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Art for art's sake- performing arts within schools

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:08 20 February 2013

Art for art's sake- performing arts within schools

Art for art's sake- performing arts within schools

There is more to a well rounded education than exam results, we talk to head teachers about drama in schools

Ardingly College


Address: Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6SQ


Website: www.ardingly.com


How important are the performing arts to you?


Our partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Choral Days for local schools with Ardinglys Ensemble in Residence VOCES 8 and performances of a new musical, Dickens Testament, at the Capitol Theatre Horsham show the performing arts are at the heart of the school.



What do you offer?


Three Choirs recent performances in Berlin, Westminster, Chichester and St Pauls Cathedrals; two orchestras, string and wind ensembles; junior and senior jazz bands. The Music Festival and Cabaret Evenings give bands opportunities to perform as well, including Jack, Josh, Jonny who also play gigs locally.


Regular drama productions as well as GCSE, A Level and International Baccalaureate Drama.


Drama, choral and music scholarships available to talented youngsters.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Alan Howard, Terry Thomas, Frank Williams, Ian Hislop and Ed Petrie.



Ashdown House


Address: Forest Row, East Sussex RH18 5JY


Website: www.ashdownhouse.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Ashdown House is synonymous with the performing arts.



What do you offer?


Whether your child is a natural thespian or shy and in need of self confidence, our purpose-built theatre and music block gives every child the chance to experience and enjoy his or her own speciality whether it be the lighting box, in a starring role or backstage, or in the orchestra or their own rock band.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?
Old boys range from Damien Lewis (Homeland, Band of Brothers) to Charlie Cox (Stardust, Boardwalk Empire),



Brambletye


Address: East Grinstead, Sussex RH19 3PD


Website: www.brambletye.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Music and drama both play a very important role in a pupils life at Brambletye. The school promotes the enjoyment of music and drama for children of all ages and abilities. This is evident through the impressive range of productions undertaken and ensembles on offer, and confirmed by the eagerness and enthusiasm of the children that take part.



What do you offer?


The school has outstanding facilities, including a purpose built Arts Centre, comprising a large theatre and Music Department. Individual tuition is available on a wide range of instruments and our ensembles include a huge Swing Choir, a small and a Chapel Choir, a large Orchestra, a Samba Band, African Drumming and Caribbean Steel Pans.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the hit BBC television series Sherlock, started his acting career on the Brambletye theatre stage many moons ago. His rise to fame has been meteoric as he has made the part of the eccentric detective in the modernised version of Sherlock Holmes his own and, at the same time, appearing as Major Stuart in Spielbergs adaptation of the Morpurgo novel War Horse.



Brighton and Hove High School


Address: Montpelier Road, Brighton, BN1 3AT


Website: www.bhhs.gdst.net


How important are the Performing Arts to you?
BHHS has vibrant, thriving Dance, Music and Drama departments, all with full programmes offering opportunities to all pupils whatever their age or ability.



What do you offer?
Opportunities in Music: GCSE and A level Music courses and academic performances, individual lessons, orchestras and choirs for all.


Opportunities in Drama : GCSE and A level Drama courses and academic performances, Year 7 musical, sixth form plays, whole school plays, House plays, visits to the theatre and visits by professional performers.
Opportunities in Dance: GCSE and A level Dance courses and academic performances, the whole school dance show, Rock Challenge (a national competition).



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Recent successes of our dancers include admission to Laban, The Place and Roehampton University to pursue Undergraduate studies in Dance, also The Centre for Advanced Training programmes at The Place and Laban and Brighton Satellite and the Young Creatives Project at Youth Dance England.



Brighton College


Address: Eastern Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 0AL


Website: www.brightoncollege.org.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


The arts are hugely important to the school. Pupils are encouraged to discover the performer within and each year sees a vast range of musical, dramatic and dance productions, from informal concerts to major performances, open to the public. Inspectors gave high praise to the schools creative arts provision, commenting that pupils are nurtured by enthusiastic teaching to achieve unforeseen potential. The widest range of extra-curricular opportunities is also available, making for a wonderful all-round education, whatever a childs interests may be.



What do you offer?


Art and Photography, Music, Drama and Dance form a vibrant and stimulating element of life. Pupils of the Arts at Brighton College will be able to work with professional artists, composers, musicians, actors, directors, choreographers and dancers and through this they will gain a view of artistic development in the wider world and the heights to be attained.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


I believe passionately in the importance of the individual, says Headmaster Richard Cairns. Every child at Brighton College is valued for his or her own sake, encouraged to develop his or her talents to the full in a community where there are no stereotypes and where every achievement, however small, is noticed.



