Speech and Drama at Highfields School
Speech and Drama forms an important part of the curriculum at Highfields School. Our pupils are confident in expressing their thoughts and ideas and develop confidence in addressing an audience through class and whole school opportunities to develop the use of language and communication skills. We focus as a whole school school on widening vocabulary and developing pupils’ presentation skills. Our pupils enjoy speaking in public and we provide a variety of opportunities for them to practise these skills in a safe environment for example assemblies, church services, sporting events and our annual talent show ‘Highfields Got Talent’.
All children take part in musical and drama productions, performing for families and friends; these begin in the Nursery with the Christmas Nativity and culminate with Prep School Productions and Speech Day presentations. Our pupils are encouraged to develop and share their opinions, and listen actively and respectfully to the opinions of others. The whole school delights in the sharing of each others’ talents and we celebrate and nurture the strengths our pupils have in the performing arts.
LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) Syllabus
We have a long standing and highly committed speech and drama tutor who delivers expert tuition across the whole school. Teaching is organised in class groups or smaller depending on class sizes. Pupils are additionally able to prepare for LAMDA examinations in the speaking of verse and prose as well as duologues and solo acting if families elect for this extra curricular opportunity. Specific examination preparation sessions are given to support pupils more individually with their examination pieces either in person or remotely.
Our pupils excel in LAMDA Examination results with a very high proportion of children attaining the grade of ‘distinction’. We are extremely proud of our outstanding LAMDA results and even more proud of the presentation skills it allows our pupils to develop.
Highfields Music Department
We have a thriving Music Department at Highfields. Every child will have an excellent experience of music, the emphasis being firmly on fun practical activity, developing skills and music appreciation. All pupils have the opportunity to play instruments, sing and perform as part of Highfields school life.
If your child goes on to develop a specialist interest in music, we encourage the highest levels of achievement. School policy is to engage professional, performing musicians with excellent reputations as peripatetic teachers. Our inspiring specialist music teachers nurture our pupils to achieve their full potential.
Curriculum music lessons
We offer whole class lessons in recorder to Forms 2, 3 and 4 and ukulele to Forms 5 and 6. All Forms will experience percussion work also. These lessons take place on school instruments and are part of the curriculum, and are therefore included within fees. Singing is a very big part of music learning at Highfields. We meet as a whole school to sing together regularly and the music covered is wide ranging in styles. Children in Forms 5 and 6 study ABRSM Theory, with many going on to take graded exams.
A range of ensemble opportunities are offered before and during the school day: string group, band, choir and chamber choir. The children perform regularly at services for Harvest, Christmas and Easter, school concerts and productions. This gives them self-esteem, confidence, a broad cultural awareness and develops their performance skills.
Individual music lessons
Pupils also have the opportunity to study a musical instrument individually. Private instrumental and singing lessons are provided by a team of professional musicians. The teachers are all active performers, as we believe this is the best way to inspire our youngsters to play with confidence and musicality.
Lessons on the following instruments are offered at Highfields from Form 1 onwards: harp, violin, viola, cello, piano, drums, trumpet, cornet, trombone, horn, clarinet, flute and saxophone. We also offer individual singing lessons.
Pupils having music lessons see their music teacher on a weekly basis, the number of lessons being dependent on the length of the term. The timetable rotates weekly and teachers will be as flexible as they can be during the time they are in school each week. Some music teachers are happy to start lessons early, before the school day or after school.
We offer 20 minute or 30 minute individual lessons.
It is our belief that if instrumental lessons are exciting and children feel positive about their abilities they will be motivated to play. Sometimes instrument practice has to be accommodated alongside other demands. In order to support families our Music team have various strategies to motivate children to practise and encourage them to create a sustainable practise timetable at home so children get the most out of their music lesson when in school.