Shropshire school in running for national performing arts award
A school near Oswestry is in the running for a national award.
Moreton Hall has been shortlisted as independent school of the year in the performing arts category.
Launched in 2018, the awards highlight the excellence of the student experience in independent schools.
Head of drama Kate Howells said: "To say we’re thrilled with this nomination would be an understatement.
"Drama and performing arts are at the heart of Moreton life and without it, Moreton wouldn’t be what it is today.
"I am proud of everything we achieve on a daily basis, especially in these unprecedented times.
"To be recognised for this, is just what the students need and deserve at the end of this term."
The development of performing arts at Moreton has seen the creation of a £1.45 million community theatre.
While the theatre is physically closed as a result of Covid-19, performing arts has transitioned into a new way of being shared through Zoom and an initiative ‘Leave a Light On,’ has been developed to support the wellbeing of students and community members, helping to relieve the impact of social distancing.
The popularity of its Face2Face performance academy also attracts more than 70 budding actors and performers from the community, aged nine to 18, and offers performances in professional theatres, workshops with TV and theatre professionals, as well as competitions.
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During lockdown, workshops have been taken by leading West End professionals via Zoom.
The school also offers instrumental ensembles for all ages and abilities and invites musicians to join county level ensembles.
At a time of uncertainty regarding music funding in education, it has a new creative arts programme ‘North Shropshire’s Big Sing’, which has attracted more than 300 external primary aged pupils to form a mass choir and work with specialist teachers learning vocal and breathing techniques, whilst enhancing key skills such as literacy, numeracy and language.
Principal George Budd said: “This shortlisting recognises the incredible work done by our music and drama departments, alongside other creatively minded staff, to produce and deliver performing arts opportunities of extraordinary range and quality, not only to Moreton pupils but also those from the local area.
"We are so proud to have been recognised in this way.”
The independent schools of the year judges will be meeting again at the end of summer to reach a decision on the winner of each category and results will be announced in October.