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“I am particularly enjoying my involvement in the variety of clubs and activities that are available; teachers are great at getting you involved in team work!”
Chloe, Year 10
There is, however, far more to education than what goes on in the formal classroom. To this end, a substantial part of any girl’s time at this school is given over to activities outside the classroom. Our enrichment provision is very wide indeed, and covers music, drama, sports, and a wealth of other interests and activities including dozens of lunch-time and after-school clubs, as well as trips, visits and off-site opportunities both within the UK and abroad.
In order to support these wider curriculum activities, it is necessary from time to time to seek a voluntary contribution from parents and/or carers. Details of the school's charging and remissions policy can be obtained through this link.
At Highsted, we hold the prestigious Sportsmark Award from Sport England for outstanding sports provision and opportunity and the National Healthy School Award. But here, participation in sporting activity is not just for the most talented or the best, there are clubs and competitions for many different sports at many different levels, from beginner to representation at county level. We recognise that patterns for a healthy lifestyle are set in these formative adolescent years and we are proud of the fact that there really is something for everyone.
There are drama productions, musicals, and concerts performed every term and all girls are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Swale Music Centre uses the school as a venue for its weekly practice sessions and more than 100 girls sing in one or more of the Highsted choral groups. In addition to school events, the Highsted Choir has performed annually since 2004 at a special Christmas Concert held at Mount Ephraim, in support of the Swale Youth Development Fund.
Across all year groups, there are countless trips and visits which take place in the UK and beyond, there have been history trips to Belgium and Poland, work experience in Brussels, study visits to France, exchange partnerships in France and Germany, residential visits, theatre visits, ski trips, the list goes on and on. In other words there is an extensive programme of educational and recreational activity - all designed to contribute to the overall education of our students.
The Sun Comes Out at Highsted - school production 2019
This year Highsted’s school production was the musical Annie. Once again a huge number of students auditioned, wanting to get involved. Over the three days the play was performed, Wednesday 26 – Friday 28 June, there were multiple casts making it an excellent opportunity for students to try out their acting, singing, dancing and musical talents.
Based on the popular comic strip and set in 1930s New York, Annie tells the extraordinary story of a fiery little orphan who ends up in the lap of luxury with billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Unlike most of the other children at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage, Annie believes that her parents are still alive and will one day return to claim her. Highsted’s retelling of this classic tale was a great success and the famous songs Tomorrowand Hard Knock Lifewere sung with passion.
During the performance there was also a raffle led by Seacole House’s charity team to raise money for Porchlight, a Kent charity supporting vulnerable and homeless people in the South East.
The production developed a real sense of the Highsted community coming together, as it fosters relationships between students of different age groups and experiences. For many students it was also a valuable insight into how real productions work for those looking at theatre or film as future career paths. Many hours of hard work were involved for the cast, orchestra and backstage crew and it was a rewarding experience for all. Congratulations to everyone involved in this fantastic event – on stage, providing the music and behind the scenes.
Grease is the Word
Highsted’s school production in 2018 was the musical Grease. It was incredible how more than a quarter of the school turned up for the audition process. Therefore, to meet demands, the directors decided to involve three casts, making it highly inclusive and an opportunity for everyone to get involved. Whether it was backstage, acting, dancing or in the orchestra, there was a role for everyone!
Many hours of hard work (including weekends) were put in, involving the full cast, the orchestra and the backstage crew. The experience was very rewarding for all involved, as students were able to collaborate with actors and musicians across the different year groups and had a real sense of community.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 27 - 29 June, each cast created an engaging and uplifting performance, each with their own interpretation and identity. This created a captivating and entertaining performance over all three nights. The orchestra performed outstandingly and enhanced the bold, uplifting atmosphere within the auditorium. The audience’s feedback of the feel-good production reflected its vibrant tone and mood, resulting in Highsted Grammar School producing this famous musical to a professional standard.
To read about how the car and other props were made in school, please click here.