Performing Arts is really at the heart of Fyling Hall school. It’s much more than the performances, it ensures that young people leave us as well rounded individuals. It builds confidence and communication skills and develops empathy and it is an invaluable tool for our international students in learning English as a second language. Our students do amazingly well in their performing arts exams too. In 2023 the year 13 class all received Distinction or Distinction* at the Level 3 Diploma, equivalent to A and A* at A Level. We teach practical, industry relevant diplomas as an alternative to A Level and GCSE. And of course we really enjoy ourselves too! This term, rehearsals have commenced for the school production of Annie – watch this space for more on the show
How did it all start?
The school’s early years saw many theatrical performances, often Shakespeare. When Mrs White (our late principal and daughter of the school’s founder) left the London stage and returned to Fyling Hall to teach, she laid the groundwork for a thriving Performing Arts department. Her focus on poetry recital, good clear diction and a knowledge of the classics will stay with us but things look a bit more modern now. With a recording studio and music practice rooms on site, a full lighting rig and technical set-up in our small but perfectly formed Barn Theatre, the open air Rose Garden theatre space, and an art room with pottery kiln and photography, the arts departments have certainly developed since Mrs White’s days.
Performing Arts Today
In 2023, 61% of KS4 (year 10 and 11) are taking an arts subject, but with small class sizes and individual attention from teaching staff, pupils have the opportunity to really tailor their learning to suit their interests. In Drama, pupils can choose modules based on their strengths or career aspirations, including Acting for the Camera, Performing Text, Devising and Lighting Design. The course is a vocational modular option focused on performance, theoretical understanding and the love of theatre. An innovative qualification with no end of year written exam pupils can turn their attention to other subjects when exam time comes around.
In Music, pupils perform regularly in small groups, sing in the school choir and have the opportunity to record their own music in lessons and out. Our peripatetic staff teach instruments as varied as piano, saxophone and cello and our singing teacher is in almost constant demand. Our young musicians host their own concert events and are even members of local bands. Each year we compete at the Eskdale Festival winning many of the categories. And on top of this the school hosts it’s own annual music festival; every summer the Rose Garden Festival brings together professional musicians and the local community as it raises money for charity. This year we raised over £500 for Young Minds.
Competing in local competitions, such ast the Eskdale Festival, and visiting the theatre whenever possible allows pupils to explore a wider range of performance styles as well as explore the wider theatrical community. We foster strong links to industry professionals including events managers, video compositors, actors and musicians who regularly visit school to speak to pupils and offer them an insight to the industry. And our results speak for themselves. Our grades at KS5 have not dipped below a Distinction (A equivalent) in 3 years and in KS4 pupils also regularly achieve the highest grades.
Fyling Hall pupils continue on into careers in the industry with former pupils gaining places on higher level sought after courses at places such as Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts, Wilkes Academy, Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and the University of Cumbria.
Contact Head of Drama Lizzie Jeeves to learn more about the RSL Diploma and talk about performing arts at Fyling Hall. Or get in touch with us here for all other enquires or if you’d like to visit Fyling Hall.
Save the Date
The school production of Annie will take place from 29th November to 1st December. Tickets available soon.