Bridge House Preparatory believes that culture and cultural activities are as important as academics and sport. Music, drama and art form the basis of our cultural programme which allows students to express themselves in a different way.
Our Creative Arts programme ensures that every child enjoys Art, Drama and Class Music every week, and there are countless opportunities for our children to display their creativity, both informally – as at assemblies- and in fully fledged productions. Many children also take individual music lessons.
As part of the Creative Arts programme, each child at Bridge House (Grade 1 – 7) has the opportunity to spend time in the art room every week. It is a time when they can experiment with various media and techniques and in so doing give expression to their feelings, experiences and understanding of the world around them, as well as practise artistic skills.
We aim to teach art in such a way that the child’s uniqueness is recognised and imagination and creativity is nurtured. A range of projects is tackled as the children get the opportunity to work on 2-dimensional work (drawing and painting) as well as 3-dimensional models, clay modelling, collage and craft. At times, projects are linked to classroom themes and this allows for integration with a number of other subjects.
A vital part of the art programme is that the children have fun and that each child, regardless of talent and artistic ability, benefits from doing art.
The development of confidence is central to this subject. Children are exposed to various styles of drama in this highly practical subject, which integrates well with the teaching of language. In the junior classes particularly, drama lessons are key to the introduction of conversational isiXhosa. Large-scale productions which involve all the children across a phase – and have even included a whole prep school production – are a highlight of the school calendar. It is a reflection of the commitment of all the teachers in the Prep School that when production time comes around, everyone gets involved.
Bridge House has a strong and dynamic team of teachers in the Music Department – many of whom are performers in their own right. This offers opportunities for group and individual participation, at both class music level, and in individual instrument lessons.
From Pre-Primary to Grade 7, every child is involved in various exciting music activities during the week. Pre-Primary children get the opportunity to play percussion instruments and do music through movement and dance. During class music, children in Grade 1 to Grade 3 are exposed to an instrument programme. All grades have the opportunity to learn more about the elements, theory and history of music. They also have the opportunity to participate in singing and percussion activities using boomwhackers, marimbas and djembe drums. There is a strong emphasis on participation, and performance opportunities are embraced eagerly.
From Grade 3, a large number of our pupils take individual instrumental lessons. We offer individual tuition, at an extra cost, on a variety of instruments including piano, electronic keyboard, recorder, violin, viola, guitar (electric and acoustic), flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, French horn, drums and voice. Some instruments only start in later grades when children are physically more mature. These lessons are integrated carefully into the school day, either before or after school, or during academic time deemed suitable for individual lessons. Group opportunities exist in the choir, ensembles, and the Marimba band. On a weekly basis, time is allocated during Assembly for pupils to perform in front of their peers.
Musicians have many platforms for performance. Bridge House participates in a number of Eisteddfods, and at formal and informal concerts where soloists, ensembles and choirs have the opportunity to perform. Musicians can enter for theoretical and practical external examinations from different examination boards. Dramatic Productions in the Prep School usually involve the musicians, too.
Students who have not been taking individual music lessons but who would like to do so can find out all the information in the brochure below: