A busy and varied school environment
With an extensive range of activities, clubs and societies, it is important to us that our students can find something that suits them, whilst also being encouraged to ‘have a go’ no matter what their ability level. Some clubs run throughout the whole year, whilst others are termly. Students can choose to take part in whichever option they prefer, whether these be sport, creative or academic pursuits.
CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES
Here are some of the clubs and activities we offer for our students at Years 7-11. Currently, there are over 50, so all of our students have the opportunity to engage with a club or activity that interests them.
We encourage this by exposing students to many different styles and genres of drama, both scripted and improvised, from mask work to puppetry. We give them considerable ownership of their creative pieces and support them in taking creative and intellectual risks. It’s a vehicle through which students develop confidence in themselves – not just as performers, but as individuals and members of a broader society.
ANNUAL WHOLE SCHOOL PRODUCTION
Every year, we usually mount a full-scale production which is open to all students at d’Overbroeck’s, from Years 7-13. We normally alternate yearly between a musical and a straight play, which allows students with different talents to shine in a big-budget production that challenges and stretches their acting abilities. We try to ensure that everyone who auditions is given a part while the audition process itself is friendly and unthreatening – indeed, at times we cast plays from workshop sessions without having to hold ‘proper’ auditions at all.
DEVELOP PERFORMANCE SKILLS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
As well as our major annual production, there are a variety of other opportunities to get involved in Drama throughout the year. Our lower school production enables students in younger years to build their confidence, take on larger roles and get to know their peers in a smaller group. Whether students are first-time actors or seasoned performers, there’s always something for everyone
Whether a student has been learning an instrument before they arrive at d’Overbroeck’s, or comes without any musical experience, we look to encourage and provide opportunities for all of our students to enjoy music, and to grow and flourish as musicians. A significant number of students choose to enrich their school experience by enrolling on our Instrumental and Vocal programme. We offer peripatetic lessons every week in a range of classical orchestral, rock and jazz instruments as well as for voice.
Students may wish to prepare for external practical and theory exams, or learn to play an instrument for enjoyment, which they can do by joining one of our school ensembles or vocal groups. We put on a range of concerts and musical events throughout the academic year. End of term concerts give ensembles and soloists the chance to shine, and termly Spotlight Concerts offer students a chance to perform for small audiences in friendly, supportive environments, to help build their confidence and experience.
We offer as many ensembles and music clubs as we can! 7-11 students who are Grade 3+ on their instrument are invited to join the International School and Sixth Form students in our Orchestra after school, and lunch and break times see students singing in choirs, working on scenes from musicals, and playing in the folk group or smaller ensembles. We run an open house policy in the Music Department, and at break times students come to play in bands, use the music IT facilities or practise by themselves.
Whilst it is very important to us that students get the opportunity to compete and represent the school, it is equally as important that they develop lifelong learning around active, healthy lifestyles. Our dedicated team of enthusiastic teachers and professional coaches therefore aim to help students find a physical activity that they can thrive in and enjoy.
d’Overbroeck’s is ideally situated to take advantage of many excellent sports facilities close to the school. The main facilities we use on a regular basis include:
- North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club
- Oxford Brookes University Sports Centre (Headington Campus)
- Oxford City Arena 3G Pitches and Netball Courts
- Oxford Hawks Astro Turf Pitches
- Oxford University Sports Centre
- Stratfield Brake Playing Fields
DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD
Taking the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award at d’Overbroeck’s is a fantastic way for adventurous students to develop through activities and service in the community. Moreover, it is flexible in what students can choose for the volunteering, skills, and physical components, giving them the opportunity to express their individuality. We use an expedition company to ensure all activities are safe, and the DofE is a worthwhile addition to students’ CVs and university applications. All three school sites take part in this fantastic award scheme.