Summer Term Newsletter 2017

Words from the Head...

Can it really be the end of another academic year? It really does seem like just a few short weeks ago that I was writing to you all and talking about how we were looking forward to an exciting year ahead, but I couldn’t possibly have imagined just how exciting this year would turn out to be!

I’ve included a little later in the newsletter a summary of the speech I gave at Prize Giving (wasn’t that such a wonderful occasion?) which celebrates some of our major achievements of 2016-17, so I won’t list them all again here, but enough to say I’m enormously proud of each and every member of the ArtsEd family for making this another fantastic year as the best performing arts school in the country.

I wish you all a wonderful break over the summer, and I look forward to sharing and celebrating all things ArtsEd with you next year.

Adrian Blake

'Thank You' from Myles Stinton, Julia Collura’s Understudy!

As Julia mentioned in the last newsletter, she has been away working on personal projects this term, so it has fallen to me to prepare this term’s instalment. As such, you may notice slight changes in the format and content: but please be assured Julia will be back at the helm next term and normal service will resume!

As always, it’s been another busy, creative and wonderful term here at ArtsEd, with at least fourteen public performances happening throughout the pupil’s school and sixth form (and, in some cases beyond) in just an eleven week term!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all parents and carers for your support: not only as appreciative audience members, but also for the late night pick-ups, the early morning alarm calls, the help with line-learning, the last minute searches for black tights and hairgrips, the checking home-work has been done and that the vocational uniform is fit for purpose. The staff really appreciate all you do to keep the enormous productive machine we call ‘school’ turning!

I hope the summer brings you rest and recuperation.

Best wishes
Myles Stinton
Acting Director of CPD

ArtsEd Named in Top Five Creative Schools

The BE OPEN foundation - a charitable organisation designed to foster creativity and innovation, has named the Arts Educational Schools London as one of the top five schools and colleges in the UK and one of the top 40 in Europe.

The latest report - A Review of Policy, Provision and Excellence in Arts Teaching Across Secondary Education in Europe, examines creative education in eight European countries and identifies the five strongest schools and/or colleges in each country.

BE OPEN's aim in creating this report is to help define 'excellence' and recognise leadership in creative education. The ranking reveals that there are relatively few schools where one can gain a rich creative experience, however those which do recognise the potential of creative education are able to give proven argument for its approach, with pupils being more engaged and obtaining better results overall.

Mark Ferrington, Director of Sixth Form said "Our School and Sixth Form provide a unique and wonderful environment in which our students can further their education academically and vocationally. Our students finish Sixth Form with a fantastic set of life skills, assured confidence and the prospect of following our Alumni onto some of the most outstanding higher education/further training destinations in the UK and internationally. Our staff and students are dedicated to achieving excellence in the classroom and on stage."

All at ArtsEd are thrilled to have been recognised on this international platform and to be placed as a leading example of excellent provision of a creative education.

West End Success for ArtsEd Pupils

Some of our students have been lucky enough to perform in the casts of exciting London productions this term!

Georgia Pemberton has been cast in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Adrian Mole, playing the role of Pandora (Adrian's love interest). The show previews from the 14th to 20th July, press night is 21st July and the show runs until 9th September. Tickets are available here

Students have also been causing mischief playing the orphans in the musical classic Annie with Miranda Hart. Scarlet Churchhouse and Carla Dixon (both year 8) took part in ‘West End Live’ with their fellow cast mates (pictured).

It’s a busy time for Scarlet, who has also just finished a few months filming with Will Ferrell on a film called Holmes & Watson due to be released next year.

Scareltt Wennink continues in Matilda.

A Year In Review With Adrian Blake

Student Performances

It has been a whirlwind here at ArtsEd over the last few weeks! We’ve seen numerous events taking place, including the KS3 and KS5 Evenings of Dance, the Dance Company Evening, Seussical, Year 7 Drama Sharing, BTEC Assessment Performances of ‘Make Me a Song’, ‘A Slice of Cabaret Night’, Scratch Performances and Contemporary Scenes from Simon Stephens ‘Morning’, Musical Theatre Company performing ‘Dogfight’ (pictured right), the Acting Company’s production of ‘Dinner’, the Year 9 Actors production, the Year 10 performance of ‘Find Me’, the GCSE and ‘A’ Level Art Exhibitions, Live Lounge and the Year 8 Drama performance of ‘The Boy Who Fell Into a Book’, the Eddies film awards evenings and dance assessments galore. No wonder we’re ready for a holiday!


