The creative arts are an integral part of life at Elizabeth College. Students at the Upper and Junior Schools are encouraged to pursue their interests and extend their creative talents, to explore and ignite a passion for the arts that extends beyond their school years.
We aim to educate all of our students to be culturally literate, confident enough to express themselves and to explore, appraise and understand the world around them. We hope that everyone of our students will leave College valuing the role of the Creative Arts in the world they live and work in.
Through extra-curricular as well as academic learning, we also aim to provide opportunities to foster that sense of wonder and curiosity which leads students to make links and understand relationships in all that they see. Igniting, inventing and imagining drives every Elizabethan and the creative arts at College provide the opportunity for our students to excel.
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The Art Department is a lively, popular and creative hub within Elizabeth College. The study of art is a journey of exploration and our aim is to undertake projects that stretch the appreciation and understanding of the aesthetic, technical and conceptual aspects of art.
Art is a superb platform for developing the imaginative, creative and personal sides of an individual’s character and so we encourage all of our students to experience a wide variety of techniques and formats.
We are lucky to have a very well-equipped Art Rooms across the school sites which both include their own kiln. In addition, we are incredibly proud of the Gate House Gallery at Elizabeth College; a student, community and international artist exhibition space, located in the old Gate House.
At the Junior School students are encouraged to consider why people create Art and why it is important. They look at the wealth of knowledge and ideas that have gone before us and how they connect to contemporary pieces. The study of artists’ work is often an important starting point for students and broadens and stimulates their own creativity.
At the Upper School everyone, regardless of ability, is encouraged to explore their creativity and enjoy making art. Art Club is a weekly addition to the after-school activities programme with projects such as mask making and animation. Students can also get involved with painting the sets for the school play or entering art competitions. Above all, we aim to foster a love of art and an appreciation of the central role it plays in the developing culture of our community.
Music has played a central part in the life of the College since its foundation in 1563. Today, the Music Department offers a comprehensive programme tailored to help all students achieve their potential, whatever their musical interests and abilities.
Choirs perform throughout the year, as well as flourishing instrumental groups. Students perform in the Elizabethan Concert at St James Concert and Assembly Hall, as well as other venues including Town Church and St Stephen’s Church.
Music at the Junior School is full of excitement, variety and fun. All of our students have access to weekly Music Lessons which are practically based encompassing beat, rhythm, tempo, pitch, duration and timbre using all the instruments available to them. Students from Year 2 are currently offered the opportunity to start learning a musical instrument. As they move into Year 3 we have the following ensembles and clubs: Choir, Orchestra, Steel Pans, Samba Band and Junior Music Club.
At the Upper School a blend of traditional and contemporary co-curriculum performance activities enrich the cultural life of the College, and enhance the academic teaching of the department. Weekly classes are timetabled for all students in Year 7-8 and Music is one of the Creative Arts options in Year 9. Music qualifications are available at GCSE and A Level.
The academic study of Music is an important part of the Elizabeth College Music Department, encouraging students to broaden their depth and understanding of music through the study of theory and analysis, music history and composition.
Drama is thriving at Elizabeth College. It is an engaging, active way of learning which feeds into many areas of the curriculum across all stages of a student’s education. Drama is incorporated into the curriculum throughout the whole School. It is a wonderful way to imaginatively engage young children in their learning at the Junior School as well as a popular academic subject at the Upper School both at GCSE and A Level.
Role-play enables students to develop their understanding through physical and emotional involvement while staying within a safe environment. One of the wonderful aspects of Drama is that it offers equal opportunities – no student should feel excluded or unable to participate. It has no boundaries, retains no prejudice and enables every student to achieve.
Both the Junior and Upper Schools produce annual drama productions that in recent years have included ‘Toad of Toad Hall’, ‘Animal Farm’, and ‘Oliver’. Our youngest children also participate in annual Nativity Plays. As the students move up through the College all of them are given the opportunity to audition for the school play and if the acting side doesn’t appeal, helping with the technical aspects of a show can be equally rewarding.
Drama at College enables students from different year groups to mix in an informal atmosphere and develop friendships that might not otherwise have materialised. For the older students, it is an opportunity to lead and inspire their younger peers and show the skills of negotiation and independence that College strives to instil. Furthermore, some productions enable the College to link with The Ladies’ College, which once again encourages wider friendships to be developed, many of which continue to blossom post-production.