Co-curricular Life


Pen Arthur has been a part of the School’s history for years, sitting amongst forests and mountains and has always has been a very special place. Widely talked about, and provider of many fond memories for Old Albanians, current pupils and Staff alike. Pen Arthur is a traditional farmhouse in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park and offers pupils a unique environment for greater learning.

A Place Born from Enthusiasm – 1970

In 1967, a lease on the old farmhouse was agreed with the Forestry Commission, following years of suffering and a lack of shelter on Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions. For the next two years, there was a period of frantic activity, as the property underwent a thorough period of renovation and rejuvenation. It was only after 1970 that the house became an established addition to the curriculum, with all new boys at 11+ and 13+ able to visit during term time. The process of integrating Pen Arthur was finally complete when the governors decided to buy the house.


The Music Department has a wealth of co-curricular activities for pupils to take part in:


Singing twice a week in St Albans Cathedral for school services and special services. Our School Carol Service fills the Abbey twice over!


Singing complex pieces ranging from Thomas Tallis to Eric Whitacre.


Singing popular pieces in concerts and services.


Performing in concerts throughout the year, recent repertoire includes the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Finlandia and excerpts from The Firebird.


A large group of players performing classical and popular works.


An excellent ensemble playing traditional standards and new works and taking the leading-role in our annual Jazz Evening.


The elite senior singers performing at a wide variety of functions.



The Drama Department is rich with a range of opportunities for students of all ages to get involved in drama outside of lessons:


A large-scale production rehearsed and performed in the Autumn Term. Students in the Fifth Form and above can audition and there are opportunities for students interested in the technical side of theatre to become involved as well. Productions include: Wendy and Peter Pan; Into the Woods; Much Ado About Nothing and Les Misérables.


A weekly club every Wednesday 4-6pm open to all students in First and Second Form, with a number of performance opportunities during the year, including A Lower School Christmas at the end of the Autumn and the Lower School Summer Show at the end of the year. Recent productions have included: Ho Ho Ho! The Santa Claus Chronicle, Johnny and the Dead and Journey’s End.


A devising competition run by the Lower School Drama Club in the Spring Term; also open to interested Third Form students.


run in the format of ‘A Play in a Day’, students from Lower Sixth, work in their Houses over the course of a day to devise a play based on a range of stimuli. The four performances are judged by an external theatre professional in an a er school showcase open to parents and pupils.

There are also other exciting theatrical events that take place throughout the year. For example, “An Evening with…”. is is a Q&A evening which hosts a range of theatre professionals and is attended by parents and pupils.

Recent guest speakers include: National theatre director Simon Godwin (OA), the writer and star (comedian Nick Helm) of the BBC3 comedy ‘Uncle’, and poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell. All of our GCSE and A level pieces are shown in evening performances open to parents. We also run regular trips to the theatre and each year group can expect to see a live performance during the school year.


The goal of the Sports Department is to ensure that all our pupils enjoy sport and physical activity and develop an appreciation of its vital role in ensuring good health, fitness and physical, emotional and social well-being. Sports: We offer a very wide range of sporting activities, including rugby, football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, cricket, swimming, tennis, athletics, cross country, badminton and table tennis. Older pupils have access to an additional range of activities: squash, zumba, golf, ultimate frisbee, yoga, shooting, netball, rounders, lacrosse and climbing.


Opened in 2012 by Duncan Goodhew MBE, St. Albans School’s Sports Centre is a multi-sport centre with state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • 25 metre six lane main pool
  • Endless Pool
  • Fitness Suite
  • Dance Studio
  • Sports Hall
  • Climbing wall
  • Interactive Classroom


DofE strives to achieve its mission through personal development programmes and the assessment and presentation of Awards. All DofE’s programmes are driven by the following ten guiding principles, which are at the heart of everything done.


The Officer Training Corps at St Albans School was founded in 1902. This evolved into the Combined Cadet Force in the 1940s and is currently a Friday afternoon optional activity for all Sixth Formers and an after-school activity for Third, Fourth and Fifth Years. The CCF is made up of an army section (dating back to 1902) and an RAF section (dating back to the 1930s). There are over 200 cadets in the Corps. In 2009, the army section rebadged from the Royal Engineers to the Coldstream Guards.

The aim of the CCF is to develop leadership and teamwork through a range of military and adventurous training. The CCF is led and overseen by 10 staff, but training is organised and run on a weekly basis by the senior cadets led by the Cadet Under Officer, the Regimental Sergeant Major, the Company Sergeant Major and the Flight Sergeant.


The Publications Department is responsible for the creation and publishing of the School magazine, The Albanian, which is published each December as a record and review of the preceding academic year. Highlighting School news, as well as featuring a selection of students’ creative writing and artwork, The Albanian is a substantial publication, published in full colour.

The Publications Department employs a small team of Sixth Formers who are interested in journalism, editing, design, and graphics. The Publications centre is situated in School House, equipped with a network of iMac computers, the design and print industry standard. The team members become adept at graphics manipulation and page layout, using primarily Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign.


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