Extra Curricular Activities
This month’s High Storrs School Blog comes from Mrs White who has taken on the role of ‘enrichment co-ordinator’ this year. This is role was created to help rebuild what had been lost to the school and students during the lockdowns and challenges of the past two years.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha
My year 11 form tutor wrote of me ‘an outgoing girl who is always lively and enjoys company … she is bright and organised and strikes a commendably sensible balance between school work and her other interests’ and here he captured the spirit of my school days. The things I enjoyed the most were those outside the classroom; the trips, the philosophy through film club and the school music productions. These were the experiences that increased my confidence, enhanced my social skills and developed my sense of wellbeing and belonging.
At High Storrs I began the role of the Enrichment Co-ordinator in September as we started the journey from disruption to recovery; disrupted learning, disrupted social lives, disrupted routines, disrupted relationships - this is a journey where it is more important than ever to focus on the wellbeing and belonging of our students. In September our members of staff were keen to get our clubs and groups re-started and we were able to launch our ‘Extra-Curricular Activities’ timetable for 2021-22. From DesignLab to Dance, Board Game Club to Badminton, Film Crew to French Song Group the classrooms were buzzing with students enjoying activities they loved with their friends again. Within a month the British Sign Language Club had grown so large we needed to launch a second group.
In our school homework policy, we express our desire that students enjoy a rich life outside of school, including time with family and friends. For this reason, we advise that students should be signed up to at least one extra-curricular commitment each week from our diverse range of extracurricular activities. The benefits of enrichment activities are many and varied. Engaging the brain in an activity they are enthusiastic about helps our students concentrate and manage their time more effectively, whilst giving them a constructive break from school work. Extracurricular groups also provide an opportunity to expand their social network, improve self-confidence and also broaden their world views. Finally, our students will be developing many skills; goal setting and teamwork, leadership and public speaking, problem solving and analytical thinking - all skills that will contribute to their overall school performance.
Keen to evaluate the provision of enrichment activities, in January we launched a Student Extracurricular Participation Survey to identify the further needs and wants of the students and immediately began to develop and increase our provision, guided by over 900 of our wonderful students. The survey has indicated that the groups and clubs we are running are well loved and well attended, but has also provided us with a list of groups and clubs that our students would like to see introduced and I am excited to announce that before the survey had even closed we had begun plans to launch a trampolining club after February half term. It was also exciting to see the range of enrichment activities our students are engaged in outside of school, sports, performing arts, scouting/girlguiding and some more unexpected activities including circus skills, wood craft and rocketry.
Thank you to all of the parents and carers who enable our youngsters to access opportunities outside of school, even on the days when you feel like a glorified taxi driver, and thank you to all the members of High Storrs Staff without whose hard work we wouldn’t be able to run such a full and varied menu of activities in school.
Mrs. H White
Religion, Ethics and Philosophy Teacher/ Enrichment Co-ordinator/ Stretch and Challenge Co-ordinator/ Vulnerable Groups Team