The arts play a central role in life at King’s Hawford, with all pupils enjoying music, art, drama, and dance as part of the curriculum with specialist music lessons also available. Outside of the classroom there are plenty of opportunities for children to hone their creative talents.
The school has an orchestra and there is also a string group, a wind band, a guitar group, a jazz band, as well as a junior and senior choir. Regular informal concerts take place throughout the school year and these are supplemented by a Summer Concert. All children are involved in our school drama presentation, with separate productions for Years 5 and 6, and Years 3 and 4. Younger children take part in Christmas productions each year.
King’s Hawford holds the status of Artsmark Gold, awarded by the Arts Council of England. This was awarded to recognise the high quality art, music, dance, and drama being undertaken by the children at the school and also recognises the support of visiting artists at events involving the arts.
Music is taught as a specialist subject from Reception, with our full-time Music teacher 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 how to sing properly, with correct control of diaphragm and projection. In Reception and Year 1, children learn how to control their voices and classroom instrument sounds. They grow in confidence through performing, and they learn about the different dimensions of music. Recorder is taught in Year 2, introducing all children to traditional notation. In Year 3 children perform and compose on xylophones and glockenspiels. Whole class trumpet lessons are taught by the Director of Music in Year 4. 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 three Choirs (Pre-Prep Year 1&2, Junior Year 3&4, Senior Year 5&6), Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Group, Beginner Strings, Ukulele Club, Musical Theatre clubs, and intermittently, Jazz Group, Chamber Choir, African Drumming Club, Young Composers, and smaller ensembles and singing groups.
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 Service and a Carol Services 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 85% of children learning an instrument.
Dance is taught as an integral part of our physical activity programme. All children in our Junior 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.