services. There is also a Year 7 Chorus and a Staff Choir that rehearse regularly.
Instrumental groups centre round our Wind Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble and our Rock School. These groups also perform on a regular basis.
During the last few years, we have produced four large-scale whole school musicals. They have been extremely popular both within the school and in the local community. These productions take place in March and involve a very large cast and a substantial production team of both pupils and staff from nearly all departments.
In Years 10 and 11 our pupils are able to choose to take PE as a GCSE option. We follow the Edexcel GCSE PE course. PE can also be taken at AS and A2 Levels. PE is a popular option and a number of our pupils have gone on to take Sports Science at university.
Our objective is to encourage each of our pupils into greater strength, agility and skill, giving them a sound physical foundation for their life’s work. We aim to promote ongoing sporting and recreational activity and interest, providing a positive and enjoyable means of maintaining a good level of fitness in adulthood.
Our facilities are outstanding and the department enjoys an excellent reputation.
SPEECH AND DRAMA
Speech and Drama is an optional extra subject, taught by Susie Lowe, an energetic and enthusiastic teacher with over 20 years' teaching experience, who trained at Guildhall School of Music, and Drama in London.
Lessons are designed to give pupils confidence when performing or speaking in front of an audience; develop dramatic potential, leading to participation in examinations; improve the self-esteem of special needs pupils through tuition in public speaking, verse speaking and improvisation, leading to Spoken English exams if required; encourage clear speech, communication skills and the correction of speech faults in preparation for interviews and careers; prepare pupils for regular concerts of work and the opportunity to take LAMDA examinations.
At concerts, pupils have acted scenes from The Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward, Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn, a selection of modern comedy sketches as well as many others.