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The Hammond
As an established performing arts provider in the North West of England, The Hammond is delighted to be celebrating its centenary during 2017. Since its beginnings as a dance class in 1917 under the direction of Miss Irene Hammond in the Ballroom at The Grosvenor Hotel in Chester, The Hammond has provided a supportive and nurturing environment for talented young performers. A review by Principal Maggie Evans BA (Hons) MA, PGCE, NPQH, FRSA
  In recent years, signi cant investment has enabled The Hammond to expand and develop into the unique establishment it
is today. The Hammond Theatre (seating over 400) in the Performing Arts Centre, The Music Faculty
with its recording studio, individual practice rooms and Apple Mac computer suite, plus state-of-the- art dance studios, all offer excellent performance opportunities for the school’s talented students.
Most recently, the school has completed construction of The Centenary Studios. The new building includes dance studios, a Jazz Café for Senior students, plus a Learning Resource Centre which will play a vital role in ensuring that Hammond students are properly prepared for their future in performance, helping
them to achieve academic success in addition to their vocational training.
The Hammond was recently honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, who visited the school in honour
of its Centenary, and who of cially opened the new Centenary Studios. Her Royal Highness enjoyed a tour of the school, observed an advanced Ballet demonstration and was entertained by Hammond Dance, Drama and Music students in The Hammond Theatre. The students performing were thrilled when The Duchess took the time to speak to them all after their performance, and congratulated them on their hard work and talent.
The Hammond is based on the edge of Chester and is recognised and funded as a centre of excellence
by the Department for Education (DfE) under the Music and Dance Scheme (MDS), and is one of only nine residential schools nationally within this scheme. Additionally, The Hammond receives  nancial support through the Education Funding Agency’s (EFA’s) Dance and Drama Award Scheme (DaDA) for some of its post-16 students. The Hammond caters for pupils
in its Preparatory School from the age of 6-11. The main part of the school takes Senior students from 11 to 19 years, providing Post
-16 Vocational Training leading
to the Diplomas in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. Many Hammond graduates work in the West End or with professional dance companies. The Sixth Form Drama Course combines a BTEC Diploma Level 3 in Performing
Arts (Acting) with the study of
two ‘A’ Levels. The school has a strong commitment to Performance Education - both on the stage and in the classroom. Admission to
The Hammond is based on both talent and potential, regardless of personal circumstances, with many students relying on  nancial support from the MDS or DaDA schemes in order to attend the school. Whilst many of the School’s Alumni go
on to successful international
stage careers, The Hammond is enjoying a growing national and international reputation as a school for performance excellence.
The Hammond also offers a new three year course, the BA (Honours) Musical Theatre Performance, validated by The University of
Chester. This course provides specialist vocational studies for a career in the professional world of musical theatre and performance. Its purpose is to nurture and develop the practical skills required to secure and sustain employment as a musical theatre performer. All students must apply through UCAS.
The Hammond offers carefully structured artistic training in Dance, Musical Theatre, Music and Drama; aiming to help prepare students
for a career in the world of the theatre. This is evidenced by Ofsted (Outstanding in all categories in both 2011 and 2015), and The Independent Schools’ Inspectorate,
“The Hammond offers an excellent quality of education.”
The Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (2014)
www.thehammondschool.co.uk
     30 Independent Schools Magazine
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