Awards & Achievements

Since September we have worked tirelessly to continue the growth and progress of the last few years. Once again we have improved our key examination results at all levels, and continued to consolidate our position as the most academically successful performing arts school in the U.K. We’ve seen amazing destinations for our Year 11 and Sixth Form students, including RADA, Alvin Ailey, Oxford Brookes, Christ’s Cambridge and of course ArtsEd!

We were recognised in a comprehensive study of all performing arts schools across Europe by the Be Open Foundation – a European arts research consortium – who named us as one of the top five creative schools in the U.K. If you look at the criteria it will come as no surprise that we’re actually number 1!

We were also awarded the ISM Gold Standard for our teaching of Music, and for achieving results in the top 75 schools in the U.K.

The ISI Compliance Inspection took place in March which we passed with flying colours – and the report is now live on the website. Thank you to all the parents and carers who took the time to answer the family online questionnaire.

We should all be incredibly proud of our school and I really hope that you have found your own way of sharing our wonderful successes, and celebrating the fact that you are all a part of the ArtsEd family.


Thank Yous & Goodbyes

We have seen some excellent new additions to the ArtsEd team of teaching staff:

Richard Brunel in English
Emma Northmore in Ballet
Emily Cardno in Dance
Warren Turner in the Learning Support department
Samantha Dye in BTEC Acting
Joe Wilson who is the new Musical Director for BTEC Musical Theatre


I would like to thank all the staff at ArtsEd who work so hard to make it such a wonderful place to work and learn. I would also like to extend a huge thank you to all of the colleagues who are moving on to new adventures. I’m sure you will join me in wishing them every possible success in the future.

Emma Northmore is leaving ArtsEd to take up the exciting challenge of expanding her teaching with professional Ballet companies.

Maria Ribo O’Malley is spending a year in Spain and then moving to Ireland to pursue new endeavours.

Cate Taylor is taking time out from teaching to travel.

Beccy Clarke is leaving teaching to focus on family other pursuits.

And Holly Wingate who is retiring after a wonderful career in education, and 17 invaluable years here as our Day School SENDCO.


There’s also one more goodbye this year, and that’s to Jane Harrison our Principal. There is so much I could say at this point, but it is enough to say that after 14 years at ArtsEd, and the last 8 as Principal, ArtsEd would not be the wonderful, quirky, successful, magical place it is today.

I’d also like to thank our Trustees, who are passionate supporters of all that we do in the Day School and Sixth Form. Without them we wouldn’t be celebrating the level of success that we are now enjoying - and planning all the very, very exciting things that I’m not allowed to tell you about yet – but which include our centenary celebrations in 2019.

Of course we are saying goodbye to our year 13 students and to a number of pupils from year 11. It never really seems to be goodbye as so many former pupils stay in touch and come to shows to support ArtsEd. It’s also not really goodbye when we can go to the theatre or turn on the T.V. and see former students achieving such wonderful success.


I would like to end with two quotes about our School and our Team;

One of our Year 8 students stated in the family survey, and which is now in the Good Schools Guide Report on the school:

“Mum, I don’t think there’s another school in the world that is as good and as fun as ArtsEd.”

A quote from one of the former sixth formers who is now a B.A. Degree student here at ArtsEd,

“It’s the only school I know that’s better than Hogwarts.”

All that’s left for me to say is have a wonderful summer break, and I wish everyone every success in the future.

Cross-Curricular Day

Every year towards the end of the summer term, the whole school comes off timetable for the day and is put into groups of students and staff who don’t always get the opportunity to work alongside each other, to experience a different sort of learning day. This year, the theme was ‘community’, and here are the ways some of our teams spent the day…

Students Perform at St Mary’s Nursing Home

We took a group of 15 students from Year 10 – Year 12 to St Mary’s Nursing Home and Convent in Chiswick. The students sang a collection of classic musical theatre ensemble songs and a range of solo numbers to entertain the residents. It was a lovely morning and the students really enjoyed being a part of their morning routine. The group really supported each other and were extremely kind natured when chatting to their audience. They were able to show their versatility by taking musical requests from the audience, who seemed to thrive on the opportunity to join in and sing along with the students.

