Being a boys’ school provides us with the unique opportunity to focus on what makes learning the best possible experience for boys and to shape our provision to achieve that. Have a look at some of the ways we shape out provision to create a boy-friendly learning experience.
The performing arts is a cornerstone of our broad and engaging curriculum. Taught by subject specialists, our Music and Drama lessons develop the key skills of communication and confidence through a strong emphasis on self-expression, performance and collaboration from the very beginning of the Elmhurst journey.
Specialist Music and Drama teaching, plus individual Music and speaking skills lessons, ensure every passion can be followed. Opportunities such as debating, public speaking competitions, music festivals, concerts, choir performances, film festivals and school productions all foster enthusiasm for taking part and embracing personal challenge.
Together with the specialist Art lessons, these subjects offer an inclusive and diverse range of experiences in creating, performing and responding to work, fostering a life-long love of the arts.
Drama has arrived at Elmhurst, with boys from Little Elms onwards spending time learning some of the core skills and joys of drama. Whilst the ubiquitous annual nativity production provides a natural performance opportunity, further up the school boys are provided performance opportunities aplenty through class and performance assemblies as well as school productions.
LAMDA – Communication and Performance
For many of our pupils, LAMDA is an enjoyable, formal programme to explore their performance and speaking capabilities. From Year 3, pupils are taught through our Drama curriculum time the skills required for the introductory level of LAMDA examinations. Parents will be given the option for their son to take the examination during the Spring Term of Y3.
Pupils who enjoy the challenge of these world leading performance examinations then have the option to continue their pursuit of exam levels through peripatetic teaching.
Music at Elmhurst
Music making has long been a favourite pastime of Elmhurst boys and today we enjoy curriculum music from Little Elms to Y6 on a weekly basis. The school music room offers an array of instruments for pupils to make music with including a class set of Djembe drums, keyboards and other instruments from a diverse range of cultures, encouraging composition work and performance alike.
Pupils can study an instrument outside of curriculum time with peripatetic music teachers who attend the school and offer lessons in guitar, piano, clarinet, saxophone, violin and drums. From Reception boys are able to choose an instrument and regular assembly showcases expose the boys to the variety of options available, as well as providing performance opportunities for budding musicians.
Films at Elmhurst
Year 5 & 6 have created their own film which played on the big screen at the British Film Institute in Southbank. (This was part of our participation in the internationally renowned film education project ‘Le Cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse’ (CCAJ). Throughout the project, pupils developed their acting skills to produce a 6 minute film based on the topic ‘Centred/Decentred’ Enjoy!
Into the Woods
Our commitment to Into the Woods and outdoor learning is one way in which we deepen boys’ learning and build their confidence. All boys visit the local woods on a weekly basis for one term each year. The sessions are designed to provide opportunities for exploration, encourage free play and calculated risk taking.
Led by a level 3 Forest School practitioner, boys learn the rules of the outdoors, the importance of the fire circle and develop a respect for the countryside. Half of the term will focus on supporting curriculum learning outdoors and, in recent years, the Nile River and its floodplains have been brought to the muddy banks of Little Heath Woods quite a few times.
Whilst Sport is an important part of our curriculum, boys are also given the opportunity to compete in different sports from time to time. Cross country, athletics and football all provide the chance to enjoy the buzz of events and with our new astroturf surface we hope to add Hockey to the mix of competitive events.
Lucky enough to have two cricket nets on site, many boys at Elmhurst share a passion for cricket, something supported with regular out of school training opportunities and links to local cricket clubs.
Footballers are also commonplace at school and we are proud of the level of skill our boys show. From as young at Little Elms, boys are given the chance to develop their skills with dedicated football coaches visiting the school. As talented youngsters emerge in the school our Head of Sport works hard to provide introductions to links and pathways that can support development alongside the school’s core offer.
An important life skill, swimming is taught to all our pupils from the Summer Term in Reception. We make use of a range of excellent nearby facilities at Whitgift, Trinity and Royal Russell schools, which also gives boys an introduction to different school environments. Our Head of Swimming oversees the provision and an annual gala is held towards the end of the year for boys to showcase their learning and enjoy an element of competition.
Micro-geeks are nurtured at Elmhurst from a young age as this eponymous on site after school club is fed by learners who benefit from specialist teaching from their first days with us. Using lego mindstorms robotics the development of skills leads some boys to success at design and technology scholarships at senior school.
The lower school pupils play an active role on school council, often working in pairs on behalf of their classes to make sure their voice is heard by those charged with school development.
After-school clubs and activities
All boys in the school are able to choose from enrichment activities, the majority of which take place after school. New clubs are regularly added and parents and pupils are encouraged to make suggestions as to additions they would like to see in the programme. Recently Taekwondo, Skateboarding and Yoga joined the club offer, alongside regular favourites such as Chess Club, Badminton and Orchestra.