The Arts play a central role in life at King’s Hawford with all pupils enjoying music, art, and dance as part of the curriculum with specialist instrumental, singing, and LAMDA lessons also available. Outside the classroom there are plenty of opportunities for children to hone their creative talents.
The School has a wide range of musical ensembles including a school orchestra, string group, brass group, wind band, harp group, and guitar group. There are also both junior and senior choirs and a musical theatre club. Half-termly informal concerts take place throughout the school year supplementing larger scale concerts and performances each term. All children are involved in our school drama presentations, with separate musical productions for Year 5 and 6, and Year 3 and 4. Younger children all take part in Christmas productions each year. Our broad opportunities in the Arts help every child to thrive and discover their creative potential.
Music is taught as a specialist subject from Reception, with our full-time Director of Music taking all classes. We aim to introduce our children to a range of musical opportunities, with a strong emphasis on rhythm, pitch, and tone from the start.
Our lessons focus on participation, based on the ethos that everyone is musical in some way. Children in all years are taught good singing technique and this leads to increased confidence when performing. In Reception and Year 1, children learn how to control their voices and classroom percussion instruments, focusing on pulse and pitch. They grow in confidence through performing, and they learn about the different dimensions of music. In Year 2, children learn to read traditional pitched notation through composition, recorder playing and using glockenspiels. In Year 3 children perform and compose on xylophones, learning about the pentatonic scale. Whole class trumpet lessons are taught by the Director of Music in Year 4 alongside keyboard skills and tonality. By Year 5 and 6, the majority of pupils learn to play an instrument or have singing lessons and class work is largely focused on composition and performance.
Composition is taught from Year 3 upwards, and by the end of Year 6, children will have composed in various styles including: Chinese pentatonic music in Year 3; Major and Minor tonality compositions in Year 4; compositions inspired by Debussy and based on the Chromatic and Wholetone scales in Year 5; and freestyle compositions inspired by Holst’s ‘The Planets’ in Year 6. Many pupils compose for their own instrument and in small ensembles.
Numerous co-curricular clubs include Junior Choir (Years 3 & 4), Senior Choir (Year 5 & 6), Orchestra, Brass Group, String Group, Guitar Group, Harp Group, Musical Theatre club, and intermittently, Jazz Group, Chamber Choir, African Drumming Club, Young Composers, and smaller ensembles and singing groups. There is also a Sing and Sign club to help children learn sign language.
Our pupils and ensembles enjoy successes in music exams (ABRSM, LCM, Trinity) and annual music festivals such as Worcester Competitive Arts Festival (WCAF) and the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts (CFPA). In addition to numerous informal concerts, a charity concert, and formal concerts, we stage a full musical production in the spring term for all pupils in Years 3 & 4, and in the summer term for all pupils in Years 5 & 6, with two nativities, a Christingle and a Carol Service in the autumn term.
To be at King’s Hawford is to be part of something special. Music is all-inclusive; there is something for everyone.
Music is very much a part of life at King's Hawford, with over 75% of children receiving instrumental or singing tuition and a fifth of these learning two or more disciplines.
Dance is taught as an integral part of our physical activity programme. All children in our Prep School take part in an annual Dance Showcase and there are many opportunities for dance within our curriculum. Class-led assemblies frequently feature dance and the culmination to our arts year, the Arts Week, involves a significant dance element. During the week, visiting artists work with children across a range of artistic disciplines with a performance and exhibition, providing a focus at the end of the week.
Drama is taught as a subject within the curriculum, giving children opportunities for expression and to explore mood as well as working together to produce short improvisations. All children are involved in our school drama presentations, with separate productions for Years 5 and 6, and Years 3 and 4, which have included popular shows such as Lion King and Grease in recent years. Younger children take part in Christmas productions such as a Nativity or seasonal musical performance. Speech and drama is popular, with excellent results being recorded in LAMDA examinations.