The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 19th April 2024

With exam timetables now published, and revision guides issued, children at the upper end of our school are focused on working towards their exams. Academic excellence has long been the hallmark of St Christopher’s, and I am proud that our academic achievements continue in that vein. I am sure the Academic Scholarship Exams in May will bring us more occasions to fly the School Flag, and that all the children in Years 6 to 8 will be proud of their achievements, progress, and study skills once the exams are all over.

The best schools are about more than academic excellence, and St Christopher’s achieves great things in all areas. This week, I want to focus on Drama, which has recently informed several exciting events. Drama is such an important part of co-curricular education for the skills it imparts, and is a subject accessible from the Reception Nativity play to Year 8 acting out scenes from Shakespeare. Confidence, coordination, public speaking, study skills, empathy, emotional literacy, vocabulary, and imagination are just some of the areas that benefit pupils involved in Drama. Every single child at St Christopher’s has the opportunity to take part in a production each year, and Drama is an integral part of Performing Arts lessons, as you see from regular features in the Newsletter. Over and above this, on page four, you can see an impressive list of results from the large number of pupils who have extra LAMDA lessons at school. Our Senior Drama Club arrived in school on Wednesday morning having performed at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells the night before, as part of a National Theatre festival. Their performance was superb and they were not out of place amongst performers much older than themselves.

The Summer Play for our Seniors, which is performed on the final two full days of the school year, is always an emotional event. For Year 8, it is a chance to take a final bow before their Leavers’ Assembly the following morning. Every single child in Year 8 is involved in bringing the show to an audience. A Drama production will always have its starring roles, but it also needs stagehands, set painters, supporting parts, photographers, dancers, runners, ASMs, tech crew, and programme artists, to name just some of the roles. Year 7 have the option to take part, and I am pleased that so many have chosen to do so this year. The sense that they are one big team as a theatre company has been bolstered this week by the arrival of the official hoodie and t-shirts, which can be worn as school uniform when we get into the full rehearsal schedule after the Common Entrance exams are over in June.

As you can see from the banner at the top of this page, the Box Office for our production of Legally Blonde is now open. The Barn Theatre were so impressed with how quickly tickets were snapped up when they went on sale to Upper School parents that they emailed us to say so! All are welcome; do feel free to come and see the show even if you don’t have children in the Upper School. Come and see where the St C’s Drama journey that starts with being a camel in the Reception Nativity ends up – in a professional theatre!

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections