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Upham Church of England Aided Primary School

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Enjoying The Arts

We believe that engagement in both sporting competition (both team and individual) and in The Arts (ie dance, music, drama & visual arts) is essential for every child at Upham School. These areas offer more that National Curriculum learning; they encourage discipline, self control, resilience, persistence, health and fitness, practice and build self esteem and confidence, as well as fulfilling a human need to be creative and active. We hope this area of our website helps you find out about how we encourage participation by all across The Arts.


Music is a fundamental part of life at Upham School. Every day children sing a range of songs in collective worship. Children also enjoy music sessions. Such is the grounding children receive in music that during Key Stage 2 the majority of children learn a musical instrument. We currently have children who are learning descant recorder, flute, clarinet, guitar and violin. They learn to stick with their learning, commit to practicing and as a result many have taken ABRSM examinations.


Children in Class 3 also participate in the Listen2Me scheme with Hampshire Music Service. Each term they all learn a new musical instrument together, playing and exploring as a group with a specialist teacher. Last year they learned the violin, the ukulele and African Drums. Our children enjoy two years of Listen2Me; learning across Year 3 and 4, so experience 6 different instruments. At the end of each term the children perform a concert to show what they have learned to their parents, grandparents and families.

Church Services

Our regular church services in our local parish church are a showcase for performance and children regularly play instruments, sing and use their drama skills as part of their worship. We also decorate the entrance of the church to reflect the time of year and classes take turns to producing this collaborative artwork.

Christmas Performances

Christmas time is always a time of performance with each class putting on Christmas plays. Class 1 perform a classic nativity, Class 2 a Christmas story and Class 3 and 4 work together to produce a pantomime or seasonal story. The oldest Year 5 and 6 children take the lead roles to really push their characterisation skills. These children role model the highest levels of drama to the younger Class 3 children which helps to raise their aspirations. These performances are always a culmination of time spent perfecting drama, singing and dance skills, all showcased in front of parents, grandparents and families.


Children enjoy dance as a regular part of the physical education curriculum and regularly explore different dance traditions, different cultural experiences and their own history from ballroom dancing (strictly style) to street dance workshops. Dance is always a key component to celebrations and boys and girls are always enthusiastic to create their own pieces to include in end of year goodbye assemblies and Leavers Service.

During the summer, boys and girls from across the school volunteer to be involved in our annual country dancing display at the Village Church Fete. A range of dances are performed, culminating in a traditional may-pole weave dance – always very impressive and popular with the community.

After School Clubs

Children enjoy artistic expression during our after school clubs. During last year, art club, street dance, country dancing and cookery club were all very popular.

Theme Weeks and Permanent Art Installations

At different points through the school year we hold theme weeks, where children engage in artistic expression to explore learning in other National Curriculum Areas. During Multicultural Week the arts are always high profile as children explore other cultures through dance, expression, song and music. We also periodically hold Arts Weeks and previous projects have led to the shared textile panels in the hall commemorating our 200 years history, the painted canvases of children’s favourite book characters in the library, painted historical characters on the bank at the front of the school and the colourful leaf-pattern interpretation of our logo by the entrance.

Cooperation with Local Schools to Provide Opportunities

We work collaboratively with colleagues from our local cluster schools to provide extra opportunities to engage in the arts, some to broaden children’s experiences others to further extend the most able. Last year, children in Year 5 took part in a Vocal Festival, working with musician Edward Price who inspired them to perform at Thornden Hall Theatre. Children also participated in an Arts Festival Day at Wyvern College. During the day they took part in singing, illustrating, dance and steel pan workshops and in the evening performed for families in a big-top-tent stage. We also have a strong history of participation in ‘Rock Challenge’, our last entry came 5th overall at the Portsmouth Guildhall show.