Burgess Hill School for Girls


Address: Keymer Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0EG


Website: www.burgesshill-school.com


How important are the performing arts to you?


Everyone here is encouraged to be the best that they can be at whatever they love to do and the Performing Arts play a crucial role in the life and ethos of our vibrant and busy school.

What do you offer?


Music and Drama are taught throughout the Junior and Lower Senior Schools, with both subjects available at GCSE and A Level. Private instrumental, singing and Speech and Drama lessons are available to any student. We produce two to three productions per school year varying in genre from musicals to Shakespeare, plus a whole host of musical concerts, dance activities and other events including the annual Interhouse Performing Arts competition.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


We are so lucky to have had and continue to have so much talent in one place it is difficult to pick out one or two students only. We are naturally very proud of the success achieved on the national and international stage by Holly Willoughby (TV Presenter), Hayden Gwynne (Actress), Greta Scaatchi (Actress), Elizabeth Burgess (Musician) and Ruth Potter (Musician) who are notable amongst our alumnae here at Burgess Hill School for Girls.



Christs Hospital


Address: The Counting House, Horsham RH13 0YP


Website: www.christs-hospital.org.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Over 50 per cent of pupils learn a musical instrument. The award-winning theatre seats 500 people and attracts visiting touring theatre companies, performing visual arts, dance, music and drama all year round.



What do you offer?


Students enjoy unrivalled music facilities with a superb teaching faculty. A full concert schedule exists both within and outside the school, giving performance opportunities to all ages and abilities, various workshops, master classes, informal concerts including composition and jazz with visiting specialist musicians. There is also an extensive chamber music programme including an annual concert at St. Johns Smith Square in London.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Former pupils have become famous performers, and current pupils aspire to join them. These include actors James Darcy, Tenniel Evans, Guy Masterson and Jason Flemyng, and comedians Mark Thomas and Holly Walsh. Dramatist George Peele and Director Howard Davies are also former pupils.


Eastbourne College


Address: Old Wish Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4JY


Website: www.eastbourne-college.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Eastbourne College considers the performing arts to be a vital element in the education of all pupils. This commitment is evidenced by the recent addition to the school of the Birley Centre, a contemporary performing arts centre which includes a professional recording studio, numerous teaching spaces and a flexible performance auditorium.


Eastbourne College enjoys a particularly rewarding partnership with Glyndebourne collaborative projects benefit both College students and the wider community.



What do you offer?


All pupils in Year 9 study music and drama as an integral part of their curriculum. As pupils progress through the school many choose to study performing arts subjects to GCSE and A-level. The College offers drama and music Scholarships to pupils entering Year 9 and music scholarships for Year 12. The opportunities to perform are numerous in the state-of-the art Birley Centre, the fully equipped College Theatre or the Le Brocq drama studio. In addition, the College hosts a comprehensive programme of professional performing arts events every term.



Do you have any notable performers among you alumni or current pupils?


The College is proud to list a number of talented performers amongst its alumni actor and comedian Eddie Izzard, actors Ben Deery, Hugh Skinner, Michael Praed, Edward Speelers and Royce Mills, and musicians, Jules Knight, Nick Atkinson and Luke Potashnick. More recent leavers who are embarking on careers within the performing arts include actress Lucy Skinner who won a place at the National Youth Theatre, and talented musicians Oliver Clarke and William Kunhardt-Smith, both of whom won places at the prestigious Royal College of Music.



Farlington School


Address: Strood Park, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 3PN


Website: www.farlingtonschool.net


How important are the performing arts to you?


The Performing Arts are extremely important to Farlington because they fully represent our ethos: we educate for confidence.



What do you offer?


Drama: Four major drama productions a year. A Level and GCSE Drama and Theatre Studies. Lunchtime Drama Club.


Music: A regular schedule of music concerts for all each term. A Level and GCSE Music. Clubs available to both Senior and Prep includes three Orchestras, Samba, Jazz and Rock Bands, Flute Choir,Woodwind & String Quartet, and six choirs.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Gemma Powell who appeared in Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland. Current pupils Jess Scott who performed on stage in Billy Elliott and Katie and Becky Maguire who appeared in the film The Nativity.



