Drama features strongly in the life of Vinehall, with all children having drama lessons up to Year 6. In these, they learn to move freely, explore their feelings and express themselves confidently.
There are several full productions staged each year so that the majority of children have the opportunity to perform in costume, on stage and before an audience. Years 3 & 4 have a production (with music), which takes place in the Lent Term. Years 5 and 6 can volunteer to rehearse and perform a Senior Play during the Michaelmas term. In addition, their classwork focus is on Shakespeare, public speaking, dramatised poetry or English Speaking Board presentations (ESB), which give the children valuable experience in oral communication. All Year 8 pupils present a musical production to mark the end of the year and their time at Vinehall, with Year 7 volunteers providing the chorus and a full orchestra as appropriate.
We are extremely fortunate to perform these productions in the Chaplin Theatre, which has excellent lighting and sound facilities. Set support is provided by our resident designer and art department and the beautiful costumes are made by parent volunteers.
Music is firmly embedded in the cultural life of Vinehall. All year groups are taught class music for an hour each week and every child sings in either the Junior or Senior Choir. There is also a Chamber Choir and an acapella group for those children who which to explore more advanced repertoire.
Most children will learn an instrument whilst at Vinehall and the school has a fully stocked Junior and Senior Orchestra, a multitude of ensembles, including two string quartets, a swing band, a percussion ensemble, a guitar group, junior and senior flute groups, a clarinet group and junior and senior brass ensembles. Children also participate in choral, orchestral and jazz days at senior schools and workshops given by professional visiting musicians, such as Voces8.
The Music Department has a team of 16 visiting instrumental teachers and is a centre for Associated Board music exams. There are frequent concerts and recitals, and other performance opportunities are available via the large-scale musicals performed in the school theatre. Recent productions have included ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘Grease’, ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Oliver’. Vinehall also boasts an international concert series which attracts leading musicians to East Sussex.
…is enjoyed by all the children and high standards are attained. Most work begins with observational drawing and the children are then encouraged to develop their own skills and knowledge of a wide range of materials, processes and techniques. Projects can involve three-dimensional construction work, printing, sculpture and collage, as well as compositions.
The study and appreciation of art and its history are strongly promoted, with much being learnt from working in the style of particular artists or schools of art. Pupils learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, crafts and design in contemporary life and in different times and cultures.
Children’s work is displayed throughout the School; there are regular exhibitions at school and in the local community, and opportunities for children to work with visiting artists. Educational trips take place to galleries and the art department is forging links with senior schools.