Drama at Aysgarth aims to inspire boys to be confident, articulate and imaginative individuals. These are qualities that enable boys to win scholarships and achieve places at the public school of their choice. They are also skills of life-long benefit in business and public life and their development is best started when a boy is young. We aim to offer every boy the opportunity to be involved in a variety of productions, from musicals and dramatic productions to competing in drama festivals, as well as the opportunity to develop their skills in scripted and improvised drama. But as well as this we also offer the chance to be involved in all aspects of theatre; set design and lighting, costume, back stage and front of house.
As every parent knows, boys mature at a different rate to girls and thus drama at Aysgarth is able to focus on building self esteem in even the most bashful budding actor, without the self-consciousness that so often undermines boys confidence in a co-ed school. This is a confidence that we feel feeds through to the whole of a boy’s personal and academic development. Individual speech and drama lessons continue to see development via our specialist teacher, thus enabling boys to work towards LAMDA grades alongside being involved in a number of festivals and tournaments. We aim to offer a supportive and nurturing environment in which every boy can feel happy to have a go. Above all, Drama at Aysgarth aims to be fun.
Now the Reynolds Hall has been redeveloped into a wonderful new performing arts centre, we aim to continue to put on an exciting range of musicals and plays, offering both senior and juniors the opportunity to be fully involved.
In the Autumn and Spring terms, drama coaching can also be chosen as one of the evening activities. In small groups they prepare and perform small plays, helping developing their performance skills and confidence.
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.
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 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
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
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.