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Music and Drama

Music and Drama

Great Stories Begin With Self-Expression...

Music and the Performing Arts are an integral part of life at Hazlegrove, with opportunities for every child both in and out of the classroom. Our pupils sing, play and perform in every year of their Hazlegrove journey, developing confidence and displaying our core values in all that they do.

Our award-winning Music Department is vibrant and energetic, led by Director of Music and Performing Arts, Mrs Nicki Sclater. We offer an ever-growing selection of instruments taught by dedicated and inspirational staff, ranging from piano, singing and orchestral instruments to electric guitar and bass, bagpipes, percussion and drum kit. Our latest venture into individual and group DJing lessons has proved particularly popular.

Children are encouraged to work towards ABRSM and Trinity music exams, although it is recognised that this is not always the best route for all, and we also prepare a large number for Grade 5 Theory.

All instrumental lessons are delivered on a rota system, ensuring that the impact on academic lessons is kept to a minimum. We work closely with our academic colleagues to ensure that subjects are not unduly affected, with leeway given for those receiving LSU support or those who are learning 3 or more instruments.

Budding musicians are encouraged to join a wide variety of ensembles. There are opportunities for all and performances feature in our weekly informal Friday concerts as well as our whole-school and joint ventures throughout the year. The Music Department is vibrant and busy with ensembles such as our Senior and Junior Orchestras, Senior Strings, Hazlegroove Percussion Ensemble, Wind Band, DJ club and Senior Brass. Our 6 home-grown rock and pop bands are always extremely well received, with a recent group performing on local radio.

A love of music is forged throughout the school, with opportunities for beginners through to more advanced musicians. All children sing with great enthusiasm and musicality, and we are very proud of the standard of our choirs, which form an integral part of our services at Wells Cathedral and Sherborne Abbey. Parents and pupils enjoy spotting academic staff, who are a regular addition to our senior Hazlegrove Voices at these events.

We have a strong tradition of music scholarships, with children receiving awards to Senior Schools both locally and further afield. All musicians are encouraged to explore their particular areas of interest, with recent pupils gaining recognition in the French horn, piano, composition and music technology.

In the classroom, children are introduced to music through imaginative and engaging topics from pop-song writing to the science of sound. Singing in a choir is a part of the timetable from Years 3 to 6, and every child is encouraged to take up a musical instrument during their time at the school. Class-instrumental learning is taught in Years 2-6, as a part of the curriculum, with peripatetic staff supporting learning in brass, woodwind and strings.


Drama is taught as a part of the curriculum to Year 7, with a 2-week production undertaken by the whole of Year 8 after their summer exams in June. Every child is involved in a major play or musical in every year of their Hazlegrove life, with acting, singing and dancing enjoyed by all. By the end of their time at Hazelgrove, it has become second nature.

The nurture of a child’s confidence is at the very heart of our drama programme. Our well-appointed theatre provides ample opportunity for developing vocal skills, resilience, communication and curiosity. For those who see the world as a stage, this is a great place to start!

It doesn’t stop there! We offer Speech and Drama lessons through which children are prepared for regular LAMDA examinations, and the annual showcase is always a triumphant night enjoyed by parents and friends keen to support their young thespians.  

Children who show a particular aptitude for Drama are encouraged to apply for a scholarship at their future school, once they are in Year 8. Our Speech and Drama teacher, Emma de la Poer, is responsible for the preparation of all prospective scholars. This is usually done during their Speech and Drama lessons. We have experienced great success in recent years, with children receiving awards from a wide range of senior schools.


Nicola attended The Lady Eleanor Holles School as a music scholar. She went on to study for a BA (Mus) and a PGCE at The University of Bristol. During this time Nicola played her violin and her saxophone in a variety of orchestras, jazz bands and a string ensembles, performing at venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and Eton College.

Over the last 20 years Nicola has had extensive experience both in the classroom and as an instrumental music teacher. Her roles include Head of Music, a teacher of Years 7 to 13 and a peripatetic violin, piano and music theory teacher. This varied experience has given her a valuable insight in to all aspects of a successful Music and Performing Arts Department. 

It is a real privilege to lead our team of talented music teachers to inspire and realise the potential of all the children. Hazlegrove is an exceptional school with happy, enthusiastic pupils and a thriving music department.


Mrs Sclater - Director of Music and Performing Arts


In Music and Drama