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Winter Edition 2017

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Winter magazine out now! Going to 35,000 families at our member schools, all raising funds for great causes.

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SPOTLIGHT MAKE or BREAK Creative subjects have never been more important and will help pupils thrive in today’s fast-changing world, writes Head of Downe House Emma McKendrick It is very hard for us to be sure what the working environment will be like for our pupils. What is clear is that the pace of change and the speed with which technology advances will not slow down. To thrive, our young people will need to be creative, adaptable, resilient and able to express themselves effectively. The place of creative subjects – Art, Drama, Dance, Music, Textiles, Design and Technology – has therefore never been more important, and is an area of the curriculum that is extremely important at Downe. One of our pupils expressed recently to an inspector that studying Art “gave her a window into the beauty of the world”. It made her stop, look at the world thoughtfully and with care; it helped her to interpret it and appreciate it. It also enabled others to see it through her eyes. She, in turn, could appreciate others’ views. These subjects also provide an outlet for self-expression and enable problem-solving skills, perseverance and resilience to be developed – the wooden box that does not quite close will require the right solution to be found to make it work. Effective teamwork will be found at the heart of every successful dance routine, play, orchestral or choral piece, and each individual involved will have to have the humility to enable and encourage others to shine. Girls study all of the creative and performing arts during Years 7 to 9; they can then choose whether to follow any for GCSE or beyond. They can also join a creative club, take individual lessons or participate in the popular House Competitions. I have no doubt that Downe is a kinder, healthier, more interesting and more generousspirited community as a result of all that these subjects teach our pupils. I am equally sure pupils are better prepared for their world as a result of the creativity that is encouraged, and that the sense of awe and wonder about the world that will have been gained will be a precious gift that will last a lifetime. W I N T ER 17 ★ 47


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