Primary Performing Arts

The Castle Newnham Performing Arts department works across the federation and aims to nurture passionate, imaginative and inquisitive individuals, who see the world from an artistic perspective, enjoying and exploring past and present art forms generated from an array of different cultures.

The curriculum prepares pupils to become independent and creative individuals. A range of topics allow pupils to develop an understanding and appreciation of the arts formed in a contemporary society and throughout the world. These themes are explored through a range of different creative styles, practitioners and mediums. Furthermore, the Performing Arts curriculum promotes a sense of self-worth, encourages confidence, resilience and develops relationships.

Our performing arts curriculum is underpinned by Pablo Picasso’s famous quote: ‘Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist’.


Our music curriculum is focused on knowledge-rich teaching and learning with an emphasis on reading music, playing musical instruments to competent skill, singing and musical performance, and composing and appraising music. In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) we focus on developing a genuine interest for musical learning. Pupils learn the fundamentals of music and are able to perform these independently or in groups.

In Key Stage 2, alongside following the national curriculum, our ambitious musicianship project enables pupils to learn a variety of instruments (to a sound level) by the end of primary. These will be whole class led sessions and for each year a different instrument will be taught. Instruments include brass (trumpet/French horn); guitar and ukulele; piano and keyboard; glockenspiel; and recorder. In Year 4 pupils will be given a recorder, to take it home to practise – further emphasising the need to practise over time and developing musical ability.


Our drama curriculum is underpinned by three key principles: devising, performing and appraising. Through devising drama, pupils learn to explore other mediums through drama, alongside building knowledge and skills around performance. Pupils devise through traditional stories, poetry and everything around. As pupils continue through primary, scripted performance becomes the central focus as they begin to demonstrate their creative and performance skills through performance. Pupils gain confidence and curiosity through drama, but also learn to appreciate and appraise drama as an art form.


Our dance curriculum centres around choreography and performance. Good technique is important as a dancer, so we work through these principles alongside fostering a love for dance through performing and choreographing. At Castle Newnham we encourage pupils to enhance in an active lifestyle which dance helps to promote. Through Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils learn and explore various dance styles, including contemporary and musical theatre. By the end of primary pupils are confident dancers who can choreograph independently and in groups.

Performance opportunities

At Castle Newnham we pride ourselves on giving our pupils extensive performance opportunities throughout their schooling.

We are extremely proud of our 4SIXTEEN Theatre Company. The company is coordinated by a resident director who works closely with the performing arts department on a daily basis. Our past productions of The Lion King & Singin’ in the Rain have gone on to be awarded Best Youth Production by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association. To find out more about our previous, current and future performances, please visit the 4SIXTEEN webpage.

We pride ourselves on allowing our pupils the opportunity to visit the theatre and appreciate the value of experiencing live performances. Annually, we take our primary school to the pantomime at a regional theatre. We are developing links with local arts organisations, Bedford Music Hub (who are based on our North site), The Place Theatre and University of Bedfordshire where we engage in projects and performances.

Contact us:

If you have any enquiries please contact the Performing Arts Office for further information, via email [email protected]

You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @CN_PerformArts