Music is an important part of school life and offers many opportunities for pupils to develop skills, interests and talents. The subject is taught from Nursery through to Prep 6 and is enriched by a range of extra-curricular activities and lessons. Music is part of the Nursery curriculum and is taught by the Head of the Foundation Stage. A music specialist teaches each class from Pre Prep upwards. All children will experience learning the Recorder and Ukulele during their time at Notre Dame Prep School.
Large scale events such as the Carol Service and the Summer Musical offer all pupils the opportunity to perform for an audience as part of a large group.
There is a thriving choir at Notre Dame Prep School. The choir performs at the Carol Service at St John’s Cathedral, at Open Days, the Easter Concert and the Norfolk County Music Festival where the choir recently achieved a highly commended plus for their efforts.. The choir also performs at local retirement homes and other special events. Singing at the school is exceptional and was highlighted in our recent inspection report.
Pupils in Preps 3, 4, 5 & 6 are able to learn the recorder as an optional activity, Individual ABRSM exams may be taken if required, but pupils also have the opportunity to play for their own enjoyment or to perform as part of a group in Assemblies, Open Days, the Christmas Carol Service and the Easter Concert.
An informal ukulele group meets once a week offering pupils the opportunity to learn the basics of the instrument and to perform songs for their own enjoyment.
Private instrumental tuition is currently offered on the piano, violin, guitar and woodwind instruments. Lessons take place during normal timetable hours and are usually arranged on a rota basis, although sometimes lessons can be made for tuition to take place before school. Pupils are prepared for and entered for ABRSM examinations when appropriate and encouraged to play solos in Assemblies and Concerts.
Instrumentalists have the opportunity to join the Ensemble from an early stage with the music being arranged to suit all abilities. The Ensemble accompanies the carols at the Christmas Carol Service and plays at various other school events.
All children in the Butterfly Nursery and Pre-Prep take part in their own nativity play which is quite informal. A more comprehensive nativity play is presented by Preps 1 and 2 each Christmas. Speech and drama lessons are offered as an optional extra by a peripatetic teacher. Pupils get an opportunity to enter Lamda exams.
Preps 3, 4, 5 & 6 take part in summer productions and each child has a part to perform on stage. Past productions have included: ‘Joseph’, ‘The Pied Piper’, ‘Alice’, ‘Dream On’, ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘The Tempest’ and other school produced musicals.
The quality of singing, playing musical instruments and speech and drama performances is a real strength within the school.