Arts

Senior production
Busgy Malone
The Hobbit
Oliver and dodger
Bugsy Malone

Drama

At Aysgarth, all pupils get a chance to shine at drama, with additional opportunities for those who display a passion for more. We greatly value the inner confidence and courage that arises from live performance – so all our productions are performed in front of an audience and recorded for parents unable to attend.

All children in the Pre-Prep take part in our Christmas Nativity in the Reynolds Hall Theatre, while in the Prep school, every student in Years 4-6 performs a play with their entire year group. Last year, Form 1 performed the National Theatre’s Emil and the Detectives, Form 2 delivered an original production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (adapted from the novella by Aysgarth staff), while Form 3 took on Macbeth.

For Years 7 and 8, drama becomes an optional evening activity, with rehearsals building up to our flagship production, the Senior Play (Disney’s The Lion King Jr last year, followed by Matilda the Musical Jr spring 2024).

We also offer a range of LAMDA lessons – with all Year 5 currently working towards a group qualification in choral speaking, an optional Shakespeare LAMDA award in Year 6, and the Seniors having the opportunity to tackle Grade 4 and 5 Solo Acting awards. Last year, a third of all our students in the Prep school took LAMDA exams, with 100% receiving merits or distinctions. 

At Aysgarth, students can take on a variety of non-dramatic roles in the Reynolds Hall Theatre – including as lighting technicians, sound technicians, prop designers, stage hands, vocal support for our musicals and also instrumental accompaniment. Last November, our Director of Music created a Year 5 band to accompany our production of the National Theatre’s I Want My Hat Back. Some of the 9- and 10-year-olds playing clarinets, cornets and trumpets had only started lessons at the beginning of the same term!

Recent alumni have earned prestigious drama scholarships at schools such as Stowe and Shrewsbury.

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Private Peaceful - Senior production 2020

Art

Art is one of the subjects that the boys at Aysgarth enjoy most of all. Children love making things, drawing, painting and making most have gifts in at least one of these areas. Each boy spends time every week in the Creative Art Centre, experiencing art and craft, design and technology lessons. There are also many opportunities in free time to use these extensive facilities to pursue their interests. Our ‘Picture of the Week’ award and Annual Art Competition help Art achieve a high profile within the School. Each year we allocate several days to 'Arts Week' when the boys' timetable is focused on visiting exhibitions, participating in workshops with visiting artists and displaying their work around the School.

All pupils work on a variety of drawing, painting, printing and pottery projects each year with a natural development and progression achieved through the topics set. Each year a few extra talented boys work towards Art Scholarships, achieving a very high standard of artwork for Prep School aged children. 

Artist of the Week gallery

Jack Haslam - Artist of the week

An excellent Tudor miniature painting

Rafe Warner-Reed - Artist of the week

An excellent Tudor miniature painting

Bertie Swan - Designer of the Week

A very characterful moving bug

Hector Orde-Powlett - Portrait

Tudor miniature painting

Observational drawing by Harry Elliston

Observational Drawings

Design & Technology

All the boys at Aysgarth really enjoy their DT lessons. In the DT department we set a balanced curriculum that both challenges and encourages the boys to learn through a range of designing, making and problem solving activities.

Working mainly in wood and plastic all boys attain a high standard of practical capability whilst becoming quite confident working with a range of machine and hand tools. Work covered also includes graphic skills, basic electronics, structures and mechanisms.

The aim of the Design Technology department at Aysgarth is to offer a broad curriculum that stimulates an interest in learning through problem solving and technological activities. This is achieved through a programme of practical based projects designed to match the ability, aptitude and developmental level of individual pupils.

The study of Design Technology should help the boys to develop their imaginations and creative responses to a wide range of aesthetic and practical experiences.

Projects


Projects will require boys to consider some or all of the core elements:

  • The Design Process
  • Problem Solving
  • Product analysis/Research skills
  • Practical tasks/Design and Make Assignments
  • Evaluation

Practical Skills


During their time at Aysgarth, boys should encounter a range of practical skills and topic areas in the course of their projects. These will include:

  • Practical making skills using a range of tools and materials
  • Graphics skills
  • Electronics
  • Structures
  • Mechanisms

Arts at The Pre-Prep

Individual music lessons for piano, keyboard, cello and recorder groups are taught by Mr Andrew Nelson in the Pre-Prep department. Lessons on other instruments are available from the Prep School.

Mrs Evelyn Wilson runs a Pre-Prep Choir one lunch time each week.

Creative elements in the curriculum also include: art, craft, dance and role play. Ballet is is offered as an after-school activity.