Creative Arts: Art, Drama and Music

“We love the way the children’s artwork is celebrated around the school and their genuine enthusiasm for lessons." Current parentThe Paragon's bespoke Art Studio is an Aladdin's Cave of treasures which have been created and curated by children over the years. Our Head of Art, Ms Alex Hucks is inspirational and ambitious, and all year groups from Squirrels to Year 6 benefit from specialist art lessons with her each week. The children will try their hand at drawing, painting, pottery, still life, sculpture, 3D design, printmaking collage and sewing during their time at the school. In 2018, a series of works created by Paragon Pupils and inspired by the artist Alfred Wallis was displayed in the National Gallery as part of their 'Take one Picture' initiative.

We study the work of artists, architects, designers and crafts from different cultures and times, observing differences and similarities and developing children’s critical appreciation. The artworks they study and create are put into context and contribute to a richer understanding of life. Local artists, craftspeople and illustrators are invited into school to talk about their work and what inspires them. We also visit local museums and galleries to study great works.

Output from our art lessons fills our walls, classrooms and grounds with vibrant life and colour and shows just how creative children can be with the right encouragement. We have exciting extra-curricular art activities for the children including pottery, drawing and sewing clubs and, in the holidays, we offer The Paragon Art School.

At The Paragon, art is enjoyed by all the children and our aim is to stimulate artistic creativity and imagination through visual, tactile and sensory experiences.

"Performing 'Rock Bottom' with my friends at the Julian Slade Theatre was my favourite moment at The Paragon. I will never forget it." Year 6 pupilEvery Paragon pupil has the opportunity to shine, from our Pre-Prep pupils who perform in a Nativity play each year, through musical theatre performances in the lower Prep school years to the Year 5 and 6’s two act musical, held in the Julian Slade Theatre at our senior school, Prior Park College.

Through participation in productions pupils understand commitment, patience, empathy, teamwork, and ultimately success and pride as they entertain and learn. As they progress, the children can choose to entertain the audiences on stage or opt to become involved back stage directing the lighting, organising the props or overseeing the sound.

The pupils work through many different aspects of drama, such as improvisation and role-play; they also apply these skills to current issues or topics from other lessons. It is a powerful means of educating pupils in an energetic and creative way, allowing each and every child to thrive in an environment which is enormous fun. In other year groups, drama goes hand in hand with English as the children learn to express themselves with confidence and conviction.

Extracurricular drama is also popular and provides the opportunity for pupils to take LAMDA exams with group or individual performances.

"Singing 'Believe' by Imagine Dragons at the Spring Concert was so exciting - I really didn't think that I would enjoy being in a choir." Member of 'Boys Don't Sing' choirWithin class lessons, the children learn to sing, rap and beatbox. They explore a variety of instruments, both tuned and untuned and learn ways to play them as individuals and within a group. They are immersed in music from different times and cultures, exploring and comparing it with music from their own lives. They love to compose; from a few notes to piano pieces, fanfares to Christmas carols; the children learn to notate their compositions in a variety of ways.

Beyond the classroom, there are opportunities to learn a musical instrument with one of our visiting teachers. Instruments on offer include cello, clarinet, cornet, drum kit, flute, guitar, bass guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, violin and voice. Download Music tuition guidelines and an application form below.

Extra-curricular activities include Sing Out! (our Monday morning wake me up for children and parents), The Choir (Years 3-6), Joyful Noise (by invitation) and Boys Don't Sing (our extremely popular boys only choir). Instrumentalists are catered for by a variety of music groups such as brass, wind and string groups, all geared to the individual needs of the children. The school has a wind band, orchestra and a samba band.

There are many performance opportunities open to the children; annual school stage productions, music evenings, visiting care homes, busking for charity or taking part in school concerts (planned and impromptu!). We are proud to report that each year the school enjoys individual and group success in the locally renowned Mid-Somerset Festival.

MUSIC TUITION APPLICATION FORM

A variety of exciting Creative Arts clubs are on offer to all throughout the academic year to give your child the opportunity to explore each subject out of the classroom setting.