The Creative Arts
Wellesley has a reputation for the quality of its creative arts teaching.
Music is studied as part of our curriculum and our pupils are encouraged to perform, listen and respond to music in all its forms. We have an excellent chapel choir who, as well as singing in the school chapel each week, sing in local parishes and Canterbury Cathedral. Our choral reputation is strong – and the choir has recently sung in world famous churches in Rome and Venice.
Our ‘music for all’ philosophy allows pupils to perform in assemblies, concerts, plays and other school events throughout the year. Children can learn a broad selection of instruments, as well as music technology, and our pupils regularly win music scholarships and awards to their senior schools.
Our orchestra is formed from pupils in the woodwind, brass, string and percussion instrumental categories. It performs at the annual end of year concert and also at other events during the academic year. Smaller ensemble groups such as string quartets and wind ensembles are arranged to suit the available pool of talent.
We identify potential music scholars and advise and parents accordingly. Music scholars are normally required to learn two instruments to at least Grade 5 level, also demonstrating good potential for further progress. Extra lessons in theory, aural and music history will be made available to enable candidates to sit the Viva Voce examination.
Creativity is encouraged and children get the opportunity to express themselves in a variety of media including paint, textiles, clay, three-dimensional print, collage and graphics. At the heart of each project is drawing, and pupil art work is featured prominently around the school, and one child’s painting is chosen each half term to hang in the Headmaster’s study.
As well as learning practical skills, we encourage pupils to be curious, and to express their ideas in a creative way. Our ultimate aim is to teach our pupils to challenge boundaries and think about solving problems in a creative and imaginative way.
We have a strong record of art scholarships, and in the last five years pupils have been attained scholarships at King’s School Canterbury, Downe House, Christ’s Hospital, Ampleforth, Oakham, Tudor Hall, Cobham Hall, Heathfield and St Lawrence College.
Pupils applying for an art scholarship at senior school receive a considerable amount of extra time and tuition, and attend an afternoon and evening session each week from the middle of Year 7. During this time they work on a personal sketchbook and portfolio with an emphasis on developing observational skills.
Every child gets the chance to shine on the stage in a variety of productions ranging from full scale musicals to shorter and more relaxed form plays.
We stage two musical productions each year, which involve all the children in the middle and senior school working either front or back of house. Professional musicians are engaged as necessary to provide the orchestras or bands and the school has acquired something of a reputation for the high standards of the performances, which provides significant opportunities for all our pupils.