Performance opportunities are given to our children from their Nursery days when they stage annual Nativity and Easter celebrations.
Our pre-prep is an active and vibrant community with children growing in confidence with many opportunities to perform. Each year group stages an Easter and Christmas celebration and every class will perform a special assembly to parents once a year.
In the prep school each year group stages an Entertainment Evening featuring a mixture of musical and theatrical talent - but importantly every child is included. These evenings are for parents, family and friends and involve a play, poems, dances and songs. Each class also stages a special assembly during the year.
Children in Year 6 perform a full-length musical production using all the skills they have learned through their younger years at Ashford Prep School.
Drama is used to reinforce the rest of the school curriculum; to promote active learning in any subject and drama lessons are linked to topics and themes the children are studying in other subjects, to to important social issues.
When children move on to the Senior School they begin to specialise more. In the Michaelmas term Years 7, 8 and 9 work towards a Lower School Production, giving them the chance to perform on the large Brake Hall stage.
In the Lent term it is the turn of the upper school to strut their stuff in the much anticipated and highly acclaimed school musical. The last few years have seen productions as diverse as Jesus Christ Superstar, Little Shop of Horrors and West Side Story.
Drama clubs play a major part in the life of the department with opportunities for both prep and senior children.
There are four distinct clubs at the senior school:
- Junior Drama for Year 7-9
- Technical drama
- Speech and Drama Club
- Senior Drama Club
Every two years the whole school is challenged to 'get dramatic' when the Houses compete in the House Drama Competition.
Each House is given a title or stimulus and the brief is to create a piece of theatre lasting 20-25 minutes. Any form of theatrical medium may be used and the whole House must be involved. Programmes, posters and costumes must be designed and realised 'in-house' and the performances are externally adjudicated on a single day of creative chaos, much loved by all involved!
Our drama students are regulars at the annual Hastings Music Festival which includes several Speech and Drama classes for both individuals and groups.
The trophy for the best individual performance in a one-act play has been won by an Ashford School pupil for the last three years.
Competitions play an important part in the work of the department. Teams have taken part in the ESU Public Speaking Competition semi-finals in East Kent and the award for the best individual speaker was won by one of our students.
Speech and Drama
We offer private speech and drama lessons with a specialist tutor and these pupils also stage special performances throughout the year.
Academic Drama also provides the school with a variety of studio performances throughout the year. GCSE and A Level performances are open to all and a wide variety of styles and genre is on display ranging from Arthur Miller to Theatre of Cruelty.
Exams are taken in all aspects of speech and drama. Pupils who have private lessons can follow exam courses in Verse and Prose, Public Speaking, Acting, Devised Drama and Communication Skills among others.
We are proud of a high rate of success in recent years - our most recent students achieved 100% passes at Merit and Distinction level. We also showcase our Speech and Drama students in an annual recital.