Queen’s College is well known for its excellence in the performing and creative arts and there is a strong musical tradition in the School. In the curriculum, class music includes performing, listening, composing and discussion, with music theory introduced into lessons where appropriate. Pupils are encouraged to extend their music in class and to further their enjoyment and performance skills by taking part in extra-curricular musical activities, school productions and concerts.
All musical instrument lessons take place during the school day. The children come out of class for their lessons although we ensure that they do not miss important learning points in the classroom. Individual musicians progress on to the Associated Board of Music or Trinity College examinations and have opportunities to perform in informal concerts to parents.
We have a wide variety of instrumental players here at Queen’s and offer tuition for all the major instruments ranging from the clarinet, piano and trumpet to guitar, voice and drums.
There are over 20 peripatetic music teachers who offer one-to-one teaching to a high standard and instrumentalists are entered into grade exams and music festivals. Talented musicians are encouraged to apply for Year 6, 7, 9 or 12 music scholarships.
A wide range of musical groups are also on offer in the Prep School and in any one week orchestra, string group, two recorder groups, Senior Choir (Years 5 and 6) and Prep Choir (Years 3 and 4) are all busy rehearsing.
Performance opportunities are also plentiful. There are lunchtime concerts held every term as well as whole school services which incorporate musical items. We have music assemblies and the end of the academic year is marked by a large concert with the Prep pupils performing in the impressive setting of the Queen’s Hall
In addition, school productions involve pupils from all years in a joint drama and musical venture on a large scale and other more informal performances, such as concerts, are given in the local community.
Music at Queen’s College Prep School is inclusive and involves every pupil who wishes to take part, without audition. The majority of pupils play at least one musical instrument. In addition, the children are encouraged to come to listen to the groups rehearsing and to support their friends. To download the most recent Peripatetic Music Staff list please click here.
All Year 1 children are given half a term of free recorder lessons. Following this, the children can continue with their lessons (30 minutes) either as individuals or in shared classes.
We suggest that individual lessons begin from Year 2 by which time children have developed the fine motor skills required and a large enough hand span! Generally piano lessons are suitable for children who have made a good start with reading and having a piano at home for practice is, of course, a necessity.
In the Autumn Term of Year 2, three free trial lessons (20 minutes) are offered on both the violin and the cello and then the child may choose whether to continue learning and, if so, on which instrument. Parents are encouraged where possible to accompany their children to lessons for the first term as both the violin and cello are very technical instruments and the early stages can be challenging. Parents are an enormous source of encouragement and support, helping to establish a good practice technique with posture and bowing.
We are fortunate in the Prep School to have a specialist Drama teacher who as well as teaching class based drama, arranges and directs the annual Prep School productions. Pupils may take LAMDA exams and are encouraged to enter for the Taunton and Somerset Speech and Drama Festival where they have the opportunity to perform alongside children from other schools. A joint music and drama production is held annually involving a large cast.
Children interested in dance can take part in Ballet, Modern and Lyrical, Contemporary, Creative and Choreography classes.
Pre-Prep children have the opportunity to take combined Ballet and Modern Dance lessons as a co-curricular activity. This currently covers RAD Ballet and ISTD Modern and Tap techniques, set to classical and current music.
The classes are very enjoyable and give the children a sense of balance, physical accuracy and rhythm as well as improving posture which lasts throughout their lives. Classes usually follow set syllabuses, leading to Royal Academy of Dance grades. There are opportunities to perform for parents in informal shows and many of the skills are utilised in the main school production.
Small group Speech lessons are available from Year 1 and are a very popular choice of extra-curricular activity. The syllabus covers speech, voice production, verse-speaking, reading, play reading and the use of English.
Speech lessons benefit children enormously – building self confidence, encouraging clear speech and developing the skills needed for effective social interaction. Lessons can lead to the LAMDA examinations and many of our children also take part in the Taunton Speech and Drama Festival, giving them the opportunity to perform in front of an audience.
In the Prep School sport is an important part of the curriculum and also one of the most popular extra-curricular activities at Queen’s. Keeping fit, playing as part of a team, excelling on an individual level and supporting your peers can be some of the most memorable moments of a child’s school life.
Not only do we stretch the more able children to regional or national level where appropriate, we are also inclusive giving every child, whatever their ability, the chance to succeed. Wherever possible we field A, B and C teams so that every child can experience proudly playing for their school.
With PE specialists and qualified Games staff, many of whom have competed themselves at first-class level, Queen’s Prep School has some of the best sports coaching in the area. There is an intensive programme of inter-school fixtures and tournaments throughout the school and, in addition, we regularly compete in a variety of tournaments, galas and championships at county and national level. Fixtures are usually held on Wednesday afternoons where parental support is always welcomed. Squad practices take place on Mondays after school.
The main curriculum sports are rugby, hockey and cricket for boys and hockey, netball, rounders and tennis for girls.
Other sports we teach as part of the curriculum include:
We are extremely fortunate to be able to utilise the extensive sporting facilities available on the Queen’s College campus which include two Astro pitches, a swimming pool, sports hall, netball and tennis courts, rugby and cricket pitches as well as our own Prep School court and sports and playground areas.
In addition to those taught as part of the curriculum, clubs and practices are run for the following sporting activities:
Pre-Prep are able to enjoy fun Football, Kwik Cricket, Yoga, Ball Skills, Hockey, Playground Games as part of their co-curricular options. These sessions help the children develop multi-skills in a wide range of ball and team activities. Wonderful for expending energy and very helpful in providing the basis for team based sports later on, the children learn basic passing and tackling skills, improve their hand-eye co-ordination and develop teamwork skills and good sportsmanship from an early age.
At Prep, we offer a variety of after-school co-curricular activities allowing the children to extend their skills and discover new talents. Years 4, 5 and 6 attend at least five of these every week and Years 3 are encouraged to take part in at least three activities. Years 1 and 2 have optional co-curricular activities everyday. Co-curricular sessions run from 3:40pm to 4:25pm. Homework Club is available every day for years 3-6.
Recent clubs we have run include:
We run exciting holiday camps and courses each Summer at Queen’s.
In 2022, our summer@Queen’s courses proved extremely popular, and included Master Classes in Arts, Cookery, Adventure Activities and Sports.
For more information on 2023 Summer camps and courses, contact our Admissions team.
Ultimate Activity Camps ran their fun, safe and engaging holiday programmes here in 2021 during the Easter and Summer holidays. They work with some of the best independent schools in the country and have a strong reputation for quality holiday programmes. Established by a team with over 25 years’ experience of running high quality Ofsted-accredited holiday camps, children aged 4-14 years have the chance to try over 40 exciting sports, games and creative activities each week. Their activities will be delivered by engaging, enthusiastic and energetic staff who will instruct and encourage every child to try new activities and make new friends – and naturally have lots of fun!
To find out when bookings open for 2023 Easter and Summer holiday camps, please contact our Admissions team.