The Arts Centre is the final project of our Growing for the Future development programme.
The project is driven by multiple needs and aspirations: the need for an inspirational space in which to gather the whole school; the desire for a dedicated performance space for drama; the huge scope for developing music further; the wish to display the girls’ art, and the long held aim of giving the school a real centre – something we currently lack.
At the most fundamental level, we are inspired by the idea of physically linking the creative subjects together and giving them real prominence. It is increasingly clear that being creative is going to be a real advantage in the complicated and competitive world our girls will be living and working in. For more on this, do see Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk.
We are excited by the prospect of increased numbers of girls participating in more diverse ways – from playing in the orchestra to writing their own pop songs. The opportunities are growing. Thanks to technology, there is more scope than ever for everyone to be actively involved in music-making. And there is a growing body of evidence showing the powerful effects of music on learning. See this 2014 paper from the Royal Conservatory.
We know that taking part in a performance allows young people to develop confidence. More than this, it teaches teamwork and develops empathy. But we need a proper home for drama and a dedicated performance space.
We have a thriving art department. We’d like to encourage more girls to enjoy making art. We’d also like to bring art out into the school to inspire everyone. We need a suitable space for this.
Currently, the school lacks a real centre – a heart, or hub. We believe that having a welcoming space in the centre of the school will have a profound effect on the daily lives of girls and staff and will really add to the sense of community.