Ditcham Park School has won the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Award for Excellence & Innovation in the Performing Arts 2019.
Judges looked for evidence of going the extra mile in terms of performing arts provision and achievement, including innovative teaching techniques, or an offering of extraordinary opportunities for pupils that helped to enhance their learning.
The School has had a whole school focus on creativity this academic year. This includes teaching all students in Year 2 to Year 7 how to play a musical instrument, starting with bells and recorders, moving on to brass, woodwind and stringed instruments.
In the Summer Term the school undertook the most ambitious creative and performing arts project it has ever undertaken. Creativity Week involved 200+ pupils taken out of lessons for three days to work with talented professional artists from a range of disciplines, culminating in an exhibition of art work and live performances of music, dance and drama on an outdoor stage in our walled garden as part of a Festival of Arts. These three days of immersive creative activity were designed to encourage our pupils to develop and value their creative skills and the results were impressive.
During the year Juniors participated in performances of a Nativity Play, a production of Cinderella Rockerfella, themed assemblies and an inter-house carol singing competition.
Seniors of all musical abilities performed at school and public events including guitar concert, lunchtime concerts, carol service, Save the Children Concert, Petersfield Youth Music Festival, Battle of the Bands, inter House singing contest, Arts Festival. There are numerous choirs, quartets, bands, an orchestra and musical groups to join.
Our Drama Department provides opportunities for all pupils to perform and to get involved in drama whatever their ability. The Shakespeare for Schools production of ‘A Comedy of Errors’ in the Autumn Term was open to all pupils in the Senior School. Drama is an increasingly popular subject to choose for GCSE.
Pupils in Years 7 to 9 took part in the Performing Shakespeare Competition sponsored by the English Speaking Union (ESU) and the Regional inter school competition was won by a Ditcham Park School pupil who then went on to win the National Final of this prestigious event.
Ditcham Park School is delighted their performing arts have been recognised by this national award.