Creative Arts Faculty
We believe every child should have access to a high quality Creative Arts education from a young age - it introduces children to other cultures; boosts self-esteem; refines discipline and patience; cultivates social skills; develops physical skills; and improves academic skills. These valuable attributes foster cross phase, lifelong learning, and are inextricably linked to every other aspect of the children’s education.
Art & Design
Children begin their art journey by exploring the different materials that are used and are encouraged to express themselves creatively. The children investigate different artists and styles and as techniques are mastered, confidence in visual communication, with its own language of colour, texture, form, proportion, line, light and shade, is developed.
The Art Studio, is a light an airy dedicated space, overlooking The Croft’s playing fields and Conservation Forest staffed by Specialist Teachers, encouraging every child to their own success. The Art Studio also has its own Kiln Room.
Children frequently gain Art Scholarships to Secondary Schools.
Drama at The Croft is extremely popular. Weekly lessons for all children in Years 1-6, allow children the opportunity to express themselves. Pupils are encouraged to explore emotions, building the confidence to become more effective communicators and listeners. We use script, develop improvisation skills, explore dramatic techniques and nurture vocal skills.
We are very lucky to have a professional performance space available for exclusive use. All lessons in Key Stage Two take place in our 600-seat led by our specialist Drama Teacher, Mrs Barrett. Children as young as 3 years old perform on the stage; we believe that performing at such a young age, in a safe and secure environment, develops children’s confidence and fosters great resilience and a growth mind-set. It is an enormous achievement to perform on a professional stage and lots of fun too!
At The Croft Preparatory School, we are lucky enough to have the Royal Shakespeare Theatre right on our doorstep. Children frequently visit the theatre with their parents and are captivated by the magic and wonder that is conjured onto the stage. They are carried to other worlds by the resplendent costumes and mesmerised by the delivery of such beautiful lines of poetry. We build on this enthusiasm by inviting the RSC into our own purpose-built theatre to bring Shakespeare’s words to life for our young people. Every child in Year 3 and 4 are involved in a workshop based around a Shakespearian classic in which they play with lines of text, create their own version of well-known characters, experiment with iambic pentameter and explore key themes within the play. They are able to investigate big themes in the safety of a familiar space with actors and practitioners from the RSC ensemble. They are transported from Shakespeare’s varied settings to the calmness of our performance space, where they express themselves and people listen.
All children in Year 3 complete and achieve Arts Award Discover Level, moving onto Arts Award Explore Level in Year 4. Their endeavours are celebrated in an Arts Award Showcase in the Lent Term. These RSC workshops certainly form part of our Arts Award Showcase Evening to parents.
Every pupil has the opportunity to appear on stage in the Theatre throughout the school year, from class assemblies to large-scale productions, such as the Christmas Plays, Arts Award Showcase and Summer Shows.
During Year 6, the children have the wonderful opportunity of performing in an epic-scaled production. Their curriculum is collapsed for two weeks in the Summer Term, once all their relevant onward entrance exams have been taken, and children busy themselves making props and sets, learning to sing songs, practising lines and finally performing in front of a full theatre of family and friends. We are always extremely proud of their sense of ensemble and professional attitude.
The schemes of work which follow are varied both in task, style and outcome to suit a variety of learners. Our aim is to promote creativity and stimulate imagination and wonder.
- Picture Books
- Christmas Play
- Mr Men
- Poetry in Drama
- Stories from around the World
- Christmas Play
- Aesop’s Fables
- The Circus
- The Tempest
- The Jabberwocky
- Arts Award Explore
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Beatrix Potter
- Roald Dahl
- Physical Theatre
- Arts Award Explore
- Romeo and Juliet
- Drama in Poetry
- Smashing Stereotypes
- Folk Tales, Myths and Legends
- Forum Theatre
- Summer Show
Every year, a number of children are offered Drama Scholarships at a variety of local secondary schools. We are always proud of their achievements.
