Life is a bit of a drama, so at Claremont we seek to provide the freedom of expression and the space for our pupils to view it as an integral part of school life. Our pupils take initiatives in producing drama for lessons, productions, competitions and impromptu presentations. They enter local festivals and attend acting and technical workshops.
We are passionate about encouraging a holistic approach to Drama. As well as benefiting from a fully equipped theatre and drama studio, pupils also have the opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with the technical aspects of the subject including: stage management, set design, costume and lighting and sound.
West End productions and excursions to theatres in London, Kent and East Sussex are high on our agenda and we aim to see at least two professional productions per year. Touring theatre companies regularly tread the boards at Claremont School and many workshops run by industry professionals.
Children at Claremont have many opportunities to perform in front live audiences of parents, friends and teachers. Our annual Springtime soiree brings musical talent and acting ability together in an informal evening of entertainment that every year, sees the O’Byrne theatre packed to the rafters. Poetry and solo and ensemble musical performances regular feature in the spotlight throughout the year and our full drama productions always bring down the house!
Speech and Drama is also offered in the form of private tuition with a peripatetic teacher, with the option of working towards LAMDA examinations.
Music is at the very heart of Claremont and consequently the school is alive with music making. Every pupil in the school is given the opportunity to embrace the department’s ethos of ‘Be A Musician!’ through practical application of musical skills.
We encourage performance in an exciting, yet nurturing environment, offering all kinds of opportunities to suit every child and their level of ability. There are two dedicated performance spaces – the Chapel and the O’Byrne Theatre and numerous opportunities to join a new musical group – four Choirs, an Orchestra, Flute Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Drumming Group, String Ensemble and a Brass Ensemble to name but a few. These groups perform within the school and the local community. Our groups and individuals musicians enjoy much success at the annual Hastings Music Festival.
Music is taught by a specialist teacher to all year groups from Reception up to Year 8. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 the aim is to lay down firm foundations with the focus on singing, early years instrumental tuition, playing hand held percussion, music and movement and responding to different styles of music. Pupils at Claremont Prep School have a 80 minutes of music per week. The music curriculum explores a wide range of musical styles allowing children to gain an appreciation and understanding of Music through appraising, composing and performing. The music department is excellently equipped with class sets of keyboards, violins, ukuleles and recorders.
The Prep School is a hive of creative energy. The aim of the Art department is to provide our pupils with a broad spectrum of skills and opportunities that harness their imaginations, develop creative expression and help children find and fulfill their artistic potential.
Teaching of visual literacy underpins all activities so our pupils are introduced to the language of art as early as Reception. This helps create a strong foundation on which to develop children’s fluency when talking about and exploring their own Creativity, and that of other cultures when studying art history and contemporary artists.
Cross-curricular links regularly give young artists the chance to practise and hone their skills in different contexts and settings. Our amazing woodlands and the many nearby historical houses and their gardens provide perfect backdrops for pupils to experiment with different techniques and modes of expression. Pupils often collaborate with the Drama department on scenery design and making props and on school trips, children rarely leave without their sketchbooks.
Our Art studio is equipped with 2-D and 3-D media and has a fine art focus. Many pupils enter national and regional competitions to showcase their work, and those that show particular aptitude or interest can further immerse themselves in colour and form by attending the weekly Art enrichment club. Pupils that show exceptional artistic potential and can demonstrate commitment to the subject beyond the classroom, have the opportunity to apply for much coveted Art Scholarships at Year 7 and 9.