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Reigate Grammar School headmaster Shaun Fenton on how his school goes beyond the curriculum

PUBLISHED: 13:38 28 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:38 28 April 2014

The Corps of Drums has been very visible - and audible!

The Corps of Drums has been very visible - and audible!

RGS

At Reigate Grammar School in Surrey, they are justifiably proud of the wide range of activities they offer after the bell has gone. Headmaster Shaun Fenton tells us more

Headmaster of RGS, Shaun FentonHeadmaster of RGS, Shaun Fenton

Headmaster’s introduction

The true heartbeat of any school lies in its programme of extra-curricular activities and that is never more so than at Reigate Grammar School where the enthusiasm, energy and dedication of our staff and students manifests itself in a breathtaking menu of activities on offer.

It is through trying something new, or developing established hobbies, that students gain vital life skills, learn about themselves and make friendships beyond their immediate network, often friendships that last a lifetime.

Top exam results will help to open doors of opportunity, but the character and confidence developed on the sports field, through performing on stage, debating in Model United Nations or trekking across the Brecon Beacons are essential so that those opportunities can be embraced.

Head for heights - the DoE Award expedition to Morocco's Atlas MountainsHead for heights - the DoE Award expedition to Morocco's Atlas Mountains

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New heights for DoE Awards

Not content with navigating the heights of the Brecon Beacons, completing night hikes across Surrey or even securing the highest number of Gold Awards in the UK for the second year running, Reigate Grammar School took their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards mission to new heights with an expedition across the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Needless to say, it was an unforgettable experience for all involved.

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From St Paul’s Cathedral to New York

The annual spring concert at Dorking Halls gives Reigate Grammar School’s musicians a chance to showcase their talent and to reflect on the achievements of the last 12 months, which have included a performance at St Paul’s Cathedral for Polyphony, RGS’ Chamber Choir; a rendition for Bill and Hilary Clinton in Washington by RGS’ leading harpists; five students gaining distinctions in their Grade 8 ARBSM exams and one student gaining a distinction in her ARBSM Diploma; and tours of the USA and Germany and sell-out shows for the RGS Unplugged concerts, which headline students’ composition work. In addition, BBC Sherlock series composer Michael Price visited the school to give a talk to students about writing scores for film and television in addition to taking a chamber music masterclass.

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High-flying CCF Cadets

After passing inspection with flying colours last summer, RGS’ Combined Cadet Force cadets have not rested on their laurels. The recently established Corps of Drums has been a very visible (and audible!) part of ceremonial occasions both in school and in the local area, participating in the annual Remembrance Service at Redhill’s Shaws Corner. Three high-flying RAF section cadets also gained gliding scholarships with two securing places on the leadership course at RAF Cranwell. What is more, five Army section cadets gained Bronze National Navigation Awards following training in the high mountain ranges of North Wales.

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Creating a drama

A consistent run of breathtaking productions across a range of genres has earned RGS’ Drama and Theatre Arts department an enviable reputation. RGS remains one of the only schools to participate in the undergraduate level National Student Drama Festival and holds a host of awards won at the festival.

RGS’ recent production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel sold out within 48 hours with audiences enjoying an extravaganza of song, dance and drama. Spring term sees students tackle Feel Good, Alistair Beaton’s satire on modern politics. A cross-curricular project will also include a special ‘question time’ event run alongside the drama performances. 
A panel of professionals from senior roles across politics and the media will field questions from students and parents inspired by the performance and their study of politics.

Spring and summer 2014 will once again see the RGS Puppet Theatre open at the Brighton Fringe Festival before touring prep and primary schools across Surrey in addition to a summer pantomime performance of Aladdin.

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Getting creative

Sixth Form art student Rosie Grant saw her work displayed on billboards across the UK after winning a national art competition. The competition asked young artists across the world to respond to the question ‘Who Are You?’ A shortlist of 50 entries was then placed on Facebook for a final vote, which saw Rosie’s work rated in the top five overall.

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