The Performing Arts are a fundamental part of our curriculum at WGS. There are so many ways for pupils to get involved including School productions, music ensembles, stage crew activities, regular theatre visits to London, a bi-annual tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, open mic events and national public speaking competitions. Apart from classroom Drama, Music and Dance lessons there is specialist teaching available for Trinity College London examinations in Music, Acting and Speaking, Communications Skills, Singing and Musical Theatre and valuable assistance preparing for auditions.
The Drama Department is vibrant, priding itself on the high quality and diverse nature of its productions. In Magdalene House there are two major events each year – the Nativity play and main production, which ensures that every child has their moment to shine on stage in the Russell Hall. In the Senior School, apart from the GCSE and A level examination performances in the intimate studio space of 77 , we also stage Sixth form and Scholars’ productions (last year ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ and this year ‘Shout! The Mod Musical’) and a main School production in the Trinity term. Some of these productions are staged in the historic Angles Theatre to give pupils a broader spectrum of performance experience.
Music thrived last year with Mrs Missin at the helm; the range and skill level displayed during the concerts was astonishing. Our musicians put on a busy programme of performances, from large-scale concerts in the Russell Hall to more intimate recitals in the beautiful surroundings of Peckover House. Catherine Missin (Music Scholar) and Abigail McGlone (Music Scholar) gained places with the National Schools Symphony Orchestra. Growing numbers of pupils in both the Prep and Senior School have taken up the opportunity for individual instrumental or singing lessons with our team of visiting music teachers. Each week, 150 individual lessons are delivered. The range of co-curricular ensembles continues to expand with Samba Band, Jazz Ensemble and Rock Choir now established.
We have been incredibly fortunate to establish closer links with Studio 19 in King’s Lynn and Lois Slingsby, one of their experienced teachers – with an additional teacher apprentice – now has a regular slot teaching everybody from Prep pupils to 6th Form. It has also been exciting to see some of our older pupils help with the teaching, expanding their own experience and broadening their skillset for the future.