The Expressive Arts
Expressive Arts at Monkton is one of the many areas that makes the school come alive, and forms a core part of our co-curricular offering. The dynamic nature of the expressive arts can engage, motivate and encourage learners to develop their creative, artistic and performance skills to the full. Whether as participants or as members of the audience, engagement with music, drama and dance in their many forms engages young learners physically, socially and emotionally, and nurtures their well-being, self-esteem and resilience. This all helps them become healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
Art is taught to all children at Monkton Prep and visitors often comment on the children's creative work which is displayed throughout the school. The key areas of aesthetics, perception, technique and expression form the backbone of teaching in Art and as each child moves through the School, they develop skills with, and appreciation of, an increasing variety of media. They work on shape, line and pattern allied to colour and observe what they see around them as well as what artists have done in the past. Opportunities are available to explore art work using a huge range of materials and textures and we very much encourage children to develop their own personal style. Be sure to visit the Art Gallery to see some of the children’s work.
We love making music here at Monkton Prep and over 60% of our pupils learn an instrument. Apart from the scheduled music lessons within the curriculum and the huge range of individual music lessons available to our pupils, there are many opportunities to get involved in a wide range of music making activity during lunchtimes and after school.
Our weekly groups include orchestra, percussion ensemble, acoustic & rock guitar group, flute ensemble, hand bells, and junior and senior choirs. There is a group for every ability level and we encourage every pupil to join in and get involved. There are concerts every term providing opportunities for soloists and our many ensembles, and the annual House Music competition is an unmissable highlight in the school year in which every pupil is involved. Joint projects and concerts with the senior school are a regular feature. Our Speech and Drama pupils and our musicians, both soloists and ensemble members also perform regularly at the Mid Somerset Festival in March.
Drama is the perfect avenue for the development of confidence and expression of individuality, so we encourage children to take to the stage from an early age at the Prep School. There are Pre-Prep and Junior nativity plays each Christmas, and a major production for year 7 also in the Michaelmas term. In the Lent term, the Middle School produces a play or musical and in the summer term the Year 8 leavers put on their own show. All pupils are encouraged to be part of these exciting experiences whether it be in the spotlight on stage, supporting in a musical role, or behind the scenes helping to make it all happen. Recent hits have included an adaptation of J.K.Rowling’s ‘The Ickabog’, ‘Guys and Dolls’ and 'Matilda'.
Children also have the opportunity to take weekly individual Speech and Drama (LAMDA) lessons which help build confidence in public performance along with crucial language and communication skills. Pupils can take part in acting, public speaking, mime, poetry, musical theatre and devise their own work too.