Year 12 Lead a Workshop at The Swan Centre

The Year 12 orchestrated a very engaging dance and drama workshop for infant and junior classes in the Swan Centre. The Swan Centre educates children with special educational needs through a modified curriculum which focuses on their communication, behaviour and social interaction. For some of the children it is difficult to imagine to be something, or someone else, or they find it hard to concentrate. Our students made amazing progress with the children and thoroughly enjoyed the day. The students were given a good insight into what teaching children with special needs can entail and they were grateful for the experience. Becky Essex, Head of the Swan Centre said: “The children were so engaged and loved the sessions, we are very grateful!”. We, the teachers, were very proud of the year 12s!

Behind the scenes at Aladdin and more...

Other activities on cross curricular day included a trip to Soho, with a visit to the local church and a walking tour, before dropping in at the Prince Edward Theatre and seeing the crew prepare the set for that evenings performance of Aladdin, a trip on the Emirates cable car and a river boat trip, a visit to the Museum of London and many more exciting activities with brilliant learning opportunities. It’s easy to see why everyone regards cross-curricular day as a highlight of the academic year!

Reflections from Around School

All around the corridors, throughout the classrooms and even in Rosalie’s office, the atmosphere has been rising with the temperatures! Everyone has worked very hard, and students and staff alike are all looking forward to a well-earned rest. We looked around school for some reflections about the term from our students.

Sonny Jones and Mackenzie Dawes, Year 8

We loved Cross-curricular day. We went on the Emirates cable car and a boat trip on the Thames. We learnt a lot about London.

Trinity Ellis, Year 10

The biggest challenge this term was definitely the end of term exams! I hope I did ok in them, but we’ll have to wait and see!

Scarlet Wennick & Zoe O’David, Year 7

Zoe: For me, the best memory of this term is definitely cross curricular day. We went to the Museum of London, which was great!

Scarlet: I loved the Live Lounge performance. There was some really great music and I got to perform in the Year 9 Choir.

Holly Hazelton, Year 12

The highlight of the term for me was taking part in the Musical Theatre Company production of Dogfight. It was great to work as part of a company, and felt very professional. We performed in the school, but also took the show to the Capital Theatre in Horsham. It was a great experience to perform in a venue we didn’t know to an audience who didn’t know us. It was really good fun, but I also learnt a lot.

Joshua Orpin, Year 12

The biggest lesson I learned this term is “the slotted spoon doesn’t hold much soup!

But, Joshua, for those in the know – it can catch the potato!

Eden Gascoigne, Year 8

The highlights this term were definitely the trip to Thorpe Park and performing in Suessical the Musical with Junior Musical Theatre. The low points were the exams, it’s nerve wracking waiting for the results!

Morty Bisnought, Year 10

I’ve been working all term for my Modern exam in dance. I took the exam on Saturday, it was hard but I’m feeling confident!

Lola Tyler and Poppy Cunnah, Year 9

Lola: I was in the Junior Musical Theatre show Suessical the Musical playing the role of Maisie Le Bird. I was extremely nervous, but also very excited. The show went very well – I learnt all my lines and the moves and had a great costume!

Poppy: Yes, my highlight was also being in Suessical. I took on the role of Bird Girl, which was great. I really enjoyed playing the part and being in the show.

Catching up with one of our latest recruits…

It hardly seems a few minutes since Joe Wilson, Musical Director for the BTEC department, appeared in school, tinkling the ivories and issuing commands about healthy vocal folds (to staff as well as students!). He has certainly made an impact, having been Musical Director on at least 6 shows over the year, and working on countless others. Here’s what Joe had to say about his first year here:


My first year as Musical Director at ArtsEd has been busy but hugely rewarding. Making the move to leave my reputation and work in the North East to almost ‘start again’ was a scary prospect, but one I knew in my heart to be the right decision. Thank you to all of the staff that have supported that transition and made me feel extremely welcome and part of the ArtsEd family. A huge thank you has to go to Myles and Mark for welcoming me to the Musical Theatre team. Finally, of course to the BTEC students who really have played a massive part in helping me to understand myself and my teaching a little more, as they do year in year out, and for accepting me at ArtsEd, however hilarious they find the accent.

