Extra Curricular Activities

Extra Curricular Activities at Heath Mount School

Our extended curricular activities are designed regularly to enrich, enhance and extend, providing opportunity beyond that offered in the daily timetabled classroom lessons.

These exciting extra- curricular clubs and activities are available to children across the school. Activities change from term to term, but there is always a wide choice available, from academic ‘boosters’ like mathletics, to craft and sports clubs.

Pre-Prep Extra Curricular Activites

In Pre-Prep, recorder and choir sessions are offered during the day, and a large number of pupils enjoy piano and violin lessons with peripatetic music staff. There is also a Breakfast Club, an after-school crèche, and after-school activities including Ballet, Football, Gardening, Spanish, Mandarin, Judo and a Lego Club. The Pre-Prep is also host to our very successful Gardening Club, which is a huge success due to the inspiration and involvement of our parents.

Prep Extra Curricular Activites

The Prep School offers an even wider range of activities depending on the season. Pupils have the opportunity to have individual LAMDA lessons and instrumental lessons with peripatetic drama and music staff, as well as the chance to join our popular choirs. Activities change from term to term but currently include; Cricket, Netball, Athletics, Riding, Fencing, Table Tennis, Mountaineering Club and Seal and PADI Diving; Scholars’ groups in Maths, Art Music and Latin and Maths and Science booster sessions; Art, Film, Cartoon and the ‘Art Nightclub’; Spanish; and the ever popular ‘Biscuit Club’!

Extra Curricular Activities List

To see activities taking place in the Michaelmas Term 2016 click here.

+

Art Clubs

Children have the opportunity to build upon their art lessons by joining Art club as an after school activity.
art

These lessons are always led by an Art specialist and are designed to complement the Art curriculum whilst giving pupils the freedom to express their ideas in a variety of artistic forms. Art is a particular strength of the school and the extra sessions are extremely popular.  

+

Music

In addition to weekly class music lessons there are extra-curricular activities which expose our children to an exciting world of musical exploration. 

music

Over 85% of our children are involved in extra-curricular music at Heath Mount, a testament to the infectious enthusiasm of our charismatic Director of Music, Andrew O’Brien, and his superb team.

We have had great success across the board and the team have led our school to victory in the BBC School Choir of the 2012 and the BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2013, as well as helping 23 of our talented pupils achieve places in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Choral groups and instrumental ensembles compete in regional national competitions, as well performing in festival services at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square and concerts at the Albert Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall with professional players and musicians.

The School has recently recorded its third professional CD at the world famous Dean Street Studios in London, and the children were thrilled to have the opportunity to stand in the footsteps of musical heroes such as Ed Sheeran, David Bowie and Frank Sinatra.

We believe in taking our music into the community and so each July, the School hosts its own ‘Proms in the Park’ festival in the School grounds. Our choirs and soloists also perform at some of our local churches, recently taking part in a WW1 Centenary Concert in aid of the Poppy appeal at Remembrance Day Concert at St Andrew and St Mary Church, Watton-at-Stone. There are also regular music tours and pupils have performed in Salzberg, Barcerlona and Berlin Cathedrals. In July 2015 47 our musicians will tour to Budapest.  

music2Instrumental lessons and Performance 

Individual instrumental/vocal lessons are given by fifteen specialists violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, horn, baritone, tuba, piano, organ, drums and singing.

The school also owns a spinet in order that they experiment with early keyboard music. Opportunities abound for children to get involved.

We currently have 5 school choirs, a Junior/senior Orchestra, Pre-Prep/Junior/Middle/Senior String Groups, Woodwind, Brass, Drum Guitar and Recorder Groups, and a Jazz Band.

There are also regular recitals, dramatic music productions, class assemblies and whole-school assemblies incorporating music.

+

Theatre

It means a lot to a child to be part of a school production. 

theatre

It may be as a rowdy villager, or the play’s villain, or a backstage crew member who helps to design the set.

Whatever their part may be, each one is of equal importance and will leave each child with lasting memories. At Heath Mount, the department puts on a broad range of productions, which are experimental in nature, and always ambitious.

All the pupils in Years 3 and 4 are on stage for their own individual year group productions, directed by their class teachers. In Year 5, pupils are given the choice to be part of a showcase, when they can perform poetry, short dramatic scenes or songs. Years 6 & 7 put on a large scale production together, for which there is the choice to perform or be part of a backstage crew. The recent ‘Beauty & The Beast’ was a resounding success!

The production for 2015-16 will be ‘The Lion King’, for which excitement is already mounting. 

Theatre Workshops theatre2

Year 7 ‘Trestle’ Mask Workshop

For our Curriculum Day in March, we brought in ‘Trestle’, the acclaimed mask and physical theatre company, to run a one day workshop. This introduced the pupils to the exciting versatility of masks. They explored how mask training can unlock the door to a more focused physicality in all performance.

Morning Workshop: Basic Masks

This workshop provided an introduction to Trestle’s mask technique.

Pupils were taught the principles of effective mask performance through physicality and core techniques.

Afternoon Workshop: Half Masks

Trestle’s half mask set brought the additional element of speech to Trestle’s mask training and we chose eight varied half masks to become a playful set of characters. The department now owns a set of the beautiful, handmade Basic Masks and a set of the Half Masks, which will be used in Drama lessons to explore further this type of drama.

Year 4 – The Globe Theatre Workshop

For our Curriculum Day in March, Year 4 visited The Globe Theatre. As well as a tour of the exhibition and theatre itself, the children were treated to an excellent workshop. It was wholly interactive and all-inclusive from the first to the last minute. The children were taken through many skills and disciplines, each one with an element of fun.

