The arts are fully embedded in every aspect of school life and our aspiration is that every child adopts a lifelong love of drama, dance and music.
We are delighted to offer timetabled weekly creative arts lessons for all year groups. These take place either in the classroom, the hall or our dedicated music room depending on the lesson. They are lively and interactive and aim to foster a passion for music, dance and drama in children of all abilities. Children with special educational needs are supported to achieve whilst more able and talented pupils are recognised quickly and encouraged to build on their skills through differentiated lessons. Bespoke planning is written and linked to our immersive curriculum; each child will receive a full term of music, drama and dance lessons across each academic year.
It is our vision that music lessons give the opportunity for children to strive towards becoming real musicians and performers. The children participate in singing, tuned and untuned percussion work, composition, and listening to live and recorded music. All children are taught the skills to be able to compose using musical instruments. From Year 3 onwards, musical notation is taught and children are taught correct musical terminology of the musical elements e.g. rhythm, melody, pitch, dynamics. All children will be able to read and understand simple music notation by the time they leave Loughton School.
We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to access musical tuition and to play orchestra instruments. Therefore, every year, they are taught the skills of how to play the glockenspiel, sight read and compose music. During their music lessons they will also be learning songs from various different cultures that are often represented within the school. We also welcome visitors into school whenever possible so the children can listen to live music. Singing is highly important part of our learning. Weekly singing assemblies take place to teach children how to sing with a sense of pitch, tempo and melody. They are taught how to warm up their voices, sing in rounds and harmony, and build up a repertoire of songs. We have a school choir which meet each week and perform as a choir at whole school events as well as public competitions. To also inspire the children to sing, we have a newly set up staff choir who also meet weekly.
We build on the creative horizons of each child and we strongly believe that children should be given the opportunity to share their creative skills at different events both in and outside school. We currently participate in Brass, Woodwind and Strings Festivals as well as hosting our own Loughton School concerts and performances and participating in the annual Young Voices Choir Festival. Along side this, each year group has an annual music workshop linked to their learning from 'stomp' percussion junk modelling to South African samba drumming.
Dance lessons and annual workshops for every year group help to develop the children’s confidence and self-esteem, concentration and focusing skills, whilst also becoming healthy individuals. In these lessons, the children are taught different styles of dance from Indian Bollywood dance to WW2 themed dances. These lessons are further consolidated through each child being able to participate in a dance workshop that is linked to the immersive curriculum, for example: Lion King Workshop (Animals) for Year 3 and Indian Dance Workshop (India) for Year 4. Through our lessons, and in line with the National Curriculum, children will be able to demonstrate the skills required to perform their dance, be able to work independently and as part of a group to perform to a piece of music and will recall styles of dance and their features.
At Loughton School, our drama vision is for all pupils to leave ready for the next stage of their education as confident, social and imaginative individuals, with an understanding of performance and presentation skills.
Our aim is to enhance and develop children’s self-esteem and enable them to use a range of dramatic techniques to explore ideas and texts. We will encourage and support them in developing the capacity and confidence to express ideas and communicate them through drama. The children will learn to evaluate their own and others’ ideas and understanding through drama and use it as a powerful learning tool across the curriculum. Every child is unique and it is our ultimate aim that each child becomes a confident performer, however, we recognise that each child learns at their own speed and we support children who are less confident and encourage them to flourish. This is achieved through structured and differentiated lessons, school productions, visiting companies as well as participation in the national Shakespeare for Schools Festival (SSF). To see some of the children’s fantastic work at the SSF click on this link.