The Art Department offers all pupils the opportunity to enjoy art, and to express themselves creatively. We offer clinics on weekdays and open art sessions as part of the Saturday morning programme. We also encourage pupils to take part in competitions, and to become involved in workshops and attend exhibitions – for example, educational visits to galleries in London and Kent, and a residential trip to Paris for exam groups.
Each year, pupils’ work is exhibited in the school’s Old Gymnasium Gallery during the St Edmund’s Festival, as well as the Kent County Show. The Department has also organised public exhibitions at the Horsebridge Gallery, Whitstable, and in 2019 took part in an East Kent Schools Together (EKST) art project, with students’ work exhibited at The Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate.
From birth, we are immersed in the sounds, melodies, harmonies and rhythms of the world around us. Music is part of all of our lives, and this is something we celebrate and support at St Edmund’s – from the early musical experiences of pupils in Pre-Prep, to the mastery of a great choral tradition by our Canterbury Cathedral Choristers and the highly-skilled A-level musicians in the Sixth Form. Whether a beginner or an accomplished artist, we have the expertise, flexibility and resources – combined with a deep love of the life-affirming power of music – to help every pupil thrive musically.
Music at St Edmund’s is not just for those who want to study it formally – it is for everybody, and it is a rare day that passes without an opportunity of some kind to either perform, discuss, rehearse or listen. The school’s musical life is enriched by regular music scholars’ trips, masterclasses, workshops, lunchtime concerts, major termly concerts and the carol service in Canterbury Cathedral; and we are proud to collaborate with other schools such as St Faith’s Prep School and Northbourne Park.
Drama is a major element in the co-curricular programme of the school, whose reputation for the quality of its public performances is extremely high. The productions in recent years have run the full gamut of genres from pantomime through musicals to period pieces or serious and challenging 21st century drama.
The Drama department offer pupils many opportunities to visit professional productions both within Canterbury and further afield, including London’s West End. The co-curricular life of the Drama Department allows us to support and enhance the dramatic education on offer. The programme encompasses a full variety of activities that encourage and challenge the large numbers of pupils that regularly participate.
We provide a safe environment in which to develop skills not easily learned in the classroom: physical and vocal self-confidence; the social disciplines of working in a group; imaginative spontaneity through improvisation; an extended emotional range; the power of the pupils’ own creativity and a respect for that of others. All this is achieved through learning to play and to perform. Moreover, we believe that learning the techniques of acting and theatre is simultaneously a source of relaxation and stimulation for the self as a whole. It helps connect us to others, fosters creativity, flexibility, generosity and learning in general, skills that are ever more needed in an adolescent world full of isolating technologies.