The Arts

Arts in Lower School


As part of the mission of Highland School, we state that "Highland School prepares students to thrive, lead and serve in a diverse and dynamic world, developing essential skills and character by challenging them with a demanding world, developing essential skills and character by challenging them with a demanding academic and co-curricular program.

To achieve this, students at all grade levels are offered a rigorous and varied academic program, exposure to the fine and performing arts, and the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of athletic endeavors.

Class plays are integral to the Lower School experience

To achieve this, we've made the fine and performing arts an integral part of the school experience for our youngest students. Class plays are a benchmark of every student's year from Kindergarten through fourth grade. Students work diligently for a month before the performance memorizing their lines, learning their songs and jokes, and practicing their performances. When students finally take the stage for their dress rehearsals and performances in the Arundel gym in the Middle School, they are ready to perform in front of their fellow students, faculty members, and parents.

And it's not easy. All the hard work and preparations that go into these class plays help the students – and their parents – learn that they have abilities they didn't know they had. It helps to foster a sense of confidence that carries through into future endeavors – both in the classroom and on the stage.

Students are introduced to a wide range of artistic styles

Our Lower School students are also creating their own art each week in our dedicated art studio space. Art teacher Alice Laimbeer introduces students to a wide variety of styles and mediums through programs that range from painting to heraldry to drawing to ceramics.

"My love of art has been fulfilled in my 20 years at Highland. In addition to introducing my students to Art and Art History, I am able to also help them explore cultures around the globe through classroom activities and through our relationship with Enkijape School – our sister school located in Kenya."

Music in the Lower School

Music is a part of everyday life in Highland's Lower School. Whether students are singing in their classrooms, chorus class, or in weekly assemblies, or learning the violin or cello in our elective strings program, the Lower School always seems to be rocking. With dedicated specialists leading music classes for students in both the Lower School and the Middle School and performances taking place in the Chilton Commons meeting space in the Lower School and The Rice Theater in the Upper School, our youngest students are getting real-life opportunities to find their own voice in great facilities in front of a supportive audience.

Why do we emphasize the arts in the Lower School?

According to Artistic Director Michael Hughes, "The soul is not complete without the fine and performing arts.  The whole student is not complete without the arts. We would not be fulfilling our mission as a school if we didn't have a robust arts program that served the entire student."


Highland School is a co-ed independent Pre-K2 to Grade 12 day school located in Warrenton, Virginia.