The World Economic Forum predicts that Creativity, Originality and Initiative will continue to trend well into 2022 as some of the most important skills needed for future jobs. At Claremont, we offer a creative learning environment where children and young adults can unleash their imaginations, channel their creative expression and take risks in pursuit of original ideas, in a way that goes beyond what can be achieved on the Stage and in the Art studios. Students are encouraged to apply creative thinking to all areas of school life at Claremont; both in and outside the classroom.
We believe that our varied study paths coupled with the many creative opportunities open to students at Claremont make us very well placed to help develop many other crucial life skills, such as problem solving, teamwork and the development of emotional intelligence. From the construction of detailed working models in the Prep School science labs to game-changing, student-led fundraising initiatives at the Senior School, creativity and experiential, cross-curricular learning opportunities are everywhere at Claremont, and rightly so.
The teaching of visual literacy underpins all activities in the Prep School with pupils being introduced to the language of Art as early as Reception. Cross-curricular links regularly give young artists the chance to practise and hone their skills in different contexts and settings and our amazing woodlands and 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.
The Prep school is alive with music making and you are never too far from a group rehearsal or a pupil humming a tune on the way to their next lesson. Through practical application of musical skills, every pupil is given the opportunity to embrace the department’s ethos ‘Be A Musician!’ There are many opportunities for Prep School pupils to perform in front of live audiences of parents, friends and teachers. The 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 regularly feature in the spotlight throughout the year and our full drama productions always bring down the house!
The Art and Photography department at Claremont Senior is one of creativity, exploration and independent thinking. As Henri Matisse once said ‘Creativity takes courage’. Our students are encouraged to be bold, take risks and above all experiment. The Art departments aim is to encourage individual and personal growth in the visual arts, to develop the perception of visual form, and to co-ordinate hand and eye. Students are taught to draw, paint, sculpt and combine mixed media and photography. Similarly Photography encourages learning traditional dark room skills and contemporary digital manipulation with the use of Photoshop. At times both disciplines are combined and students are free to not only print and present clean images but also cut, stick, rip and stitch their prints. The subjects Art and Photography work in harmony with each other and can often cross over effectively. Often students are keen to study both at A level.
Drama at Claremont is most definitely about communication. We work with our students in such a way that they have a genuine space for exploration, to value their own ideas and opinions and to develop an ability to listen to the loudest hollers and the quietest whispers of ideas. Complete freedom and extraordinary discipline are encouraged in equal measure. We are proud of the fact that we aim to give our students a professional experience when working in the dynamic and high energy weekly workshops of Year 9 through to the challenging and enlightening exam years of GCSE Drama and A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies. In order to create theatre that is worthy of an audience, the drama explorations need to be many, varied and flexible. The students are encouraged to be passionate about their work but not precious about it – ultimately allowing their work and their experience to be the most enriching it can be. Drama at Claremont goes beyond the classroom experience; it is unlike any other part of school life – it is not about the teacher having all the answers – it is not about being right or wrong. Creating a safe environment for all to ‘have a go’ produces the most comical, the most tragic and ultimately the most theatrically powerful material. We do not put a limit on what is possible for any of our students on stage, we expect full commitment, we give full support and our students emerge more confident, more skilled and more ready for life’s dramatic journey.
Our ongoing commitment to developing our Creative and Performing Arts provision at our Prep and Senior School sites is evident in the investments we have made (and continue to make) in our facilities.