Pre-Prep Performing Arts

From the very beginning of their time at Bilton Grange, children are encouraged to express their creativity and enjoy the many performance opportunities available to them.

Music is an important thread throughout Bilton Grange, with ensembles, choirs and musical productions taking place from an early age.  We have some of the best performance facilities in any Prep School and our pupils enjoy the challenges and rewards that these evolving subjects bring. Our fully equipped theatre, which is supported by a professional technical manager, hosts regular school productions, smaller plays put on by our keenest actors, and visiting performers. Alongside this our Music School is a hub of activity from practising soloists and choirs to big band rehearsals and string ensembles. Children are supported in their progression through ABRSM and LAMDA exams which enable them to develop further skills and confidence.


Music contributes a sense of vitality and energy to Bilton Grange and is very much part of our essence and character. It plays an important role in helping children to feel part of a community, and is an integral element of school worship.

All children experience playing an instrument from Year 1 and experience singing at the core of the curriculum. In Year 2, all pupils learn a bowed string instrument as part of our ‘Hands On Strings!’ programme, and in Year 3, they enjoy ‘Hands On Brass!’, trying out trumpet, trombone or French horn. Specialist instrumental teachers deliver over 190 lessons a week across the Pre-Prep and Prep, inspiring pupils in a range of studies. Pupils are provided with a platform, both publicly and at School, on which to shine – termly Performers’ Platforms, Assemblies, Services and other special events provide meaningful performance goals for all our pupils. We are also proud of a strong record of music examination results, powered by our outstanding team of Visiting Music Teachers.

Aims of the Department

  • To enable every pupil to GROW in their musical learning, encouraging the setting of achievable Goals, Resilience in the face of difficulties, Ownership of learning and practice, and a sense of Wonder in making and listening to music.
  • To be a beacon of best practice in Music Education, creating intelligent, literate, and creative musicians.
  • Emphasis is placed on aural musicianship, individual musical development, and enjoyment through progress and achievement.


Mark Penrose, BMus, BMusSt (Hons), BEd (Sec)(GE) Director of Performing Arts
Kirsten GrayPre-Prep Music Teacher
Tanya Morshead and Joanne Finch, Performing Arts Administrators



Useful Resources

 Voice for Life

Music Theory at home and also here

ABRSM and Trinity College  graded examination information

Aural tests available from Amazon

ABRSM Aural Trainer


From the Nativity plays in Reception, drama starts at a young age – Christmas sees several productions in Pre-Prep, and parents are regularly amazed at the standard of performance. From Year 2, pupils are able to take Speech & Drama lessons – even our youngest children enjoy the challenge of preparing for an exam and taking part, often achieving excellent results in the different disciplines as they progress, and specialist taught Drama becomes part of the curriculum from Year 3.

We take an inclusive approach to Drama with pupils having the opportunity to take part in plays or musicals. All are encouraged to have speaking roles, and pupils are often inspired to develop an interest in both lighting and staging of performances and to contribute to the writing of some scripts. We are lucky to have equipped performance spaces in school. When the weather allows, we take Drama outside to the stunning grounds of the school.

Aims of the department

  • To put on high quality dramatic performances by year groups and wider cross year selective groups
  • For Drama at BG to be inclusive and creative, and encourage our pupils to shine, either on stage or working behind the scenes
  • Drama can enhance wider learning, often incorporating literacy, history or PSHE topics

Department Staff

Joseph Ford, BA (Hons) Director of Drama

Tanya Morshead and Joanne Finch, Performing Arts Administrators