Head's Blog - Paul Dwyer | Redmaids' High School
Let’s face it, 2020 was a difficult year for all of us. It was a storm we weathered collectively, albeit in different boats. We know it isn’t over just yet, but with the ringing in of a new year we feel it is time to look to the future and really embrace hope and possibility again.
It is no secret that music and the performing arts have been areas of our culture and economy, hit particularly hard by the pandemic, with the government even suggesting that those employed in these areas should look to retrain. At Redmaids' High Junior School, we feel passionately that the future of music and theatre needs to be preserved and invested in, rather than side-lined and ignored.
Our feeling is so strong that we are making a significant financial commitment. Any Year 3 pupil joining the school from September 2021 will have one-to-one music lessons with a specialist teacher, free of charge for a year. Girls can choose singing lessons or on an instrument of their choice. Alternatively, they can opt for weekly speech and drama lessons, building confidence and vocabulary, that could lead to them take LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) qualifications. This amounts to approximately £600 per pupil.
Our aim is to inspire a generation of children who experience enjoyment through performance. Long gone are the days where children should be seen and not heard. We want our pupils to act out, play up and make some noise!
There is also an academic benefit too. A 2019 study in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that highly engaged music students outperformed their peers in English, maths and science too. Research from Birkbeck University London, also in 2019, showed that live theatre boosts academic performance, social bonding, and emotional and cognitive skills in children.
Initially this offer will be running until the end of the 2021-22 academic year, but we promise that anyone who joins our Year 3 waiting list – even those currently in infant or nursery school – will receive this same opportunity when they start at Redmaids’ High Juniors.
We genuinely feel the arts are essential to this country's economy, not to mention our collective well-being, sense of community and general enjoyment of life. Our hope is that this offer goes some way towards securing this, giving future generations the opportunity to develop an early love of music and drama.
For more information, please visit our Year 3 Arts Award page.
Mrs Lisa Brown - Headteacher