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Music education is an integral part of our curriculum at South Lee Prep School, extending from Reception through Year 8. Our music lessons encompass a wide range of musical genres, spanning from folk and jazz to contemporary pop and classical compositions. We engage children in various musical activities, including composition, improvisation, and performance, tailored to their developmental stages. Our goal is to expose them to diverse musical traditions they might not encounter otherwise and nurture an open-minded appreciation for the rich musical landscape available to them through the internet. Topics covered this year include intriguing subjects like Mongolian throat singing, Native American drumming, Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and the iconic Elvis Presley.

In Reception to Year 5, we employ the innovative Stave House music notation teaching method. Through interactive games, songs, and captivating stories, children acquire proficiency in both treble and bass clef notation, which lays a solid foundation for their instrumental lessons. Approximately 75% of our students receive instrumental instruction on one or more instruments, all delivered by our exceptional team of visiting musicians. We offer a wide array of options, including orchestral instruments, percussion, and vocal training, with frequent opportunities to showcase their talents during school assemblies and bi-semester afternoon concerts.

At South Lee Prep School, we host two choirs for our older pupils and one for our younger pupils. The Chamber Choir and Serenata, a select ensemble known for their high-level vocal performances, frequently grace venues in and around Bury St Edmunds, often receiving invitations to participate in exciting musical events. We have also achieved notable success with auditions for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, a prestigious aspiration for our pupils.

Our pupils have the opportunity to join various music ensembles, including the String Orchestra, Pre-Prep Fiddlers, Saxophone Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Ukulele Club, Guitar Club, and Flute Choir. Additionally, they can take part in orchestral events hosted by other schools, such as Uppingham and Oakham.

South Lee Prep School is proud to be a Trinity exam centre, allowing our pupils to take their music exams in a familiar and comfortable setting. As a result, many of our pupils reach Grade 5 proficiency by the time they complete their education at South Lee. Nearly every year, we see our music scholars moving on to prestigious institutions such as Woodbridge, King's Ely, Framlingham, and Wymondham College.



Drama takes centre stage at South Lee Prep School & Nursery, emphasising the acquisition and cultivation of essential performance skills while fostering a creative and dynamic learning atmosphere. Our drama lessons are an engaging blend of entertaining games, improvisation, storytelling, and the incorporation of key vocabulary and elements of drama theory. These components are designed to enhance a child's self-assuredness, communication abilities, and self-esteem, all of which are valuable skills applicable not only throughout the curriculum but also in everyday life.

At South Lee Prep School & Nursery, our commitment is to provide every child with the opportunity to participate in an annual production, with a range of roles available to cater to individual talents and interests, including:

  1. Acting roles

  2. Backstage Crew (involving Stagehand, Runner, Wardrobe Assistant, Props Assistant, and Set Design)

  3. Technical Crew (focusing on Lighting and Sound)

For our Pre-Prep pupils, participation in a show takes place during the Michaelmas Term, while our Prep pupils engage in a show or musical production toward the end of the Easter Term. Furthermore, the school offers avenues for children to engage in additional production work through various Drama and Theatre extracurricular clubs. Recent projects have included a Musical Theatre Showcase featuring songs from well-known West End and Broadway productions, as well as a festive Christmas Pantomime.

As children progress through the Early Years and Pre-Prep, their drama lessons encourage exploration of popular stories and the fundamental aspects of creating dramatic pieces. These foundational elements, tailored to each stage, include:

For EYFS, Year 1 & Year 2:

  • Basic story structure (Beginning, middle, and end)

  • Characterization (Facial expressions and body language)

  • Use of voice to convey character

  • Movement and storytelling

  • Still images

  • Stories such as 'The Gruffalo,' 'Funnybones,' 'Supertato,' and 'Room on the Broom'

Drama lessons at this stage also aim to incorporate and extend the children's understanding and application of the school's 'Golden Values,' as well as current classroom themes and topics. As the children advance into Year 3, the focus shifts to termly schemes of learning with specific skill applications in mind:

For Year 3:

  • Storytelling (Linear and non-linear narratives, narration)

  • 'The Wizard of Oz' (Characterization)

  • 'Cats' (Movement, speaking verse)

For our Prep school children, drama lessons are structured around termly schemes of learning. Each scheme hones in on a particular aspect of drama exploration, progressing as students move through each year group:

For Year 4:

  • 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (Characterization, introduction to Physical Theatre, soundscape)

  • Improvisation (Building a narrative, focus)

  • 'Twisted Fairy Tales' (Non-linear narratives, passing of time/flashback/flashforward)

For Year 5:

  • 'Matilda' (Characterization)

  • 'Theseus and the Minotaur' (Physical Theatre)

  • Melodrama (Genre, stock characters, movement)

For Year 6:

  • 'Where the Wild Things Are' (Physical Theatre, soundscape)

  • 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' (Scripted performance, introduction to Shakespeare)

  • Mask and Mime (Mask work, movement)

For Year 7:

  • 'The Superheroes of Drama' (Drama framework/techniques for building performance)

  • 'Darkwood Manor' (Building a narrative, characterization)

  • Radio Drama (Mediums of Drama)

For Year 8:

  • Theatre in Education/TIE (Issue-based theatre)

  • 'Commedia Dell’Arte' (Characterization)

  • Devising Project (Summary of skills)

Through this comprehensive and progressive approach to drama education, South Lee Prep School & Nursery aims to nurture confident, expressive, and well-rounded individuals ready to excel both on and off the stage.

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Instrumental & LAMDA Tuition

We offer a diverse range of instrumental lessons and are thrilled to have highly skilled peripatetic music instructors who are proficient in teaching various musical instruments. It is recommended that pupils interested in learning an instrument commence their musical journey starting in Year 2. This recommendation primarily stems from the physical requirements associated with certain instruments. If you would like your child to embark on a musical journey, please notify the school office.

LAMDA Lessons will be conducted within the school under the guidance of Mrs. Lindfield. She will oversee drama classes and coordinate productions in collaboration with Mrs. Thomas.

To minimize disruptions to other subjects, lesson scheduling is done on a rotating basis. Both the teacher and the pupil make efforts to compensate for any missed coursework, although this may not always be feasible. As a result, we kindly request parents' support in helping their child catch up on any missed assignments.

Instrumental lessons are priced at £18.00 per session, while drama lessons are structured as follows: £175.00 for 10 lessons per term for older children and £135.00 for 10 lessons per term for younger children. Pupils will initiate their learning journey with a trial lesson prior to committing to regular sessions. We strongly recommend coordinating lesson scheduling in consultation with the form tutor.

For the necessary Instrumental and LAMDA tuition forms, please reach out to the school office.

Please be aware that when a pupil embarks on a music or drama lesson, the contractual agreement is established directly between the parent and the visiting teacher, rather than South Lee School. We strictly adhere to a half-term notice requirement in writing if you decide to discontinue instrumental lessons. This practice is upheld to honor and appreciate the expertise of our visiting instructors.

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