In addition to the various speech, drama and debating opportunities in class lessons, each year group enjoys creating and performing two assemblies a year – one of which has a strong drama focus. Christmas sees a wonderful week of more ‘traditional’ Nativity plays performed, in turn, by Nursery, Reception and Pre Prep. Each Summer Term we stage a grand whole-school production which features every child in the school from aged 3 upwards and is directed by a professional director and actress. Year 6 pupils are given the opportunity to audition for the leading roles and they look forward to this enormously! The show is performed in the marquee after Speech Day and includes many dance routines and both solo and group singing, all accompanied by a live band formed of past pupils and our current peri music teachers. In the summer of 2020, this production could not take place due to Covid-19, so a 45 minute film was shot, edited and set to music with the children telling the story of lockdown, the return to school and their aspirations for the future. In 2021, still restricted by covid, we filmed a special 75th Anniversary film, celebrating the story of St. Margaret’s, with Year 6s playing past Headteachers and pupils and each year group performed dance routines to music from across the eras. It was a wonderful keepsake and the children had lots of fun ‘on set’ and we were Highly Commended in the 2021 ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Performing Arts for the film.
Children in Year 1 and Year 2 have a weekly class drama lesson with our LAMDA drama teacher and any child in the school with a particular interest in drama can take individual drama lessons. If they wish, they can enter LAMDA exams which are held at school – in the last exam session, 80% of our pupils were awarded a distinction for their performances.
In recent years our Y6 pupils have gained a number of drama and performing arts scholarships to a range of secondary schools and have gone on to be members of the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre. We regard participation and success in the dramatic arts as important as academic achievement, and every child’s performance and creation is valued by pupils, staff and parents alike.