A SCHOOL near Oswestry has been recognised for its excellence in the performing arts category after being shortlisted for a national award.

Moreton Hall, based in Weston Rhyn, has been nominated for the Independent School of the Year award in the Performing Arts category.

The school is renowned for its focus on the performing arts sector, which was highlighted by the development of its Holroyd Community Theatre.

Head of drama at Moreton Hall, Kate Howells, has been proud of how the performing arts of the school have continued to shine, even throughout the difficult time posed by Covid-19.

She said: "To say we’re thrilled with this nomination would be an understatement. Drama and Performing Arts are at the heart of Moreton life and without it, Moreton wouldn’t be what it is today.

“I am proud of everything we achieve on a daily basis, especially in these unprecedented times. To be recognised for this, is just what the students need and deserve at the end of this term.

“The development of performing arts at Moreton has manifested in the creation of a £1.45 million Community Theatre, providing a cultural flagship extending arts, music and drama to surrounding areas.”

The popularity of Moreton Hall’s Face2Face performance academy attracts over 70 budding actors and performers from the community aged nine to 18, and offers performances in professional theatres, workshops with TV and theatre professionals and competitions.

During lockdown workshops have been taken by leading West End professionals via Zoom.

The school’s music section is also among the reasons for the nomination, with its new creative arts programme – ‘North Shropshire’s Big Sing’ – which has attracted more than 300 external primary aged pupils to form a mass choir and work with specialist teachers learning vocal and breathing techniques.

Principal George Budd described the work of the drama and music departments as incredible.

He said: “This shortlisting recognises the work done by our Music and Drama Departments, alongside other creatively minded staff, to produce and deliver performing arts opportunities of extraordinary range and quality, not only to Moreton pupils but also those from the local area.

“We are so proud to have been recognised in this way.”

The Independent Schools of the year judges will be meeting again at the end of summer to reach a decision on the winner of each category, and results will be announced in October.