The Music department at The Croft is, in a word, joyous. With the understanding Music is for everyone, the department is extremely busy with 75% of children, from Years 2 to 6, learning to play one or more instruments, including voice. The Croft also has three choirs, which perform at concerts, recitals and services throughout the year.
There is a main School Orchestra and various training ensembles, including: Wind Band; String, Brass, Guitar and Percussion Ensembles. An experienced team of fourteen peripatetic teachers cover all the major orchestral instruments, including orchestral percussion. The Piano, Classical Guitar and Singing are also taught.
Professional musicians visit the school regularly to provide workshops for our children, and there are excursions to external workshops and performances.
Creative Arts Events
Children in Key Stage Two are able to take part in LAMDA lessons taught by an experienced LAMDA Teacher, Judi Walton.
Key Stage One Christmas Performances
In December, Pre-Prep perform their Year Group Christmas performances to family and friends.
Year 3 and 4 Arts Award Showcase
RSC workshops for all children in Years 3 and 4 form part of our Arts Award Showcase Evening to parents alongside a celebration of Art Work inspired by a variety of artists and styles: Escher, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely and Frida Kahlo in addition to Aboriginal art, silhouette, Japanese cherry blossom and Op Art.
Year 5 Theatre Visit
In the Lent Term, Year 5 were treated to a performance of Little Shop of Horrors performed by Sibford School. This was an inspirational trip, allowing children to experience life in a feeder secondary school. In 2022, we are due to attend Bloxham’s school production.
Year 6 Show: Peter Pan
We recently transformed our Theatre into the Neverland Forest to perform our Year Six Summer Show, Peter Pan. The stage was alive with Mermaids, Warriors, Pirates, Lost Boys and a hungry crocodile in search of Captain Hook. Year 6 performed with confidence and charisma bringing the story of the boy who didn’t want to grow up alive. We were joined by RSC actor Edward Bennett who taught the group about rhetoric and the importance of Ethos, Logos and Pathos within debate and also Ellie from Atomic Dance who worked on choreography with our enthusiastic cast.
Here are some thoughts from our performers:
I really enjoyed working with people I wouldn’t normally work with. I really enjoyed wearing my costume and using the props. These two weeks have been a lot of fun and I’m really happy we did it. (Reggie)
I enjoyed working with others and I think this project has been wonderful. (Isla P)
I loved the play, it was really fun. I really liked the songs and acting. The prop-making was good and I learnt how to express myself. (Naomi)
I really enjoyed performing because we haven’t been on a stage performing for ages and it’s really fun. (Isla H)
I really enjoyed the songs and the dances. Everyone has got a smile on their face every day. (Olivia)
It has felt amazing being part of a creative ensemble and this project was a great experience of my time at The Croft. (Bronwyn)
I have learnt that I can be much braver than I thought I was. I loved working with the rest of the year because I bonded with them. This project is one of the highlights of Year 6; It is very fun and ends our time at The Croft perfectly. (Amelia)
I have learnt that I love being on stage. I loved being in the ensemble and singing all the songs. It was a great experience. (Chloe)
It has been an honour to perform in this play. The production is amazing and I am so happy to have this as my last experience on stage. (Toby T)
I feel like I’ve got more confidence on stage as well as learning about lighting and sound. I think the final result is amazing and everyone can be proud of themselves. (Sam)
It was a fun experience and I’d like to do it again. I enjoyed acting with Edward Bennett and dancing with Ellie from Atomic Dance. (Jamie)
I learnt that I can do anything if I try. I loved making the props, being on stage and having the satisfaction of delivering a perfect line. (George)
The most fun part of this experience was performing to the school and parents. (Andre)
I have loved being on stage singing with my friends. Mrs Barrett has helped each and every one of us. (Olly)
The songs and the sound were amazing as the whole year together makes a beautiful sound. The acting was spectacular. It all together felt like a dream. (Teddy)