Performing Arts – Dance and Drama at Brooke Priory

‘Pupils’ achievements in art, drama, music and sport are exceptional’ – ISI Inspection Report 2017

 

Drama at Brooke Priory School

From the Nativity plays in Reception, drama starts at a young age – Christmas sees several productions in Pre-Prep, and parents are regularly amazed at the standard of performance. The academic year climaxes with the Form VI production; an all-singing, all-dancing production to rival the best of the West End.

We take an inclusive approach to drama, with pupils having the opportunity to take part in plays or musicals throughout the year. All are encouraged to have speaking roles, and pupils are often inspired to develop an interest in both lighting and staging of performances, and to contribute to the writing of some scripts. We are lucky to have a fully equipped theatre within school, as well as excellent staff who, like the pupils, revel in the limelight. The prep form and nativity productions are always a calendar highlight!

Public speaking is celebrated, not feared, at Brooke Priory. All pupils learn to become competent communicators, whether they have an audience of 200 or an audience of one. Through services, assemblies and performances, the pupils practise the fundamentals of oral communication: clarity, coherence and confidence.

Brooke Priory also provides lunchtime and after school LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) tuition for children who request it. All sessions are taught by a fully qualified LAMDA professional. Children who attend weekly LAMDA lessons are offered the opportunity to enter LAMDA exams. These are nationally recognised qualifications and are accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in England.

 

Dance at Brooke Priory School

We take a very creative approach to dance at Brooke Priory to ensure each and every child is engaged and having fun learning, not just those that have a particular interest for the subject. Dance classes are included in the timetable from nursery up to form VI and led by ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) trained teacher Mrs Francesca Ainge. Classes are based around the ISTD syllabi and Miss Francesca will often use class topics or the Brooke Priory school values as the basis to enhance the children’s learning of a particular type of dance.

Brooke Priory children are often invited to partake in dancing exams and we have had some fantastic results. Four form II students took their Primary Cecchetti Ballet exam last October and received 1 distinction and 3 merits. The Friday lunchtime ballet club are now working towards their Standard 1 Cecchetti ballet exam.

In prep, the children move on to look into dance in more detail and explore different ideas such as how dancers use verbal and non verbal communication, discovering how dancers stay in time with each other and work as a team. Recent topics have included the idea of momentum and how we can build our movements and energy. Children are encouraged to develop their individuality and freedom of expression and are often given tasks to create their own ideas.

Our Friday lunchtime Modern dance club have been working on ISTD Grade 3 Modern which is accredited and the equivalent to a GCSE grades D-G.

For the first time this year Form VI took part in ‘Spotlight on Dance’ and performed at the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre. We hope this will be an annual event. Spotlight, is an event that invites local schools to enter a dance to be performed on a professional stage. The children, together with Miss Francesca, developed an impressive dance piece in a creative workshop, and took inspiration from the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollack and Yves Klein, linking in with classroom topics.

Nursery and pre school have weekly ballet lessons that introduce the foundation of ballet through story telling. These classes also give the children a chance to practice vital skills such as turn taking, listening and patience as well as self discipline.

As well as fantastic dance provision, Miss Francesca is also a qualified children’s fitness instructor and works with the nursery and pre school children on their physical literacy. Each week they take part in ‘Mini Movement’ a class designed to enhance their learning of colours and counting whilst also developing by balance, strength, logic and hand/eye coordination.

Performing Arts at Brooke Priory