As part of Witham's commitment to holistic education, our provision across the Arts is embedded within the curriculum and supported by a multitude of extra-curricular opportunities for pupils to explore music, art and drama. Witham offers a chance for children to ‘have a go’ across these disciplines, discovering talents, building confidence and developing interests that stay with them for life.
In addition to the titles below, please see the academic curriculum to better understand how the Arts enhance learning and creativity at Witham.
Art & Design
The Art and Design curriculum at Witham Hall provides pupils with the confidence, knowledge and skills to embark on a broad spectrum of challenging, stimulating and enjoyable creative journeys. Pupils receive a broad visual vocabulary with the foundation skills of an analytical and expressive approach to observational drawing. They are encouraged to develop their ideas making links and connections with the work of artists and designers from a variety of cultures past and present. The knowledge of this practice, combined with the opportunities to explore many materials and techniques in both two and three dimensions, leads to ambitious outcomes. An exciting mixed media approach is applied to projects to stimulate curiosity, imagination and inventiveness.
Pupils are taught to respect and appreciate both natural and man-made environments through study and discussion, developing an aesthetic awareness when making choices regarding trends and design. Pupils gain an understanding of the contribution Art & Design makes to society and how artists, designers and craft persons shape the world in which we live. Throughout the curriculum, all pupils have the opportunity to study drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, printing, clay relief, sculpture, graphics, textiles, fashion, architecture and design.
Some pupils progress onto the Art and Design Scholarship programme with great success. Pupil achievements are celebrated every year at an annual, whole school Art and Design exhibition and project prizes are awarded.
Music lessons are taught as part of the curriculum for all year groups in the Pre-Prep and the Prep School, as well as many extracurricular opportunities to pursue musical interests and talents. The Music Department aims not only to teach children about the theoretical nuts and bolts of music’s creation and performance but also to encourage every child to reach their own musical potential.
We are proud of our musical scope and quality at Witham which combines the best of traditional practice with lively, contemporary ideas. It is our aim that children will leave Witham Hall with a sense of the universal manner in which music informs lives, along with their own developing, individual musical tastes and skills.
All children are expected to use their own portable vocal instrument throughout their time in school, with singing and vocal work playing a vital role in the children’s musical development. Every assembly starts with a whole school hymn, and Pre-Prep and Prep departments each have a weekly hymn practice. Classroom activities involve composing and performing, supported by listening, appraising, and developing skills and knowledge in basic theory and musical vocabulary. All children have the opportunity to receive individual musical tuition in a variety of disciplines, and the wide range of school ensembles gives everyone the chance to play or sing with others.
Musical Groups and Ensembles
Performance and Drama
Children have many opportunities to engage in Drama, ranging from their first steps on the stage that may arise through their form or mentor group in a school assembly, to a lead part in the annual school play each March, one of the highlights of the school year.
All Pre-Prep children feature in their year group presentations at Christmas, Easter and at the end of the school year. They also have the opportunity to take part in an after school weekly Drama rehearsal activity. Year 4 pupils have scheduled timetabled lessons for Drama in which pupils develop their performance and communication skills towards group recitals and a Year 4 play, while Year 5 to Year 8 Prep children have an opportunity to audition for the main school production.
Children who take additional individual or paired Drama lessons work on all aspects of performance and communication, including voice, mime, movement, character, improvisation and acting. They work towards graded examinations with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). There are also opportunities to take part in performances internally, through our Drama recitals and performing arts assemblies twice a term.
Witham pupils engage in local Drama festivals and are regular participants in the National Schools’ Shakespeare Festival, providing the exciting opportunity to perform an abridged version of a Shakespeare Play at the Key Theatre in Peterborough.
Children can take LAMDA examinations in:
Acting (solo, duo, combined)
Reading for Performance
Speaking of Verse & Prose
Speaking in Public
Devising drama (solo, duo)
Miming (solo, duo)
Witham Hall pupils have an enviable success rate, with large numbers of children achieving the highest grade, Distinction, at all levels.