The talents developed through our music, art and drama activities add a further dimension to the lives of pupils at Pembroke House. Every child will have the opportunity to perform, dance, play a musical instrument or exhibit their works of art in one or more of our regular, eagerly-anticipated stage performances, concerts and exhibitions. Those who are less inclined towards the performing arts may enjoy a broad range of arts and handicrafts.
Pembroke takes pride in having one of the most dynamic music departments in the region. More than 100 children have instrumental and voice lessons every week from specialist resident and visiting teachers. Our new, purpose-built music school resounds with the sounds of music, including guitars, pianos, flutes and voices throughout the day. The majority of Pembroke’s pupils participate in the senior and junior choir and new children are encouraged to join. There is also a junior and senior jazz band.
The rehearsals for these events take place throughout the school week. These students add to the immense cultural wealth of the school by performing in the regular school concerts, recitals, and inter-school music festivals. Music is also a vital part of Pembroke’s morning assemblies, chapel services and the annual Christmas carol service. At Pembroke music provides opportunities and links between home, school and the community at large.
Music is also taught as part of the curriculum to all classes at Pembroke, introducing students to different forms of music-making and encouraging objective judgement of musical quality. At Pembroke we believe that Music contributes to the personal development of students by providing a powerful and distinctive form of communication and personal expression, enhancing emotional well-being. It also develops and stimulates the acquisition of many skills, attitudes and attributes, which can be transferred to other areas of experience and learning.
Find out more about which ‘Music Extras’ can be taken at the bottom of this page.
All pupils in the middle and senior school have drama lessons, which fall under the English department. Drama is also integral to the curriculum with major dramatic productions of exceptional quality taking place over the course of the year. Senior school plays are performed before Easter, while the Trinity term offers a middle school review. Recent performances have included Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Oliver is currently being rehearsed.
Our annual Nativity Play is also performed by our very youngest children at the end of the Christmas term, with every child proudly performing a speaking part. These nativity plays are unique and popular with members of the local Gilgil community, as well as people from further away, who attend annually. Pembroke House Nativities are fondly remembered by many for their unique sets (including some outdoor ones) and for their guest stars in the form of live animals!
There is also a Drama club at Pembroke House. Lamda is offered as a weekly extra at all levels and its popularity and success at external exam level is an indication of the confidence and talent shown by pupils at Pembroke House. An Examiner travels from the UK each year to adjudicate these exams.
Art and Design Technology
We are also very proud of our well-established art department at Pembroke House – always worth a visit as it provides a feast for the eyes.
Creative skills are developed in a broad range of media, including the traditional painting and sketching, plus more abstract expressions through pottery, sculpture, photographic interpretation and collage. Children are encouraged to participate through individual efforts and within group projects.
The vibrant design and technology department hums with creativity and activity during the academic day. It also proves very popular with our pupils as one of our many, successful extra-curricular activities.
The fact that over 100 children at Pembroke House take music extras is a credit to our lively, busy, happy music department.
The philosophy of the music department is to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity to young musicians in the knowledge, practice and appreciation of music. We believe that Music can effectively change the way children feel, think and act. It affects emotion and moods, providing opportunity for personal expression and reflection. It develops thinking, increases perception, imagination, creativity intuition, sensitivity, perseverance, a sense of achievement and enjoyment, and physical co-ordination: all important life-skills.
The teaching of music throughout the school also extends everyday experiences, also introducing students to different forms of music-making and encouraging children to try out extra lessons for themselves! It is believed that as students develop, they become more able to cope with the physical demands of different instruments.
Timetable of lessons: Lessons are taught individually for a fixed number of weeks each term on a rotational timetable. Year 8 students and those on learning support will be taught either after school, during study periods or at break times. Students who have lessons during teaching time will miss only one part of one subject lesson per term. Those students who learn more than one instrument will have one lesson on a rotational basis and one in an extra-curricular time slot. Timetables will be issued to students prior to the start of term. They will also be put on the school web site, displayed outside teaching areas and sent to class teachers and tutors.
Concerts, Choirs and Bands: When the tutor feels that a student is of sufficient ability they are encouraged to join the school choirs, junior or senior jazz bands, ensembles or take part in the various musical concerts held at the school or in conjunction with other Preparatory schools in the region.
Ensemble playing has tremendous value, offering students opportunities to achieve their maximum potential whilst at the same time enriching the life of the school.
Selected students will every week join the Director of Music in playing during assembly, or to accompany the school choir for concerts.
Selection of instruments and ownership: Students are assessed to ascertain their aptitude and physical suitability for an instrument. Beginners will have the opportunity to try a variety of instruments and will be advised what instrument they might suit.
Once students have chosen their instrument, they will be assigned a tutor. Their progress is recorded each lesson and their progress cards kept by the Director of music. They are encouraged to practice, and once they are established it is recommended that parents buy them their own instrument so they can also practice at home.
Examinations: Pembroke House School is a registered examination centre for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and exams are held around June and July every year, although these are not compulsory.