Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Music, drama and dance are important parts of everyday life at Spring Grove School, where we recognise the huge benefits that participation in the performing arts can bring to all children. Finding the discipline and determination to learn how to play an instrument, overcoming your fear on stage, or having the confidence to speak to a hall full of people – all of these are life skills that extend far beyond school. The school’s strong performing arts tradition also means that SG leavers are frequently awarded music and drama scholarships to local independent schools.

Success is evident in the performing arts where, as well as exam achievements in dance and ballet, pupils perform confidently in a range of school productions and concerts, where a variety of musical instruments are played
ISI Inspection report 2023
…pupils spoke with pride of improving their abilities in sport, music and drama and having the opportunity to represent the school at matches or, for example, singing in the cathedral at Christmas…
ISI Inspection report 2023

Performing Arts in the Curriculum

Music

School music plays an important role in the intellectual development of a child, and many studies have shown its positive impact. It has the unique ability to excite or relax, stimulate or calm, invigorate or soothe, or simply to entertain. It has the power to directly and positively impact the wellbeing of a child, both instantaneously and over a period of time. It is a very important part of each child’s experience at Spring Grove.

Children begin their musical journey when they start at SG, beginning with Nursery music sessions. From Reception class onwards, all children have an hour long weekly lesson. In addition, they can join in with choirs, orchestras and small ensembles to complement the work of the classroom and further enrich their musical world.

Lessons are taught by our Director of Music, Mr Dray, a music specialist whose instrumental skills include the keyboards, Celtic harp, mandolin, guitar, accordion and electric bass. All lessons take place in the Bill Jones Music Room, which incorporates a large teaching and orchestral space as well as two smaller teaching/practice rooms. The music curriculum is broad-based with a strong practical approach, allowing children to sing and to play many different types of instruments. As they discover the language of music, theoretical knowledge and notation is introduced, the relevance of which is considerably enhanced by the child’s practical musicianship skills. To fit everything into context, the history of music and musical cultures is taught with a focus on listening to music from all eras.

The ultimate aim is to promote a well rounded, exciting musical world with the tactile satisfaction of playing instruments combined with enough theoretical knowledge to be able to fully appreciate and create music. Of the many stated benefits of a musical education, above all, we believe that it should be fun!

Dance and Drama

We are fortunate to have a highly experienced dance teacher as a member of the teaching staff – Mr Clover is a graduate of Bird College Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre, and brings considerable expertise in many aspects of the performing arts. Our visiting LAMDA teacher also offers weekly lessons in the dramatic arts, instilling confidence and skill for public speaking and performance. Drama is timetabled into the curriculum for children from Prep 3 upwards.
 

Visiting Music Teachers

Mr Dray leads a team of Visiting Music Teachers who go out of their way to nurture the talents of the children at Spring Grove. A large number of children from Years 1 to 6 have individual music lessons on a wide variety of instruments, and voice, and we frequently celebrate music exam success in our Friday Family assemblies.
 

Opportunities to Perform

Children at Spring Grove are fortunate to have a wide range of opportunities to perform in shows, concerts, showcases and assemblies. All children in the school are encouraged to take part.

The school has a tradition of high-quality theatrical performances ranging from the Nativity productions for Giraffes/Reception and Years 1 and 2 at Christmas, to the musicals performed by Preps 3 and 4 at the end of the Spring term, and for Preps 5 and 6 at the end of the Summer term. Recent productions have included ‘Hoodwinked’, ‘Pirates vs Mermaids’ and ‘The Bee Musical’.

Informal Concerts are regular termly events that give all children, whatever their level of playing, an opportunity to perform. The School Prom concert is a highlight of the summer, showcasing the best of the musical, dance and performance talent in the school.

Spring Grove is often asked to provide musicians for local events such as the Service of Remembrance at Wye Church, and music for the residents at a local Care Home. At Christmas our school choir is honoured to perform in Canterbury Cathedral at the Princess of Wales’s Regiment Carol Service.