Our approach to the Arts is simple: to offer opportunities to all our pupils to find out where their talents lie in the general area of the Arts, and to help them develop and nurture that talent as part of their overall education as a rounded person. In order to achieve this aim, we have a structured programme of Arts which is delivered both as part of the formal, taught curriculum and as extracurricular activities.
Music at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall
Music plays a central role in the life of Saint Mary's Hall with a range of choirs, bands and orchestras with around 75% of our pupils receiving individual music tuition. Choral singing remains an important part of the school tradition with the choirs singing at the weekly Masses and also during special Feast Days and Parents' Weekend Masses.
Music is also a central aspect of the curriculum with all children receiving a double music lesson each week and in Upper Prep (year 4) they receive free tuition in an orchestral instrument for one term. Most children continue with this expert tuition throughout their time at St Mary's Hall.
There are many opportunities for the pupils to perform both within school and in the local community. The main annual events include the following:
- St John's Beaumont Weekend Joint Concert
- The Christmas Carol Service
- The Christmas Parents' Weekend Concert
- Spring Concert
- Interline Music Competition
- Musical Entertainment at Hurst Green OAP Party
- May Melodies (Prep and Elements Playrooms)
- Informal Concerts
Art at Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall
Art is a curriculum subject from Key Stage 1 and the aim is to help the pupils enjoy their Art, to gain confidence in their ability, and then to expand the range of their skills under the guidance of the specialist teaching staff. At Key Stage 2 specialised teaching takes place in our Art Studio, and the pupils learn to work in a variety of disciplines: Drawing, Painting, Fabrics, Sculpting, and Design (Years 7 and 8). Opportunities to develop their interests outside the classroom are available through the Art and Design Clubs, by helping with stage scenery design and painting, and by making and designing items for the school's Children for Children charity.
Drama is a central part of life at St Mary's Hall. The Centenaries Theatre is a fantastic resource and all children receive specialist Drama tuition within the curriculum.
Each year there is a major production staged at the end of the Summer Term. In recent years, these have included ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ and ‘Oklahoma’. In a typical year we would expect to stage several other smaller-scale productions featuring individual year groups within the school in addition to the main production. A nativity play is performed by Hodder House each Christmas.
Dance tuition is offered outside the curriculum and pupils study the Royal Academy Dance Syllabus for classical ballet and the Imperial Society Teachers of Dance for tap dancing. There is also a Jazz class. Each year an encouraging number of pupils opt for this extra-curricular activity. Opportunities exist for pupils to take the examinations of the International Dance Teachers' Association with a view to winning medals and certificates. Although Drama is taught as a separate subject there is also joint work with Drama, and the pupils have the chance to perform for an audience when they stage their own show for pupils and parents.