We know that our pupils have different strengths, and we take great care in finding ways to build on these strengths during class time. Alongside this, we have a unique, structured enrichment programme that runs through the school.
In Years 7 and 8, our School House pupils take part in our “Roots and Wings” academic enrichment programme on Wednesday afternoons. There are a huge variety of activities and learning on offer throughout the year, covering everything from STEM challenges to gardening. Without the constraint of timetabled lessons, pupils are able to experience a wide range of activities. These range from operating World War II Enigma machines under the watchful eyes of knowledgeable cryptographers to making BBC News reports to learn about “Fake News” via hands-on learning with a visiting biologist and various creatures to environmental and social lectures from nationally acclaimed experts. During these sessions, our aim is for all the pupils to find at least one thing each term that absolutely inspires them.
In Years 9-11 our pupils can join our “Phoenix Society”; this is a society for the intellectually curious, and is open to all who are interested in extending themselves. Pupils have a wide variety of different experiences, from visiting Hinkley Point power station to the Houses of Parliament. Here the pupils involved can follow their passion and trips are often organised to fill the needs of a pupil or a group of pupils.
In Years 11-13 our enrichment programme runs on a Friday after school where the pupils have a range of compulsory and optional talks. These are delivered by members of staff or outside speakers to challenge and inspire our pupils. Some are compulsory and some optional, and it is expected that pupils seize the opportunities on offer, and try something new.
Alongside this we have a regular programme of stretching our most able; pupils who have an academic scholarship are invited to evenings where they are cerebrally challenged, as well as scholars’ lunches, where they get to mix with like-minded pupils and have a lecture from an invited expert in a particular field.