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Sylvia Young Theatre School

Full Time School

School Life

Aims & Ethos

The Sylvia Young Theatre School seeks to create a happy working environment where students can enjoy learning, staff can enjoy teaching and students can achieve their potential academically, vocationally, socially, morally and creatively.


  • To provide a broad, balanced and challenging academic and vocational curriculum with high standards of achievement
  • To develop and support the talents of those who wish to have a performance career as well as encouraging students to consider other careers within the media or to follow an academic pathway
  • To ensure students have a grounded approach to any current and future professional work or opportunities
  • To develop confidence
  • To inspire creativity
  • To develop communication skills
  • To both encourage debate and the ability to question, and to develop an open and enquiring mind in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation
  • To fully realise students’ academic, vocational and personal achievements by focusing on individual potential
  • To ensure regular and effective assessment of progress in both vocational and academic subjects
  • To provide high quality teaching and learning in academic subjects and to offer our students the best possible vocational training from experienced teachers and working professionals in a disciplined but encouraging atmosphere
  • To provide the high standard of academic education and qualifications necessary as a basis for ‘A’ level study and beyond should students choose to pursue an academic route prior to, or instead of, a performance or media career
  • To provide curricular and extracurricular opportunities for students to develop as individuals and as a community
  • To develop and strengthen partnerships with parents
  • To manage the development of the school to ensure the highest standards are achieved in all areas
  • To strive continually to improve.

In partnership with parents, the Sylvia Young Theatre School aims to provide opportunities for its students that enable them to play an active and positive role as members of the school and the wider community.  Students have access to and experience of the curriculum regardless of race, class, gender or religious belief.  The school promotes a sense of self-esteem, responsibility and tolerance.  It values and challenges the individual so that they may achieve their highest levels of attainment.
The Sylvia Young Theatre School places great emphasis on high academic standards and excellence in the performing arts.  Our aim is to develop the whole person as well as providing a unique opportunity for students with potential in the performing arts to train and to perfect their skills.  Expectations are high.
The Sylvia Young Theatre School provides a supportive atmosphere based on self-discipline, mutual respect, cooperation and understanding.  Students are encouraged to take responsibility both for their own learning and the environment in which they live.

The School Week

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays our students follow their academic programme. This consists of a broad range of academic subjects, more details of which can be found in the academic curriculum section of our  website. The aim is for all students to sit 8 or 9 GCSE examinations at the end of year 11. The School day commences at 8.45am and finishes at 4.00pm for years 6, 7 & 8. In years 9, 10 & 11, some lessons may continue until 5pm on one or more days depending on what subjects the students have opted for.

This is reflected in the division of our school week. Condensing a regular five day academic week into a three day academic week and two days of vocational training.

Applicants need to achieve a good standard academically and be able to cope with a 3 day academic week. This arrangement may not suit all applicants.

On Thursdays and Fridays students follow their vocational programme, receiving training in the performing arts (drama, dance and singing) whilst developing their individual performance skills. School day commences at 8.45am-3.45pm on Thursday and 8.45am-4.00pm pm Friday.


Our school site houses a number of excellent facilities for our students academic and vocational classes.

  • 12 Academic classrooms, including 2 Art rooms, 2 Science labs, 2 I.T Suites.
  • 11 Vocational studios, recording studio.
  • Changing and shower facilities, outside courtyard garden, cafeteria.


Our academic uniform is supplied by John Lewis which students wear Monday-Wednesday.

On Thursday and Friday students wear their vocational uniform, tracksuit, dance wear, sweatshirts. Uniform can be ordered by a number of suppliers and the school shop.

Full details are given on acceptance of applicants school place.

Term Dates

Monday 13th September - Induction day for new students only
Tuesday 14th September–Friday 22nd October
Half term Monday 25th October–Friday 29th October
Monday 1st November - Inset Day
Tuesday 2nd November–Wednesday 15th December

Tuesday 4th January–Friday 11th February
Half term Monday 14th February–Friday 18th February
Monday 21st February - Inset Day - staff only
Tuesday 22nd February–Friday 1st April

Tuesday 19th April–Friday 27th May
May Bank Holiday - Monday 2nd May
Half Term Monday 30th May–Friday 3rd June
Monday 6th June - Inset day - staff only
Tuesday 7th June–Wednesday 20th July

  • Leadership Team


    Principal Sylvia Young OBE
    Managing Director Alison Ruffelle            
    Headteacher Frances Chave BSc, PGCE, NPQH
    Deputy Head Laurence Kavanagh BA, PGCE, NPQSL
    Artistic Director Steven Baker
    Head of Music Ray Lamb         
    Business Manager 
    Maggie Melville 