The activities were perfectly pitched and also continually linked to actual theatre productions as would happen at The Globe; children were gaining a real perception of context for what they were doing. The people who took the workshops showed extensive knowledge and enthusiasm; the Heath Mount teachers came away with plenty of ideas to implement in their own classrooms. It was great to see the confidence displayed by our own children.

All were made to feel very much a part of the activities and more than a few probably felt a little braver at the end than they did at the start.

LAMDA

Coaching for LAMDA examinations in both communication and performance subjects is offered as a weekly extra-curricular activity in half-hourly lessons. The exams are rooted in encouraging participants to develop a love of literature, poetry and drama, and hence improve standards of communication through the spoken word. Subjects include Verse and Prose Speaking, Acting, Speaking in Public, Reading for Performance, Miming and Devising Drama.

LAMDA provides the opportunity to nurture natural abilities and develop a learner’s skills in reading fluently with understanding, improving confidence in speaking and listening, expanding vocabulary to improve powers of self-expression, promoting creative thinking and an understanding of how feelings and emotions dictate behaviour, as well as engaging in constructive informal conversation. The exams will enhance a learner’s self-confidence, encouraging self-awareness and enabling an individual to fulfill their potential, whilst developing a broad range of essential life skills that will support them in the future.

Our children love their LAMDA lessons and do extremely well in the exams that they take at the end of each period of study. In the summer 2015 examinations, for example, our talented pupils received an outstanding 35 distinctions and 10 merits.

+

Gardening

Our Pre-Prep children all get a chance to develop green fingers in our popular Gardening Club. 

gardening1

From Nursery, they will begin regular trips to their dedicated area on the skirts of the forest school. Activities will vary according to the age of the children and the season, but will include learning about the site, soil and climate, general maintenance, planting and harvesting.

The children will then often have the chance to sample the fruits of their labours, as from time to time the Pre-Prep will host special cookery sessions to allow the children the chance to tickle their taste buds.

The Gardening Club is supported by a group of our dedicated Pre-Prep parents and our dedicated Woodland Ranger, Ms Bunyan, all of whom are invaluable in helping the school offer and develop this most valuable education in horticulture.

We try, where possible, to link Gardening Club to curriculum units in Science explaining growth, life cycles and healthy eating.

+

Scuba Diving

Scuba-DivingChildren aged 8 and above are given the opportunity to take their Junior PADI course whilst in the safe environment of our own swimming pool.

The course, which is led by fully qualified PADI instructors teaches children about the correct techniques, sign language and safety procedures required when scuba diving.

+

Golf

Boarders have the opportunity to join our golf club one evening a week in the Summer term.

GolfHeath Mount is fortunate to have a long-standing relationship with Essendon Golf and Country Club and one evening a week a teacher accompanies the pupils to a coach-led practice session where a professional golfer is always on had to help with technique or give advice on match play. Children also have access to the 18 hole course.

Heath Mount’s U11 team won the prestigious Under 11 Stowe Putter in the 2014-15 season and finished 2nd in the ISGA National Prep school Competition competing against boys who were two years their senior. Max Shirvell, a Year 7 pupil is also the current IAPS National U11 Champion.

+

Horse Riding

Children from Year 3 to Year 8 are given the opportunity to take Horse Riding lessons in an after-school club.
horse-riding

These take place at Hooks Cross Equestrian Centre, situated approximately 15 minutes from Heath Mount. We have many strong riders and our team competes successfully in local and national competitions.

We are also fortunate enough to be able to use the stunning Woodhall Park Estate for our annual riding day, captured in the stunning photographs featured across the site.

+

Sailing

sailingSailing plays an important part in our spiral curriculum but is also an extremely popular extra-curricular activity.

Children have the opportunity during the summer months, if they are not involved in other sporting matches, to have lessons on We have a number of children who sail in regional and national events.

+

Judo

Judo is taught as an after school club for children in Year 1 through to Year 8.

judo

The Modern Olympic sport of judo is all about using your opponent’s strength and power to your advantage. It is a physical game of chess, where you are trying to throw or pin your opponent, selecting from a huge array of techniques.

Judo, which is translated as the “gentle way”, teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. Children develop the key skills of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo and learn the technical aspects of throws and other skills as they progress through their belts.

The emphasis in the early years is very much on techniques and having fun whilst competition with others is phased in as children move up through the School.

+

Fencing

Fencing is a skill sport available to children as a club in Years 3 – 8.

It requires a special kind of athlete who can satisfy the physical and psychological challenges of head to head combat. Fencing is one of the sports where boys and girls are able to compete against each other on equal terms. It is a sport which demands self-discipline, a great deal of athleticism and a lot of skill. Our children have the chance to learn the sport whilst preparing for competition against other schools.

+

Dance

Dance at Heath Mount is now in its 20th year as an integral part of the performing arts department. 

dance

In recognition of the valuable role that dance has to play within our School, we are in the process of creating a purpose built dance studio adjoining our Sports Hall. Work is expected to be completed in November 2015.

Children at Heath Mount can take part in Commercial Dance classes and Classical Ballet classes from Reception and Year 3 upwards respectively. Dance is available to anyone and everyone who wishes to take part and allows children the opportunity to work as part of a team, develop important co-ordination and performance skills, whilst also having lots of fun!

Each year there is a Dance Performance Showcase where children have the opportunity to showcase the dances they have learned throughout the year in both Commercial Dance and Ballet. From Year 5, they are also given the opportunity to audition for an additional original dance story piece, which makes up the second half of the Dance Showcase.

The teaching of dance at Heath Mount has enabled four students from the School to become Junior Associates with the Royal Ballet School. Seven students have been selected to be Associates at Central School of Ballet and eleven students have been offered places at the Classical Ballet Academy at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.