Every pupil at St James has the opportunity to participate in our packed schedule of drama performances throughout the year, from the Nativity play to a condensed version of a Shakespeare Play, competing at the Sanskrit Speech Competition or presenting at Speech Day. We ensure that every child has a speaking part and experiences the pride of successfully performing to an audience.
Children from Y1 upwards benefit from weekly drama classes with our specialist teacher in the Senior Girl’s Drama Studio. The classes teach the children to express themselves with confidence, as well as developing their strength of the English language, their ability to empathise and team work skills.
Every year we run a week-long Shakespeare Festival. The festival includes assemblies and workshops on anything and everything Shakespeare related, ending in two days of productions performed by the whole school, from a five minute performance by Y1 of the witches’ scene from Macbeth, to Y6 production of Twelfth Night. All performances are conducted in original text.
The delight with which the children approach Shakespeare is a joy to see. The festival has played a key role in promoting a sense of wonder at the beauty of Shakespeare’s prose from even the very youngest children in the school. We hope that it is just the start of what will be a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare.
As part of our Performing Arts curriculum we introduce the children to an extensive dance syllabus that covers a mixture of ballet, national dance and creative dance, encouraging the children to develop awareness of oneself, awareness of others and individual creativity.
Performing Arts at St James is very highly regarded with a high proportion progressing to specialist arts and drama schools and developing careers within the arts world. We find that it is a fantastic, fun and vibrant way in which to connect with the pupils, and delight in their enjoyment of it.