At Thames all aspects of an individual’s personality are valued and pupils’ gifts are nurtured so that each child can grow in confidence and achieve their best in creative and aesthetic spheres.
The Creative Arts curriculum includes the visual arts, performing arts, music, design technology and fashion & textiles. Many of the teachers are specialist practitioners who work in their respective professions as well as teaching, bringing a strong awareness of the skills and knowledge required for professional success as adults.
A wide range of co-curricular opportunities is available and GCSE results illustrate the high level of achievement with pupils achieving 80% 9-7 grades in Art and 60% 9-7 grades in Music averaged over the past three years.
The art curriculum develops creative thinking and problem solving alongside foundational skills. Many pupils build on this foundation to take creative paths at sixth form and beyond. Pupils utilise a wide range of media including silkscreen, acrylic and oil paints, ceramics and lino-cutting. Gifted pupils may also choose to study an extra GCSE in Graphic Communication. Co-curricular opportunities include ceramics, printing, life drawing and watercolour.
Gallery trips and visits by contemporary designers broaden understanding of the arts and associated careers. Pupils take part in the Independent Schools Association Art Competition with considerable success both regionally and nationally. In 2019, one pupil won first prize and another was runner up in the national KS4 Drawing category.
Performing arts are highly valued. The rigour of performing - how you memorise, rehearse, test yourself, project and communicate - is applicable across all subjects and is a lifelong skill. Pupils take part in the annual Independent Schools Association Drama Competition, in 2019 winning the Nancy Griffiths Prize for their interpretation of John Donnelly’s Burning Bird. Private drama lessons are offered to pupils wishing to study for the LAMDA graded awards.
The end of the year is marked by a musical theatre production at the Clapham Grand. Previous shows have included Hairspray, Smokey Joe’s Café and Calamity Jane. These musicals are directed and choreographed by professional musical theatre performers.
The music curriculum comprises three elements: performing, composing and listening, enabling pupils to develop creative, cognitive, analytical and practical skills. In the IGCSE, pupils study the history of music from the 17th century to the present day including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century, jazz and music from around the world. Pupils record a solo and an ensemble piece and use Sibelius notation software to write two compositions.
Pupils are encouraged to participate in as many co-curricular activities as possible including the school choir, instrumental ensemble, jazz ensemble and band. Specialist teachers offer private tuition in a variety of musical instruments including piano, drums, guitar, violin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn and voice.
In Design Technology pupils learn practical skills and technological understanding, which enable their innate creativity to grow and to flourish. They develop a wide range of skills from using hand tools and machinery, to exploring the exciting potential of computer aided design and production techniques. Our aim is to inspire creative problem solvers who can overcome challenges and respond to design briefs in unique and innovative ways.
The Art facility is equipped with Macbooks installed with Adobe Creative Suite enabling pupils to work with Photoshop and Illustrator from Year 7 upwards.
Once we move to our new building we look forward to having the facilities to introduce Food and Nutrition to the curriculum. Our passion is for all young people to learn about healthy eating, budgeting and how to cook.
Fashion and Textiles offers pupils an insight into the fashion industry and the opportunity to develop design skills and practical techniques in a variety of media including surface pattern design, dyeing, embroidery, beading and applique. Pupils also explore fashion industry practices, ethical fashion and fashion branding and promotion. Work produced is always exciting, creative and innovative, reflecting each pupil's personality and uniqueness in a wonderful way.
“I want to thank Thames for all the amazing opportunities the school has given me, especially the school musical”
Past pupil 2020
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE