Performing Arts

Music and Drama play a vibrant part of school life at The Portsmouth Grammar School, at every stage.

Junior School pupils have the opportunity to take part in dance, drama and music sessions led by inspirational and passionate teachers and every year the children work towards a year group musical performed in our very own theatre.

I have been sculpted into a more rounded and professional human being. I feel much more at peace with my inner self and feel that The Arts at PGS has made me into the person I am today.

Year 12 Pupil

As pupils move into the Senior School as well as being able to develop their passion for music and drama through the curriculum, there are a range of co-curricular activities for pupils to take part in. Each year there is a Middle School production, a Senior School (Years 9 - 13) play, a Sixth Form production and the Senior School musical. Our musicians regularly feature in performances at Portsmouth Cathedral as well as within our local community, with the highlight of the year being a Remembrance Concert performed alongside London Mozart Players, our associate musicians. For more detailed information on the LMP, please see

We hope that involvement in the Performing Arts during their time at The Portsmouth Grammar School will not only add to the enjoyment of school but help to develop friendships, personal skills and a cultural appreciation that will enrich their adult lives.

Being involved in The Arts at PGS has given me opportunities to meet new people, to make friends and to improve my confidence.

Year 8 Pupil


Students at Portsmouth Remembrance Concert

PGS has a long-standing tradition of musical excellence. Music plays a key part in the life of the school and the Music Department is an exciting, vibrant place. There is a wide range of over 40 ensembles for all abilities and skills including two orchestras, four choirs, a wind band, two string orchestras, a swing band and five jazz ensembles, several brass groups, percussion ensembles, many chamber groups, close harmony groups and string and woodwind ensembles. 

The Music Department stages over 60 concerts a year, ranging from lunchtime concerts to larger-scale choral and orchestral concerts at the Cathedral and venues in Portsmouth, Winchester and London.

An experienced and dedicated team of 40 full-time and visiting instrumental staff prepares students for ABRSM, Trinity and LCM exams, local and national solo and ensemble competitions, and University and Conservatoire entrance, giving over 500 individual music lessons each week.

Excellence in performance and composition is complemented by a thriving academic programme. Former PGS pupils are currently studying music at the Royal Welsh Conservatoire, Oxford, Bristol and Nottingham universities, and the Royal College of Music.

Visit the Music Department site to view all the activity that takes place.


Year 4 Students in a Musical

The Drama Department firmly believes in the power of theatre to transform lives and society, to nurture the individual spirit and create a common language for humanity.

The Drama Department at PGS is a busy and dynamic one, and each year produces a wide range of performances from whole-school productions at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, to experimental work which may tour to Edinburgh fringe. PGS has become justly renowned for its ambitious shows and our hugely popular annual musical is performed at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth and performances also take place in our own David Russell Theatre and Gatehouse Studios as well as at venues throughout the city.

Our Middle School Drama Club attracts over 40 pupils and, for those interested in technical theatre, a popular Stage Crew Club is run by the School’s own Theatre Technician; there is also a Drama Club for pupils in Year 9. After Year 10, many students choose to write or direct their own plays, either independently, as part of the annual House Drama Competition or for showcase performances. Every year students will tour a production to a theatre festival.

Art and Design

The Art and Design Department endeavours to inspire curiosity, creativity and confidence in all pupils. We provide opportunities to experience a wide and exciting range of materials and techniques including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital image manipulation, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics and installation.

Pupils also have the opportunity to work alongside local artists on innovative projects and gain an insight into the creative processes involved in professional artistic practice.

The Art and Design Department is keen to celebrate the achievements of pupils and holds a number of exhibitions throughout the academic year, both on and off site. The annual Summer Art Show provides the opportunity to showcase work from all year groups and in previous years this has been held at The Kennels in Goodwood, The Square Tower and HMS Warrior 1860.

Above all, we strive to ignite pupils’ interest in Art and Design on a personal level and promote active engagement with our ever-increasing visual world.