Handcross Park


Address: Handcross, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6HF


Website: www.handcrossparkschool.co.uk


What do you offer?


All our pupils participate in one play each year (we produce five plays throughout the academic year). There are four school choirs, a school orchestra a number of instrumental groups and lessons taught in just about any musical instrument you can imagine. We also offer LAMDA, English Speaking Board examinations and debating clubs. Performing Arts is an essential part of what we do at Handcross Park



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


We have pupils involved in professional productions outside of school. Recently, two of our Year 6 girls performed at Worthing Theatre in Peter Pan. We have a number of Year 8 pupils who achieve drama scholarships to their senior schools.



Lancing College


Address: Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 0RW


Website: www.lancingcollege.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Lancing College truly inspires.The school has an international reputation for the extraordinary quality of its music and drama, reflecting an illustrious cast of past pupils.


What do you offer?


Opportunities to become involved are many, from performing to stage management. The College Theatre is complemented by drama and dance studios, a separate music school and an open-air theatre. Drama, dance and music are offered to all students when they join the school at 13 and superb concerts and drama productions are regular features of the school year at Lancing.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Yes, these include Sir David Hare, Sir Tim Rice and Christopher Hampton CBE.



Lancing College Preparatory School


Address: The Droveway, Hove, BN3 6LU


Website: www.lancingprep.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Performing arts form a very important part of the schools curriculum. Pupils are given the opportunity to enjoy music and drama lessons and then to perform. Each week we run a performance assembly for pupils of all ages and abilities.



What do you offer?


Nearly 75 per cent of all pupils learn a musical instrument and that includes free strings tuition for the whole of Year 3. Pre-Prep children perform a musical version of the nativity at Christmas and we run a major musical every second year for Prep School pupils. In the alternate year pupils are given the opportunity to take part in a play which is usually performed in the College Theatre.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Sir David Hare, Sir Tim Rice, Christopher Hampton CBE and Evelyn Waugh.



Moira House Girls School


Address: Upper Carlisle Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN20 7TE


Website: www.moirahouse.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?
Our Performing Arts Tours run on a regular basis and in the last two years the girls have travelled to Dubai, Hong Kong and Barcelona, and in October they are travelling to St Petersburg.


Last year the Senior Chamber Choir reached the finals of the Barnardos National Choir Competition, and next month the Junior School Chamber Choir will be performing at the Barbican as finalists in this years Competition.



What do you offer?


We have a full programme of Music, Dance and Drama where the girls have the opportunity to participate in Choirs, Orchestra, Chamber Groups, Rock Band and Glee Club. We offer Music, Drama and Dance at GCSE.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Our most notable alumni include Prunella Scales, Rumer Godden and Susannah Corbett.



Roedean


Address: Roedean Way, Brighton, BN2 5RQ


Website: www.roedean.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


The creative and performing arts are central in the cultural life of the school supported by outstanding teaching, a superb dance studio, well equipped music suite and West End standard 320-seat theatre.



What do you offer?
Drama is taught up to and including A Level while private lessons lead to examinations for LAMDA and the English Speaking Board.Dance is offered from jazz to modern and ballet to tap with tuition and exams to the highest level.


Music is enjoyed from choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles. Concerts are a regular feature and girls excel at their grades.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Honeysuckle Weeks, Perdita Weeks, Rebecca Hall, Rhona Mitra



Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School


Address: Church Lane, Sompting, West Sussex BN15 0AZ


Website: www.somptingabbotts.com


How important are the performing arts to you?


We have always placed great emphasis on the Performing Arts. The experience of working on a production helps build confidence and develop team spirit. Drama productions such as The Mikado, Macbeth, Bugsy Malone and Guys and Dolls have been taking place annually for nearly 30 years.



What do you offer?
Of our children, 60 per cent study one or two musical instruments from Year 1 to Year 8. There are many groups which take place on a weekly basis: Junior and Senior Choirs, Band, Chamber Group, Recorder Groups and Junior and Senior String groups.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Richard ONeal, who is currently in the Fifth Form at Lancing College, is a member of the prestigious National Childrens Wind Orchestra as an oboist. Famous alumni include Daniel Beales who performs with The Treason Show and Sam Preston (of Big Brother fame!) and James Gregory who were members of the Ordinary Boys. At present we have a very talented pianist and cellist, Jade Harvey, aged 11 who plays with the West Sussex Youth Orchestra and has also performed with Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra. She is working towards Grade 8 on the cello and is taking Grade 7 Piano in a few weeks time. She has also auditioned for the Yeheudi Menuhin School.


