A rich creative timetable puts creativity at the centre of Junior School life. Artwork adorns the walls, music fills the corridors and dramatic performances give all girls the opportunity to take to the stage in front of friends and family.
The girls throw themselves into activities with eagerness and commitment and astound us with the results.
mRS rACHEL wARDELL, dIRECTOR OF JUNIOR sCHOOL mUSIC
Music is at the heart of Junior School life. Girls’ enjoyment and enthusiasm is palpable and you will rarely walk around the school building without hearing music filtering down the corridors. Classroom Music lessons are fun, often practical, and include singing, composing, listening and a cross-curricular approach which includes dance and drama.
We have a rich and diverse range of ensembles which encourage the girls to foster the joy of making music with others. Most girls learn at least one musical instrument through our team of visiting music teachers.
There are numerous opportunities to join ensembles and more than 90% of girls opt to learn at least one instrument when the time comes. Groups include Percussion Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, Chamber Strings, guitar ensembles and recorder groups. With 14 different ensembles at the last count, there really is something for everybody at every stage of their musical journey. Four choirs supplement our ensembles and the vast majority of girls are choir members.
Musical performances are plentiful and provide many opportunities for girls to demonstrate their talents, whatever their experience and ability. Key events each year are the Spring Concert – a showcase event featuring all of our ensembles and choirs, and the Inter-House Music Festival where all girls can enter on as many instruments as they like either on their own or forming ensembles with friends. With workshops and trips to concerts as well, girls at Guildford High School have a very active musical life.
Art lessons are enjoyed in our spacious, well-equipped art studio and the naming of the ‘Artist of the Week’ is a highly anticipated moment amongst our girls. Our studio is a bright, creative space in which the girls are introduced to a variety of media and techniques.
Alongside the core strands of painting, drawing and clay work, girls also try silk painting, batik, weaving, 3D modelling and printing. History of Art and the work of famous artists are incorporated into lessons and can form the basis of practical work. Visits to exhibitions are commonplace and a number of thriving art clubs take place at lunchtime and after school.
From Reception to Year 6, all girls develop their speaking and listening skills, their imaginations and their acting talents through Drama. Christmas celebrations are a highlight of the year and we ensure full participation for all girls through speech, drama, song, music and dance. Girls in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 proudly stage their own Christmas production in our Junior Hall. Girls in Year 3 and above take part in a Christmas service at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford.
Year group productions are always a treat and girls work as a team to design sets, create programmes and perform on stage. Year 6 girls leave Junior School with a bang, ending their final year of Junior School with an outstanding production. Last year’s Year 6 captivated the audience with their stunning production of The Wind in the Willows.
LAMDA lessons are a very popular extracurricular activity. Available from Year 3, more than 100 Junior School girls currently have lessons and can opt to take either group or individual examinations.