Swanbourne House School knows that the arts can play a central role in shaping personal, social, cultural and creative identity. Learning through performance and expression at Swanbourne allows children to cultivate their passions and talents as well as providing limitless opportunities for sharing thoughts and feelings.
All children in Year 3 and above have a 60-minute drama lesson and a 60-minute music lesson every week. Each half-term drama has a theme and children will participate in a range of activities including games and warm-up exercises; improvised, devised and scripted tasks; dance; singing; mime and directing. Drama and music at Swanbourne helps children make sense of the world, providing an opportunity for pupils to explore the world of people from other times, places and cultures and to examine differences and similarities within their own environment.
The school productions represent an extraordinary opportunity for pupils to be involved in large-scale shows with professional set design, lighting and sound. Giving opportunities to perform and helping develop a life-long love of music and drama is something the school is passionate about providing to every child.
In March, 60 children from the Middle/Upper School gave three performances of the classic musical Grease. The show should have been held several days later but COVID-19 and physical school closure forced the School to either pull the show forward or cancel altogether. The Performing Arts team adjusted the plan and created a schedule to ensure the performance could be delivered early to the same high standard.
Having rehearsed for eight hours of their Sunday, the cast and production team delivered a performance on a hugely complicated set they had used twice, negotiated several quick costume changes with clothes labelled and given to them just that day, and worked confidently with radio mics – many of them for the first time. There was no full run-through with performance conditions, to get used to the props and have a rehearsal with the live band. The whole crew embodied what the school calls The Swanbourne Spirit – resilience, team-work, calmness, confidence and professionalism. For many of them, it was their final evening at Swanbourne House.
As lockdown measures eased but social distancing restrictions were still in place in the summer, drama scholars in the Upper School came together to put on a devised performance titled Lockdown 2020. This creative and innovative drama piece, built on the years of Swanbourne nurturing talents for drama, was an expressive and authentic performance feeling almost cathartic for the children, expressing their feelings in unprecedented times. You can see more on the Swanbourne website
Find out more about Drama and Music at Swanbourne House School at www.swanbourne.org/learn/expressive-arts/
Swanbourne House School is holding an Open Morning on Friday December 4.
To book a place, email email@example.com or call 01296 720264.
Swanbourne House is a co-educational day and boarding Prep School (age 3-13) set in 55 acres of Bucks countryside, just 20 minutes from Central Milton Keynes.
Find out more at swanbourne.org