Giving children room to grow is central to the way we approach music and the creative arts.
What is Drama? Is it just learning how to put on an entertaining show, or is there more to it than that? Well, at Beachborough we certainly do put on entertaining shows as they are a very important part of the school year. But there is a lot more to it than that…
The big challenge for Beachborough is getting every child on stage to enjoy their moment in the spotlight. This involves three major productions in the spring and summer terms; Forms VII & VIII present the main annual musical, followed by an amusing play from Form V and VI’s play and an entertaining musical from Form III & IV. Weekly lessons in developing stage technique build up through the years to Forms VII and VIII when the whole year group are responsible for the complete production: on the night of the show there is no teacher “behind the scenes”- the pupils have to manage all the entrances and exits themselves and be responsible for backstage discipline! Coming through the process of preparing and presenting their play gives a great sense of achievement to each successive year’s Form VIII pupils, and is a wonderful preparation for the even more challenging tasks ahead!
Art and Technology
Intellectually and creatively, Art at Beachborough is exceptional – just come and look round the school halls and corridors to see for yourself. Through a multiplicity of mediums, from power drills to pastels, every child learns new disciplines and has a broad canvas for self-expression. Thoughtfully displayed, the astonishing output which adorns the manor house is quintessentially Beachburian; individual excellence celebrated in an energetic and joyous way. Needless to say, scholarships follow.
All children have class music each week. The lessons are practical and topic based, which allows plenty of scope to fit the content of the lessons with the ability and experience of the group. The staple diet is a mixture of singing, listening, playing classroom percussion and composing on the keyboards. The music they experience varies from Medieval music through to modern styles, including music from different cultures.
There are many opportunities for musical performance – either informally or in a more formal context. Children who learn instruments individually are encouraged to perform to their class when they have a piece that is ready, particularly when approaching an examination or Festival performance. The peripatetic music staff run instrumental clubs which are always preparing for their next concert performance. To encourage confidence in performance, every pupil who learns an instrument performs in a more formal situation in front of their parents, with the other pupils of their teacher. There are Autumn and Summer music festivals in which nearly everyone in the Prep School traditionally takes part. There are three choirs, an orchestra and many instrumental ensembles that meet every week. The Chamber Choir (voluntary, open to Forms V – VIII) has over 90 singers, spread fairly evenly across the age range.
Some children learn more than one instrument and many go on to achieve Music Scholarships or Exhibitions at their next schools.