As you’d expect, the Walhampton Art department is a hotbed of ideas and innovation, an active and vibrant area where the environment encourages creativity and is accessible for all children.
The school art rooms are large and well-equipped, allowing the children to work in a range of different materials and scales. (Keeping things clean and tidy is another challenge.)
Creativity doesn’t always work to a timetable, so children have the opportunity to get involved in all elements of the art department through after school clubs, enrichments and some break times. Our gifted art scholars enjoy further opportunities to express creativity through the scholarship program.
Drama has been brought to life at Walhampton in recent years with a growing team of teachers and an enthusiastic bunch of hopeful Hoffmans and wannabe Witherspoons.
At Walhampton, the year group shows are School Performances, involving many staff and children who can choose to take responsibility for lighting, costume, set, sound and helping backstage. Shows start in Pre prep, with their Nativities performed in the Performing Arts Centre. In contrast, the Year 8s perform an outside Nativity (written by them) with Mary and Joseph on horseback and the Kings entering on either quad bikes or segways.
All children have regular weekly lessons, compulsory Year group performances annually, both inside and outside, lunchtime concerts and chapel assemblies. Pupils are positively encouraged to develop ideas, write group skits and to polish these for spontaneous performances.
There is an extension scholarship programme, with weekly group sessions and regular one to ones. The scholars support the Drama Department with positions of responsibility eg. Costume cupboard key holders. They have outings to watch and discuss national plays and musicals.
LAMDA is available for joint or single lessons in Year 5 upwards. In our recent LAMDA exams, all our pupils have achieved Distinctions which is exceptional.
Children from Nursery upwards enjoy music lessons in our recently developed music centre. As well as weekly class lessons, over 60% of pupils in Years 2 to 8 learn at least one instrument.
All styles of music are encouraged, and we have groups for all levels to get involved in orchestras, rock bands, jazz groups, three choirs and musical theatre. There are several opportunities to perform throughout the year, most are within the school but our musicians and choirs get an opportunity to perform at a local music festival and competition. Our Chapel Choir (which includes more than 50 pupils) also enjoys being invited to Limewood Hotel every Christmas to sing carols for guests.
Every other year, we celebrate the arts at the Walhampton School Arts Festival. Every child in the school takes part, with performances and exhibitions in the grounds and an afternoon of packed entertainment on a festival stage on the front lawn.