Just as in sport the emphasis is on involvement, so in extra-curricular activities, much importance is placed on encouraging large numbers of boys to take part.
The main school drama productions provide as many chances to be involved behind the scenes – as stage crew, or helping with front of house or box office – as on stage itself. These are usually joint activities with the Girls’ School. In addition there are various Junior Plays, House Plays, Form Plays and Sixth Form productions.
Around a quarter of all boys receive instrumental tuition in the self-contained and purpose-built Music School, and there are many opportunities for music-making.
The Choral Society and the Concert Band regularly perform at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, and the Jazz Group is in regular demand outside school. In recent years the annual Family Carol Concert at the Philharmonic Hall has involved children from nearby primary schools, and raised significant amounts of money for Merseyside children’s charities.
The flourishing voluntary contingent of the Combined Cadet Force is also a joint activity with Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School. There are nearly 250 boys and girls involved and, in addition to weekly training, they have the opportunity of attending a variety of camps and courses, both in Great Britain and overseas.
Mountaineering, camping, sailing, flying and shooting are just some of the activities in which they can get involved. Both boys and girls are encouraged to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and many achieve success in Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.
There are a range of societies and clubs, which reflect the interest and enthusiasm of particular staff and pupils. Many of these are also joint activities with the Girls’ School, among the most prominent being the Debating Society – which has been in existence for more than 100 years. The Grensted Society, provides an opportunity for senior boys to discuss philosophical and contemporary intellectual issues, and the Image Press, which is responsible for much of the printing required by the school also produces a variety of newsletters and magazines.
There is also a full programme of activities in the school holidays. There is an annual ski holiday, regular history trips – for example to America, or the French battlefields; language exchanges in France; trips to the sites of classical civilization in Greece and Italy. There are also sporting tours, most recently hockey tournaments in Holland and rugby in South America.