St Andrews School


Address: Meads, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 7RP


Website: www.androvian.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Very important. They give children an enormous amount of self confidence and help them to learn valuable skills in communication, problem-solving and team work whether playing a musical instrument, treading the boards or just in the classroom.



What do you offer?


Music and drama lessons are taught in all years giving opportunities to perform solo and in groups. Children feel part of something bigger whether on stage or backstage.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Two children have gained places in the National Childrens Choir this year. The school has gained 20 music and nine drama scholarships to senior schools in the last five years.



St Aubyns


Address: 76 High Street, Rottingdean, Brighton, BN2 7JN


Website: www.staubynsschoolbrighton.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


The Performing Arts at St Aubyns are a very significant part of the curriculum and of the activities programme. They provide breadth to the curriculum and help children to develop personal confidence and communication skills.



What do you offer?


Music: class music from Nursery to Year 8 taught by a specialist teacher, visiting instrumental and singing teachers, choirs, instrumental groups.


Drama: class drama from Year 1 to Year 8 taught by a specialist teacher, drama clubs, LAMDA lessons.


Dance: ballet (classes from Nursery upwards), tap, modern, street jazz.



Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?
A recent leaver, Perry Eggleton, performed in the feature film Will as the lead character. A current Year 8 pupil has gained a distinction in Grade 8 Violin and takes Grade 8 piano this term.



St Bedes


Address: Upper Dicker, East Sussex BN27 3QH


Website: www.stbedesschool.org


How important are the Performing Arts to you?


Dance, Drama, Music, Musical Theatre the Performing Arts are an intrinsic part of life at St Bedes, with more than 50 performances taking place in any one year. These range from extravaganzas at Eastbournes Congress Theatre to open air concerts in the beautiful St Bedes park land. The Legat School of Dance offers vocational dance training couple with academic excellence with many of its students moving on to the top dance colleges in the country, whilst the Drama department has an enviable record A Level results and students winning places at the Guildhall School of Music and Acting, Mountview and East 15, to name but a few. The school has over 30 different orchestras, chamber groups and bands which thread a wonderful vitality through the year.



What do you offer?


Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, Music A Level, BTEC Music Performance, BTEC Music Technology, BTEC Dance (= 1 A Level) BTEC Performing Arts (Dance) (= 3 A Levels)


Tavistock & Summerhill Preparatory School


Address: Summerhill Lane, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1RP


Website: www.tavistockandsummerhill.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


Performing arts are essential to form and shape a civilised society. They delight, engage, enthuse, inform, instruct and interpret. Arts have a positive impact upon academic performance because they enable children to understand difficult concepts and appreciate themselves and others. We enable all our children to participate.



What do you offer?


Plays, drama workshops for all, including nursery. Poetry days, informal concerts where all children who learn an instrument perform, summer concerts, singing at the O2 in a choir of 8000, recorder groups, street dance, the list is almost endless.



Worth School


Address: Paddockhurst Road,
Turners Hill, West Sussex


RH10 4SD


Website: www.worthschool.co.uk


How important are the performing arts to you?


It is central to Worths philosophy for students to discover and develop their talents across all fields.


What do you offer?


The school has its own 250-seat theatre, recital room, sound-proofed rock room and numerous rehearsal rooms.


Worths reputation for its dramatic productions is outstanding, and there will be two major productions a year, one by the seniors and one by the juniors. Over 80 students are enrolled on the LAMDA Speech and Drama programme and in 2011 no less than 18 students achieved Distinction level passes.


In terms of music, as well as full-time teaching staff, there are over 25 part-time teachers so the choice of instruments is vast. The school has a choir which performs regularly in the Abbey and external venues, as well as a Schola group, 60-piece orchestra, concert band, jazz band, woodwind ensemble and others. Students are also encouraged in modern music and the annual Battle of the Bands is a hugely popular evening.Scholarships are available at ages 11, 13 and 16.


Do you have any notable performers among your alumni or current pupils?


Alumni who have gone into the world of performing arts include Robert Bathurst, most recently seen in Hattie and Downton Abbey. We currently have students working with the National Youth Theatre and with the Sussex Youth Orchestra, and four former pupils are at university as Choral Scholars.

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