The Early Years School
All children in the Early Years have an opportunity to perform on the stage in assemblies and productions. Each Nursery class performs an assembly to their parents, often based on their current theme in the classroom. All the children in Reception take part in an annual year group production. All children are encouraged to take on a speaking role, however short and to join in the songs for the performance.
Children in Reception also take part in 'Zing Zo' at the Muziekgebouw aan het Ij. This is a musical performance organised for local Dutch schools, lead by the Amsterdam School of Music. Children learn the songs for this performance during their weekly enrichment music class.
The children in Reception visit the Rijksmuseum, The Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum during the school year.
Expressive arts are very important at the Infant School with lots of opportunities for the children to develop their artistic, musical and dramatic skills and self-confidence.
We have a specialist art teacher who teaches each class for a double session each week. The children work through the Art and Design and Design Technology programmes of study of the English National Curriculum. The children are encouraged to explore different materials and techniques in art lessons and to use creative thinking skills to solve design problems in design technology lessons. Each year we also welcome a visiting artist to the school to lead sculpture workshops for the children.
Music is also an important part of the children's experience in Key Stage 1. We hold a singing assembly once per week when all of the children come together to learn and practise songs with our specialist music teacher. This teacher also teaches each class for two sessions per week and works through the Music programme of study of the English National Curriculum. In Year 2 we have a choir for children who wish to learn to sing with others and we hold several concerts over the course of the year so that the children may showcase their talents. We run three music projects as after-school clubs so that the children can try violin, recorder or ukulele in a series of group lessons before signing up for individual lessons which are available during the school day. We also regularly invite visiting musicians to give workshops to the children. At the end of the year we hold an End of Year celebration concert when all children perform songs and dances that they have learned over the course of the year.
Each year group works on a production once per year where the children are given the opportunity to perform on stage in front of an audience of parents and friends. These are very important moments in the school calendar and the children grow and develop lots of confidence by taking part. We also run a short drama programme as part of our enrichment activities on a Friday in Year 1.
We have a rich variety of arts taking place across the school; there are weekly music lessons covering all aspects of the curriculum, led by our music specialist, as well as regular singing sessions and art lessons as part of the curriculum. We have three regular choirs at the Junior School, for all age groups, and we take every opportunity to build links with the wider community and develop their performing skills in different environments, both formal and informal. We have a thriving private music service with access to twelve peripatetic music teachers who give private tuition to around a third of the children in the school each week - we combine all of the musical talents of our children in regular concerts, assembly slots, choir events and practice bands at lunchtimes, and we are well resourced including orchestral instruments to loan out. We have an annual arts week, and every year group produces a full scale production through the year, as well as regular class assemblies for parents. Children use a variety of artistic media to develop their drawing, painting and visual arts skills, and we take part in local arts events such as the Art Zuid sculpture walk, and visit Amsterdam’s rich variety of artistic museums.