Creativity and the performing arts are key strands of life at NHSG and weave their way through the whole school curriculum. Girls enjoy and are exposed to a huge range of both the performing and creative arts and they make up a large part of the core and extra-curricular timetable in both the Junior school and then on into the Senior school.
As a school, we are fortunate to be able to build the curriculum around these key strands unconstrained by budget cuts, the strictures of SATS and the national curriculum and our girls thrive and blossom as a result. These pillars help shape the girls – figuratively and literally and have a lasting impression that stays with them long after they have left NHSG.
The benefits of creative arts for children’s development are well documented – from the physical and emotional to the positive impact on mental health – they are important tools for shaping children and helping them acquire crucial life skills.
Learning how to use a pair of scissors, grip a pen or paintbrush and glue and stick may seem like frivolous fun in the Early Years, but girls are learning key skills and honing fine motor skills, which will shape their coordination, movement and dexterity for life. Our engineers, doctors and lawyers of the future are shaped in early education with glitter and glue. Similarly, when the girls take part in performances, plays, assemblies and music lessons they dance, skip and move in time to the music moulding and fine tuning the part of their brain which controls gross motor skills. Again the foundations laid in Early Years shape their adult abilities.
Maintaining good mental health throughout life is something we as a society all need to learn. Where better to foster good practice than in school, starting in Early Years? The creative and performing arts are a crucial tool in our mental health arsenal. By developing an appreciation of the Arts and offering an outlet to express and explore emotions and emotional responses we give the girls a greater handle on their own emotions and emotional welfare and foster an understanding and hopefully a love that they can revisit as they get older.
Drama, and pretend play in role are ideal for helping children learn, explore and develop their emotional range and at Newcastle High there is ample opportunities for girls from 3 to 18 to take part and get involved in these varied art forms working with teachers who are experts in their field.
As well as the mental health benefits the arts deliver they have also been shown to expand children’s cognitive abilities – stimulating their imaginations and both their mental and physical capabilities. It is no wonder then that the arts play such a crucial role in the life of our girls and of the whole Newcastle High School community.