Picture Study and Composer Study are unique features of the Heritage curriculum.
At Heritage we seek to develop keen powers of observation and attention to detail, and to develop the skills pupils need to accurately represent physical objects and create pleasing outcomes. We want our pupils to develop an aesthetic sense, an appreciation of beauty, and an ability to express their own ideas effectively in their work. Representing and responding to the natural world plays a particularly important role, including through our Nature Walks and subsequent Nature Notebook.
There are separate Art and Handicraft lessons each week for Infants and Juniors, taught by specialists from Upper Prep (Year 1). From Year 2 pupils go down to our basement Art Room and learn how to do many things from weaving on individual looms, sewing, clay work, and knitting to painting, sketching, observational work, pastiche and more. For our youngest pupils, art activities often allow them to creatively respond to what they have been learning about, through painting, collage, drawing and model making; sometimes independently and sometimes collaboratively. At other times they might be encouraged to look carefully at a daffodil or holly leaf, for example, and try to copy the shape and colour of it. An after school Art Club for Juniors normally runs throughout the year.
We focus throughout the school upon art appreciation. In particular, from Year 2 to Year 6, pupils participate in a Picture Study lesson each week. Following a brief introduction by the class teacher, pupils look in silence with concentrated attention at a reproduction of a painting by a famous artist. The painting is then turned over and its details are described from memory. In this way pupils study numerous works by that artist each term. Over the years they become familiar with a large number of great works by artists such as: Giotto, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vermeer, De Hooch, Holbein, Rembrandt, Titian, Constable, Monet, Manet, Turner, Cezanne, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Degas, and Picasso. After studying so much art in this way, pupils take real pleasure when they are able to see the original in a London museum, or even a 10 minute walk away at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
In the Senior School, pupils continue to appreciate artwork from different times and cultures as well as further developing their practical skills. Establishing good drawing techniques is emphasised. Encouraging powers of observation, sensitivity, imagination, conceptual thinking and personal expression are also key objectives.
Years 7 and 8 have a double lesson (an hour and a half) each week during which they explore working in paint, print, 3D and mixed media. In Year 9, those pupils who have elected to study Art to exam level start addressing the assessment objectives for their GCSE course as they focus on painting and related media. In years 9-11, pupils have three lessons a week (two hours and 15 minutes). They begin their coursework in the summer term of Year 9 and complete this assignment by the first term of Y11, after which the focus switches to the assignment associated with their exam paper.
The GCSE syllabus we follow is: AQA GCSE Art and Design (8202)
Our Music programme at Heritage aims to inspire all pupils to develop a love of music, at whatever stage of their musical journey they are on.
From Lower Prep through to Year 8 all pupils have regular whole-class music lessons with a specialist teacher. Infants have one thirty-minute lesson each week, focusing on pitch matching, steady beat and composing, learned through games, movement and song.
In the Junior school, students develop their vocal skills and general musicianship through whole-class singing. In addition, year 3 learn about notation and they develop basic composition skills using glockenspiels. Year 4 learn to play the recorder, year 5 learn to play the ocarina, and year 6 learn to play the ukulele. Each class works towards a whole-class performance for the Spring concert, where each child sings in various choirs and plays their classroom instrument.
In addition to whole-class music lessons, Infants and Juniors have dedicated curriculum time for music appreciation. The Preparatory Infant classes learn about and listen to works by Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. Students from Year 2 have regular Composer Study lessons in addition to Music lessons, during which they read a biography of great composers – one each term – and listen to works by that composer. In this way, over five years, they learn about Medelssohn, Verdi, Williams, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Bach, Handel, Grieg, Schumann, and Paganini.
In the Senior School, students sing in whole class groups, and work towards all-senior choir performances. In Years 7 and 8, students learn composition and improvisation skills on the keyboards, and develop their rhythmic and ensemble skills through djembe drumming and class samba band drumming. From Year 9, students may choose to continue with Music IGCSE, which focuses on performance, composition and music appreciation. The IGCSE syllabus we follow is Cambridge International Examinations IGCSE Music (0978).
We offer a variety of instrumental lessons with our peripatetic teachers: strings (violin, viola), wind (clarinet, flute, saxophone), piano, and voice. There are also many performance opportunities: Junior and Senior Choir, Junior and Senior Strings, Junior and Senior Wind Group, Senior Orchestra, and Ukulele club. Pupils are also encouraged to perform in front of their class and parents in recitals held once a term in music lessons.
More formal solo and ensemble performance opportunities arise through the Christmas concert, Recital Assemblies which are held once a term, and the Spring concert, as well as at various one-off events throughout the year.
With our central location, classes are also able to attend concerts at many of the amazing music venues in and around Cambridge.
Drama gives pupils an opportunity to grow in many important ways. Pupils develop unique empathy with their characters, an ability to confidently express themselves publicly, and a capacity to work effectively with others as part of a team. They experience the excitement and sense of achievement that comes from seeing a production through from beginning to end, including all of the practical elements such as staging and costuming.
While there are occasional opportunities to enjoy Drama lower down the school, such as during class assemblies and as part of our Enrichment Programme, Drama commences in earnest in Year 5. In that year, and again in Year 6, pupils perform a class play each year. This pattern continues in Year 7 and 8, with the advantage of pupils having a dedicated Drama lesson one day per week. Scripts are chosen to tie in with the curriculum, with a Shakespeare play being performed on alternate years. Our most recent productions have been Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado about Nothing , which have delighted both audience and actors alike.
LAMDA qualifications are offered to Seniors as part of our extra-curricular provision.