At Marlborough School, we have a passion for the creative arts. We want to create opportunities to engage and inspire pupils and their families, in order to nurture their love of music, art, drama and dance, including their talent as performers. We understand that creative arts can enable our students to have amazing, and often emotional encounters that will enrich their confidence, self-expression and engagement. We continue to strive to develop the delivery of arts to ensure meaningful experiences for our students because we see them grow in confidence, embrace the challenge and thrive with the excitement of a performance or project. Creative arts is deeply embed within our curriculum, both as discrete subjects such as Music and Art, as well as Drama within English, and Dance within PE. In addition, many of our students learn best through the creative arts, for example developing communication skills through music.
Projects and performances
We work on a number of different projects during the academic year, with many of them ending in a performance for family and friends. To ensure that our provision can be fully inclusive we have looked at a wide range of different projects designed exclusively for specific cohorts. These have included workshops for parents & their children, projects for those with a particular passion/skill for music and projects especially for our more complex students with PMLD including Live Music Now performances and workshops.
In the Autumn Term 2022, classes all took part in ‘Finish This’ project with the ENO. Finish This uses specially commissioned operatic works as a creative starting point to inspire students to create and produce their own music through an invitation to respond to, and resolve, unfinished artistic work. Accompanied by a package of bespoke resources and teacher CPD training, Finish This empowers teachers to lead and deliver new approaches to music making in the classroom. The programme is closely aligned with the national curriculum and develops students’ composition and performance skills, introducing them to opera and new cultural experiences, whilst promoting creativity, collaboration and self-expression. For further information see: https://www.eno.org/discover-opera/learning/finish-this/
Our students are all encouraged to sing and vocalise as part of a total communication approach. Classes will often sing as part of their daily routine for instance during tutor time, and we have a whole school song for assembly which changes every ½ term and is voted on by our student council. We have school choirs that are held at both Marlborough Park Avenue and Marlborough Legacy sites during lunchtime preparation for adulthood clubs. Our choir members then perform at events throughout the year.
We have weekly small group music workshops led by an experienced musician for students who would benefit form a short-term intervention. Sessions focus on communication skills and social skills, as well as musical skills such as rhythm and pitch.
Step into Dance
Marlborough Legacy have a dance club and weekly sessions run by Step into Dance. Step into Dance is a Royal Academy of Dance programme in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation, an organisation that empowers young people and widens their opportunities through grant giving and achievement recognition. Sessions focus on creative and expression, and students are e encouraged to participate in performances to peers and parents/carers.
We have a long standing partnership with Magpie Dance, who lead workshops at Marlborough Park Avenue for all students on our Orchard and Meadow pathway. Workshops are student led, and provided a creative space for students to express themselves. Magpie Dance have recently led inclusive workshops for our students and families too. For further information see: https://www.magpiedance.org.uk/
We hold an annual whole school Carol service in December at Holy Trinity Church in Sidcup. This is accompanied by musicians and a choir from Bexley Grammar school, alongside performances from our music groups at Marlborough. During this event, we sing and sign a variety of communal songs as a community.
On Tuesday afternoons at both sites, we offer a variety for creative arts activities as part of our enrichment afternoons including the following:
Open Orchestra - The orchestra promotes a people-centered approach, providing us the opportunity to create our own orchestra using inclusive technology to make it accessible to each student involved meeting their individual needs. The orchestra is supported by Bexley Music. For further information see: https://www.openorchestras.org
Arts Award - Students are currently develop their art skills through a variety of mediums, as they work towards their Explore and Discover awards. Some groups will be visiting a local art gallery, learning about an artist that inspires them, and sharing a skill to achieve their Bronze Award. For further information see: https://www.artsaward.org.uk
Shakespeare for Schools - Marlborough School participates in the bi-annual SfS festival, with our next performance due in Spring 2023. Students are currently working on A Midsummer Nights Dream. For further information see: https://www.shakespeareschools.org