Caversham Prep is presently working towards the Artsmark. The award covers creative writing, dance, drama, music and art.
They have well-developed creative skills, as seen in the excellent artwork and through their participation in music and drama. - Independent Schools Inspectorate.
Art is celebrated in many forms. Whether it is copying the style of famous painters or developing a style of their own, children’s art is displayed proudly around the school. All the children have a personal sketchbook that they keep as a record of achievement and progress throughout the school.
Our children enter art competitions. Their digital art as well as more conventional craft, painting, pastels and charcoal have won a number of awards and cups over the past few years. Art clubs such as Art Attack and Crazy Craft are popular. Visits to art galleries and museums inspire art work in the school. Making clay ‘Greek’ urns after a visit to the Reading Museum or Stone-Age cave painting at the Henley Rowing Museum.
Music is important and celebrated whenever possible in our school. We have a qualified music teacher who teaches class music. All Year 2 children learn to play the recorder as part of their class curriculum. The school promotes music further through choir and ensemble.
All children get a chance to perform at Breakfast Concerts, Achievement Assemblies, Christingle Services, Nativity Plays, Harvest Festivals, Spring Concerts, the Annual Prize Giving and Carol singing for charity. A well-equipped music room supports music teaching. Piano, clarinet, flute, recorder, violin, guitar and voice are all offered as individual lessons. Children take progressive grade examinations in music.
The older children have taken part in the Reading School’s Music Festival at the Hexagon Theatre. The children join outside singing groups for example, Apollo 5 at Queen Anne’s School and ‘Sing Up’ at The Abbey School.
Improvisation, Nativity plays and End of Term performances have all become part of an extended curriculum that the children love. We have a number of teachers with an enthusiasm for drama that is infectious.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018 pupils won Drama Scholarships to Reddam School, Abbey School and Queen Anne’s School respectively. Our Performing Arts Scholar won a Performing Arts Scholarship to Queen Anne’s School. Shakespeare Club performed ‘Macbeth’, Easter 2018 to an enthusiastic audience. Over the last few years we have enjoyed Junior Plays such as Charlotte’s Web; Mystery at Magpie Manor; Treachery at Traitors’ Quay. Our youngest children perform an annual Nativity Play.
Visits from drama companies such as ‘Perform!’ help to develop the children’s drama skills and support cross-curricular links. Visits to watch ‘live’ theatre are regular. For example, the annual ‘Whole School’ trip to the Pantomime or to London to see Matilda. Themed days such as a World War II Day or Victorian Day help the children to ‘get in character’.
Narrative and poetry writing is a strength of our curriculum from Reception to Year 6. Reception children start each week with a well-known and loved text which develops their Emergent Writing of which they are very proud. We have two books with published short stories in the school library. Picturing, ‘The moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas’ from the Highwayman by A Knoyes or ‘What is Pink? by C Rosetti, support higher level writing. The Annual Book Week promotes activities that celebrate story and poetry writing. Children write stories for pleasure and talk about becoming authors and writing books when they are older.
Dance is part of our PE Curriculum and all children have the chance to develop their skills. Clubs such as Street Dance are well supported. Choreography for School Plays and Nativity Plays further develop the children’s skills.
Visits from dance companies help to develop the children’s skills and support cross-curricular links for example, to celebrate Diwali. Themed days such as a Native American Indian Day where children dance around a totem pole combine drama and dance through cross-curricular links.
Children attend classes in ballet, tap, modern and ballroom out of School and perform their dances at School Concerts.