Have a restful summer

Over the summer, Joe will be Assistant MD on a concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide which will be performed at Cadogan Hall. Join the 30-strong London Musical Theatre Orchestra under the baton of conductor Freddie Tapner alongside a host of West End stars as they deliver one of the most iconic musical scores of all time.

Never Can Say Goodbye…

It’s always sad when people leave us. Here are the staff we say ‘goodbye’ to this year.


Mario Ribo O’Malley – Ballet Teacher

How long have you worked at ArtsEd?
5 and a half years

What is your fondest memory?
Getting a few ENB [English National Ballet] professional dancers to teach our students.

What will you miss most?
A good lesson.

What won’t you miss?
The sound systems!

Final words:
If I hadn't been relocating, I would have not be leaving!

Natalie Bareham wishes Maria goodbye:
The wonderful Maria Ribo O’Malley first glissade her way into ArtsEd five years ago and in her tenure as Classical Ballet teacher she has inspired pupils and colleagues alike. Her grace, kindness and endless legs will be much missed next year but the Dance department and indeed, all who know her, wish her and her family all the best for her exciting return to the land of sunshine and tapas.


Holly Wingate – SENCO

How long have you worked at ArtsEd?
Since 2000, started in The Preparatory Department, I shall miss you all.

What is your fondest memory?
The excitement on the faces of Year 7 as they arrived for their first day at ArtsEd.

What will you miss most?

What won’t you miss?
Getting up at 4.30 am!

Final words:
So much has changed since I started at ArtsEd. I remember, that we were all required to attend I.T. lessons on how to use a laptop and send emails!  Do you remember Miss Bareham?  How things have changed but thank goodness for the better...

Marian Beresford had a few words of farewell for Holly her:

'Holly’s room' has been a calm and quiet haven in the busy life of ArtsEd. A quiet place where the pupils who enter felt supported and listened to. Holly has been the SENDCO for the Day School for many years, gently helping the pupils with her knowledge, experience, expertise and insight. She has played an integral role in enabling all pupils to access the curriculum through one-to-one sessions and also by giving valuable information and advice to teachers. She will be very much missed by the pupils she teaches, parents and with the teachers.


Cate Taylor – Head of English

How long have you worked at ArtsEd?
I have worked here for 3 years.

What is your fondest memory?
There are too many but perhaps the poetry open-mic night at Hack and Veldt. Also, watching all the amazing shows and the students being hilarious and delightful.

What will you miss most?
I will miss working somewhere this lively, vibrant and inclusive.

What won’t you miss?
I won't miss the temperature in C1 which seems to be set at either Arctic or Rainforest.

Final words:
Thank you to everyone who has made my time here so enjoyable and special. I don’t think there is another school in the world quite like ArtsEd!


Beccy Clark - English Teacher and Year 8 Tutor

How long have you worked at ArtsEd?
3 years

What is your fondest memory?
The productions; seeing the kids in their element and seeing all their hard work pay off.

What will you miss most?
The positive energy of the kids each day.

What won’t you miss?

Final words:
I have never worked with such a lovely group of people who encourage and support each other in everything they do. This energy is projected onto the pupils who work together to create a wonderful environment. I will miss them all dearly but will most certainly be back to visit regularly.


Here’s what Richard Brunel (incoming Head of English) had to say about his two colleagues Cate and Beccy, moving on:

The Cher and Dionne to my ‘Clueless’! Beccy Clark and Cate Taylor are moving on this summer and they’ll be a hard act to follow. Enthusing teenagers about the fate of an orphan who falls in love with a cold, mean girl whose adoptive mother is a mixture of Cruella Deville and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous and whose criminal father turns out to be your benefactor is no mean feat. Special thanks to Beccy for organising trips to the Dickens Museum among others and Cate for running the show so slickly. You are the best!

You are receiving this because you subscribed via our website or asked to be added to our mailing list.
If you would prefer not receive any more mailings you can unsubscribe here. To only receive emails on specific subjects update your preferences here.