Creative sparks cradled and fanned into dazzling flames

The Arts – multiple disciplines and limitless possibilities

Watch one of our shows or drop into a busy studio and you’ll understand our passion for the Arts. They matter to us because they matter to the students.

A combination of the everyday and the extraordinary – the Arts are embedded in school life at St Jo’s. Through our timetable, our clubs and extra-curricular activities, there are endless opportunities for skills to be learned, new talents to be honed and passions to be unleashed. Often, what starts as a curriculum activity sparks a lifelong interest. Sometimes hobbies that come with the student to school find extra scope for development and expression.

Occasionally, talent amounting to a spark of genius is struck. We aim to provide a launchpad for artistic experimentation and growth in all forms of the Arts. School days are the time for students of all ages to lose themselves and find themselves in the Arts. With first rate materials, excellent facilities and specialist teaching staff on hand, students have what they need to be supported and inspired.

Prep School

The desire for artistic expression is innate. Give any child a brush and some paints and away they will go, ready to capture the world as they see it; yellow sky, purple grass and smiling mother included. Play some music and the child will dance.

From Nursery days onwards, our pupils are encouraged to express their perceptions and feelings of wonder. Our youngest children have their own take on the world around them and they love learning how to share those impressions in paint, collage and poetry. Inspiration comes through a wide range of sources, including found materials, investigations into British and overseas cultures, and the study of world-famous artists and craftsmen.

Cross-curricular learning allows pupils to find context and to use their growing artistic skills to illustrate and amplify their learning. Expect our walls to be festooned with Viking longboats, Sphinxes and underwater scenes. Longer term project work sees wonderful dioramas of the South American rainforest, volcanoes and river deltas. Children often hold their own exhibitions to share their work with parents, grandparents, older students and visitors.

Music resounds throughout. Classes and choirs sing together, ensembles rehearse, and lunchtime concerts give our children early experiences of performing for an audience. Verse, drama and dance add to the joyful artistic ambiance. Again, all the world is included as source material, with samba whistles, Japanese drumming and early steps in ballet. 


Senior School

The artistic adventure continues for students now ready to find their feet and give their imaginations free rein.

Our senior school students are generally well aware of the cultural heartbeat of the modern world and keen to learn more, remaining receptive to all world arts have to offer.

In Years 7, 8 and 9 our students receive specialist teaching in Art, Drama, Dance, Music and Textiles. They gain experience of ceramics and both digital and traditional black and white film photography. As with all our classes, group sizes are small, and each discipline is taught in its own dedicated space within the Art Centre, with its art rooms, drama studio and music suite, and also in our dance studio. 

Sometimes our young artists know from the very beginning where their artistic passions lie. For other students this is a gradual process. Some surprise themselves by discovering previously unsuspected artistic leanings. Again, inspiration is taken from across the world, from modern practitioners and old masters.

When it comes to choosing GCSE options, students can mix and match subjects. Some take several – even all – of the arts subjects available and others add one or two of them to a more mixed portfolio. The beauty of our rich extra-curricular arts provision means that even those who choose to concentrate on other subjects have ready access to continuing artistic development through clubs, trips and visits and other experiences. 


Sixth Form

Already used to working up ideas and creative processes in sketchbooks, our fine artists, textile artists and photographers must step up a level to demonstrate original thinking, process and development. This is preparatory material towards your final pieces and there is a focus on independent work.

More than ever, classes are small and our highly qualified teachers are able to give individual guidance and support. Many have come to the College after working in related arts disciplines and their experience of the arts industry is hugely beneficial.

A-level artists have their own art room and dedicated work spaces so your studies can continue unimpeded by the requirement to put things away mid-project. 

Those taking Drama and Theatre Studies also benefit from well-equipped specialist spaces and small class sizes as you explore a range of dramatic genres and create your own performance. Textiles embraces both traditional and innovative approaches to fashion design as you work towards designing your own label. And for musicians working through performing, composing and appraising, you will have the backing of passionate subject specialists and first-class facilities. 

Whatever branch of the arts is chosen, trips and visits, performances and exhibitions, visiting speakers and masterclasses all aid success.



Here you will find answers to some of the commonly asked questions about St Joseph’s College Creative & Performing Arts. Feel free to browse through the questions to learn more.

My child is interested in Performing Arts – would St Jo’s be a good school for them?

Absolutely! Drama, Dance and Music are strongly encouraged and facilitated at St Jo’s. Our partnership with Arts International brings West End performers into the College for specialist workshops. Our students have access to performance opportunities in a professional theatre, and fine performance spaces on campus, including the Chapel, recording studio, fully-rigged drama studio and dance studio. Numerous pianos and keyboards are available for students, including our beautiful Steinway Grand. St Joseph’s has an excellent track record at county-level Performing Arts competitions, too. LAMDA is offered from Year 3.

What opportunities does St Jo’s provide for students interested in the Creative Arts?

Facilities include light and spacious art rooms, a photography studio and dark room, a suite of Macs for Art students to use, and a well-equipped and inspiring textiles room. Additionally, the school has been awarded the Arts Mark, a prestigious Arts Council accreditation that recognises our commitment to providing high-quality arts education.

Will my child be restricted as to the Creative and Performing Arts subjects they can study?

No, your child will not be restricted as to the Creative and Performing Arts subjects they can study. We have a flexible approach to the curriculum, allowing students to combine various Creative and Performing Arts subjects according to their interests and talents.

My child doesn’t want to study drama at GCSE or A-level. Can they still participate?

Yes! We recognise the power and pleasure of performance and aim to welcome all comers. Opportunities outside curriculum subjects include choirs, the College musical, the annual Arts Festival and after-school clubs. 

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