The Arts

Art and Design

We have a beautiful, fully equipped specialist Art and Design room where our pupils have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of media and techniques including printing, clay, textiles, three dimensional and sculptural forms as well as drawing and painting.

Children work with traditional and new media throughout the Key Stages, which helps them to develop confidence, imagination and most importantly their creativity. Through a wide range of projects they learn to value images and artefacts across times and cultures and to understand the context in which they were made.

Enjoyment of the creative process is central to the subject I teach. Art and Design is taught through exciting topics that are designed to develop imaginative and personal responses. Girls and boys are encouraged to explore materials and processes confidently through creative investigation into the visual world. These might include the use of clay, 3D, textiles, print making, drawing, painting and collage. Drawing is fundamental to all these areas and is taught through traditional and experimental approaches. I aim to help children not just to ‘look’ but to ‘see’ by looking closely, analysing what is ‘seen’ rather than what we think an object or image looks like.

Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination. At Pownall we provide visual, tactile and sensory experiences in order to understand and respond to our world .Our pupils use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. They are able to explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers this enjoyment of the visual arts enriches our pupils’ lives.

We celebrate our children’s work with displays throughout the school and stage regular exhibitions.

Drama

Drama is an important and valuable part of school life at Pownall. As well as being hugely enjoyable it is an excellent way of building up pupils’ confidence and self-esteem.

At Pownall, we aim to foster a lively interest in Drama and have a rich heritage when it comes to the performing arts. The magnificent theatre helps bring to life our many assemblies, concerts and productions throughout the year and gives the children a rare opportunity to perform on a stage from a young age.

Specialist drama lessons are incorporated into the school curriculum from Year 3 to Year 6. These aim to enhance confidence and self-esteem, encourage creativity and imagination and develop concentration and listening skills. In drama lessons, pupils’ use role-play to explore characters in more depth and create improvisations and plays which they perform to their peers and the school. All EYFS and Pre-Prep children take part in a class assembly and a Christmas play during the year. All Prep children take part in assemblies, festivals, school services and concerts and all have a part in our eagerly anticipated end of year production.

Peripatetic Speech and Drama lessons are also available with children working towards the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art examinations (LAMDA). LAMDA examinations improve communication skills, increase self-confidence and develop strong social skills. Pownall Hall School is a LAMDA public examination centre and children have the opportunity to take the examination in grades ranging from Introductory through to Entry level.

Drama at Pownall is exciting and vibrant and helps children to become confident, articulate and imaginative communicators from a very young age.

Typically, over half of our children win a first, second or third prize at the Alderley Edge and Hazel Grove Festivals.

Music

Music plays an important role in the life of Pownall Hall School. We have our own wonderful theatre on site and all children in school are invited to perform on the stage throughout the school year.

Children from Nursery to Year Six have curriculum Music lessons in which they are taught to read musical notation, use classroom percussion and learn about World Music such as Gamelan, Samba and African Drumming. We have specialist African instruments to support this learning and our own Samba kit. All pupils in Year 3 learn to play the recorder and Year 6 pupils learn to play the ukulele.

Singing is integral to the curriculum and to school life. There are three choirs in school which are very well attended. Junior Choir is open to all children in Years 1-3 and Senior Choir is attended by pupils in Years 4-6. There is also a Chamber Choir which is a smaller, selective choir comprised of children who can read music and have singing lessons. The choirs perform throughout the school year at the Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter Services at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wilmslow, at local venues such as Capesthorne Hall at Christmas and they compete at The Alderley Edge Festival where they have had great success. The Senior Choir has invited the Parents to come in and join them to raise money for charity for the schools own ‘Big Sing’. The choirs have recorded two CDs at school and perform at Pownall’s annual Gala Concert and Speech Day. We are now looking forward to our first choir tour to London and an opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.

Over 60 children learn an instrument at Pownall from Year 1 upwards. Piano, clarinet, violin, theory, recorder, flute, trumpet and singing lessons are available at an extra cost. Peripatetic staff ensure that children do not miss core subjects. An instrumental hire scheme has been set up allowing parents to hire instruments at a very reasonable rate. A number of children enter Associated Board for the Royal Schools of Music exams and compete in the Alderley Edge Festival and the Hazel Grove Festival. Regular Lunchtime Concerts are held in the theatre which allow children to perform in a relaxed atmosphere to parents and friends. There are a number of ensembles being formed to support the instrumental learning in school.

Parents are invited to the EYFS Summer Concert and Christmas Nativities in which EYFS and Key Stage 1 children perform. Each year Key Stage 2 stages a fantastic production and music is integral to the performance.

We enjoy regular success at the Alderley Edge and Hazel Grove Festivals. At Alderley Edge this year all three of our choirs competed against other schools in Cheshire, and two of them won their class. We also entered 20 singing and instrumental soloists from year 3 up. 15 won places (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in classes of up to 24 competitors. We enjoyed similar success at Hazel Grove.

Design and Technology

Design and Technology is taught from Form 3 (age 7) as a separate subject in our fully equipped, specialist room in the Main Hall of Pownall Hall. Here, there are wonderful, deep shelves to house all our ‘ongoing’ creations, models and designs.

Our mantra in Design and Technology is ‘to design something, for somebody, for some purpose’.

Through exciting topics such as vehicles, moving monsters, money containers, bread designs, fairground rides, slippers, photo-frames etc, the children design and make and evaluate, the purposes and users of their products and the context in which they work.

In one of our Textile ‘design and make’ assignments called ‘Money Containers’ we make our own felt.

Our goal throughout our studies is to encourage children to be innovative and learn how to take risks in this very exciting subject. We have complete autonomy over our curriculum provision and are therefore able to incorporate the best of the national curriculum with that of the Independent School curriculum.