Singing and music play a very important part in the life of St Olave’s. The pupils sing daily in assembly and we believe that this prepares them well for a day of learning. In the nursery daily music lessons are tailored to the children’s needs. They sing a varied mix of songs to encourage language, pitch, diction and counting. Children also have access to instruments designed for little hands and have a marvellous time making a great deal of noise with them. In Pre Prep we look to build on the foundations laid in the Nursery. This continues with singing, percussion work, movement and games to increase confidence and develop a sense of pitch and rhythm.
In Year 1, pupils start learning the Ocarina. Eight different notes can be created using combinations of finger patterns and they very quickly pick these up and start to play well known tunes. In Year 2 the pupils move onto the descant recorder which builds on the foundations laid down by the Ocarina work.
All pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 attend Pre Prep singing and we meet weekly to sing together.
In the Upper School pupils receive one 40-minute music lesson each week. We continue to build recorder skills in Years 3 and 4 alongside practical music making, playing percussion instruments, composing, performing and singing. Topic work covers the main areas of the music curriculum including pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, dynamics and silence. We cover a mix of topics including Space, Time Keeping, Blues, Clocks, Jazz, Indian Music and Pentatonic to name but a few. Each topic includes a Listening, Composing and Performing element in it and pupils work both individually and in a group.
The Upper School all meet on Friday afternoons to sing together.
Speech and Drama
Small group lessons are given in Speech and Drama. Their aim is to develop confidence, build team work, provide the children with presentation skills, encourage clear speech. During the year the children participate in the Bromley Festival participating in verse speaking and the reading of prose to an audience. All children take a London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) acting examination.