At Highfield we value the importance of The Arts as a way of creative self-expression and offer many opportunities each term for the girls to enjoy drama, art, design and performances. Dance and drama are an integral part of our curriculum, with specialist teachers giving expertise and guidance.
In Lower School, class assemblies and plays provide an early opportunity to develop and improve self-confidence. The confidence and self-esteem that can flourish through learning to perform in an encouraging environment is evident in all aspects of drama at Highfield.
In Upper School, the emphasis in drama is on learning performance skills through mime, improvisation and scripted performance. Our Upper School play is one of the highlights of the year and every girl participates in a fully staged musical drama. We use a weekly programme of rehearsals to hone the piece and performances and this gives the girls an opportunity to feel like a member of a professional team. Girls are fully involved in the whole process and the production is a collaborative effort where girls have the chance to suggest their own creative ideas. Girls have the chance to take part in all aspects of the play, including the set design, backstage work and the performance itself. Girls also enjoyed being involved in costume and make-up design.
Specialist Drama Teacher, Kate Skellern, says: “It’s so important to give children opportunities to perform in front of an audience and develop their confidence – it’s something we really cherish at Highfield.”
L.A.M.D.A (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) Qualifications
Speech and drama lessons will, among other things help your child gain the extra confidence they might be needing to speak up and be heard in a classroom, playground or large gathering. The discipline also promotes good posture, clear diction and vocal projection.
The lessons with Ms Skellern are tailor-made for each girl and can focus on areas of most interest. They encourage thoughtfulness to others, speaking and listening and helps access creative thoughts and ideas, all vital skills for life.
L.A.M.D.A qualifications are offered as part of our curriculum; giving the Junior Girls the opportunity to achieve graded awards for ‘Verse and Prose’ or ‘Acting’, solo or duolgues. If your child is already experienced in speech and drama, Ms Skellern can continue their progression through the L.A.M.D.A. If you are new to the exam programme Ms Skellern will guide you and choose the correct one for your level.
Ms Skellern is an experienced L.A.M.D.A teacher of more than a decade, she is also a regular Performer herself and feels this is important when teaching this skill set.
Art and Design
“Art and design is not just a subject to learn but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.” Quentin Blake
At Highfield, Art and Design allows the girls to develop their creativity and imagination through a huge variety of ‘hands on’ experiences. It plays a vital part in each child’s development, enriching and enhancing the learning process. Through this subject children develop an understanding of colour, shape, space, pattern and texture so that they can communicate what they see, feel and think.
As girls progress through the school they develop in confidence, increase their skills, and improve techniques. They also learn to respect the materials, tools and resources that they explore. The exciting and stimulating Creative Curriculum offered at Highfield also means that girls may visit local and national art galleries and museums, sometimes participating in artist workshops linked to their cross curricular theme. Opportunities are offered to explore the work of artists, craftspeople and designers of different cultures. Children develop an appreciation of their own work and that of others; they also learn the importance of art, craft and design throughout history and around the world.
The art curriculum at Highfield is broad, balanced and flexible with art projects on a small and large scale reflecting the themes and interests of the girls. Art and Design provides the opportunity to ask and answer questions, to make thoughtful judgements and to make practical decisions. It improves motivation, concentration, confidence, teamwork, social and emotional development and most importantly, is hugely enjoyable!
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Pablo Picasso