  • Administrative Staff


    Finance Manager - Mr Peter Thornton 
    PA to Sylvia Young - Mrs Fiona Wightman

    Creative Assistant - Mr Chase Demmers
    School Office Manager - Mrs Christine Gatt
    School Receptionist - Mrs Ann Perkins
    Headteacher’s PA & Examinations Officer - Ms Gill Auty
    School Nurse - Miss Charlotte Baxter, RN(Child), BA

    Front of House receptionist - Mr Michael Nigro

    Reception - Mr Joseph Gatt 
    Reception - Mrs Michelle Rees
    Reception - Mr Daniel Dowling

    Office Admin - Miss Laura O’Brien
    Site Manager - Mr Steve Bell
    Assistant Caretaker - Mr James Dye

    Independent Catering - Miss Stacey Beckford
    Independent Catering
    Miss Sharon Embury
    Independent Catering  - Miss Heather Leigh
    Independent Catering  - Miss Ruth Palmer
    Independent Catering  - Mrs Jean Petrou
    Independent Catering  - Miss Yvonne Ng
    Independent Catering  - Ms Gladys Mensah
    Independent Catering  - Ms Anila Taranaj 
    Independent Catering  - Ms Vania Abano

    Lunchtime Supervisor - Mrs Muriel Wright, 
    Supervisor - Mrs Tina Bakal 
    Lunchtime Supervisor - Ms Kimberley Miller

    Supervisor/Cleaning - Ms Eleanor Dowling
    Supervisor/Cleaning - 
    Ms Janet Powell
    Supervisor/Cleaning - Ms Susan Bickerdike
    Supervisor/Cleaning - Mr David Russell
    Supervisor/Cleaning - Mrs Linda Russell

  • Academic Department


    Juniors/ Year 6 - Miss Rebecca Harrison B.Ed

    English - Ms Anna Cunningham  BA, PGCE

    English  - Ms Michelle van Ebo  BA, PGCE, RSA, MA

    English - Mr Charlie Smith BA, PGCE, QTS

    Mathematics  - Ms Rachel Kimber MA, BSc, PGCE, PG Dip (DYSL & LIT)

    Mathematics - Miss Georgina Taylor BA, QTS

    Science - Ms Menifa Williams BEng, PGCE

    Science  - Ms Rachel Gallimore BSc, PGCE

    Media Studies - Mrs Louise Nix BA, QTS

    Humanities - Mr Duncan Ferguson BA, MA, PGCE, FRAS

    Information Technology - Mrs Tina Oberman   Dip.M.Dip. Mus.(Open), PGCE.

    Art   - Ms Paula Sanders BA,  PGCE

    Art  - Ms Susannah Douglas BA, PGCE, MA

    Spanish - Ms Susana Martin Fernandez BA, PGCE

    Spanish  - Ms Stella Schito BA, MA, PGCE

    Drama (GCSE) - Miss Alison Waters BA, QTS

    SENCO / AEN - Ms Alison Golledge BA

    Learning Support Assistant - Ms Imogen Howarth




  • Vocational Department


    Acro (After school activity) - Mr Peter Pearson

    Ballet - Mr Michell Da Silva
    Ballet - Ms Kelly Hopkins ARAD dip LISTD 
    Ballet - Ms Lucy Middleton AISTD
    Ballet - Miss Lisa-Marie Probert
    Ballet - Mr James Butcher

    Ballet Pianist - Mr Ben Summers
    Ballet Pianist - Eli Welsh
    Ballet Pianist - Andrew Wass

    Contemporary Dance - Ms Dorna Peters PA. Dip.  Professional Choreographer

    Drama - Mr Simon Rawlings
    Drama - Ms Norma Atallah 
    Drama - Mr Michael Palmer
    Drama - Mr Bryn Williams OAM, B Ed. Dip. Acting 
    Drama - Ms Georgia Fitch

    Jazz - Ms Lindsey Eaton AISTD
    Jazz - Mr Sonny Ward Dip. Musical Theatre
    Jazz - Mr Lee Crowley AISTD
    Jazz - Ms Bethany Hague

    Singing - Mr Gary Jerry BA  Dip LCM
    Singing - Mr Isaac McCollough
    Singing - Mr Daniel Brady Dip ABRSM, BA Hons, PGCE
    Singing - Mr Eoin Mallon BA (Hons), LTCL Dip, ALCM Dip (P/TD)
    Singing - Mr Mike Turnbull
    Singing - Mr Fred Feeney

    Tap - Miss Bethany Hague
    Tap - Mr Joel Montague
    Tap - Mr George Beet
    Tap - Ms Dorna Peters PA. Dip.
    Tap - Ms Sara Bispham

    Voice & Speech - Mrs Nevena Holmes
    Vocie & Speech - Mrs Elizabeth Slater RAM, LLAM