At St Mary’s we strong believe that learning extends well beyond the classroom and that an outstanding education should offer all students an extensive range of enrichment activities which will support them to be successful in life.
Alongside an academically rigorous, challenging and thought provoking curriculum, extra-curricular activities, taking place during the school day, after school and during school holidays, are on offer. These activities provide a number of opportunities for students to, amongst other things, acquire new interests and / or develop exiting ones; learn new life skills; make new friendships; and develop their confidence, teamwork and communication skills.
Our enrichment programme strives to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, interests and skills in the following areas;
- Cultural capital
- Healthy Lifestyles
Every opportunity is taken to develop students skills beyond those required to achieve success within the classroom. For example:
- Reading skills and a love of reading is encouraged through the Accelerated Reading Programmes, which encourages students to reading for half an hour every day during the school week.
In addition, the well-resourced school Learning Resource Centre has a wide variety of books, magazines and newspapers that are available to all students.
- Students have the opportunity to attend a number of the study interventions offered by Curriculum Areas, whilst homework / extended learning support is provided within Curriculum Areas, in the Learning resource centre and by student Managers within “Chillax”.
- Fieldwork skills are developed through offsite visits within Geography and Biology, whilst skills in the sciences are enhanced through a number of STEM initiatives
- Our “High Starters” Programme challenges and develops a wide variety of skills for more able students through a programme of academic challenges and aspirational offsite visits.
- All students are encouraged to be aspirational in their outlook and to develop work place skills through our extensive CEIAG programme. This includes work experience placements; and developing work placed skills such as interview and presentation techniques; and life skills such as financial self-management and health and safety understanding.
Developing Cultural Capital
Throughout their time at St Mary’s students have many opportunities to accompany offsite visits or attend events to develop their cultural capital. These include annual cultural visits to major European Cities (these operate on an annual rotation to Rome: Amsterdam; Berlin and Barcelona); other curriculum visits to places such as the World War 1 Battlefields; Paris or day visits to Calais and Boulogne. Local area visits and experiences occur to places such as local museums, theatres visits, or concerts. In addition, a number of opportunities are provided with in school including visiting speakers, theatre performances and themed activities and events.
Our Student Leadership programme provides a wide range of unique leadership opportunities. For example, Post 16 students are encouraged to support our younger students through programmes such as Peer Mentoring and Paired Reading, whilst our sports Leaders support local primary school students in a number of sporting events. Our Student Leadership and Independence (SLI) Body encourages students to become in the operational and strategic leadership and development of the school, whilst as part of our various academy programmes focus is placed on the development and provision of student leadership opportunities.
Developing Healthy Lifestyles
Through the sports provision students have access to a fantastic range of facilities on-site as well as off-site facilities. We have a wide range of clubs and teams, many of them achieving success at district level, whilst some students have reached elite level performance levels and achieved national honours. Our Ace football Academy and Thunder Basket Ball Academy programmes also provide post 16 students with the opportunity to combine academic study with enhanced sports provision.
Our vibrant Phoenix Performing Arts Academy, offering opportunities for creative self-expression and involvement at every level. Students are encouraged to take part in our diverse programme of activities throughout the year, including whole school productions, musical concerts, showcase events and community concerts and shows. Students also have the opportunity to receive additional music and performance tuition and complete accreditations in the Performing Arts.