We hold regular Enrichment Weeks and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Days at Beachborough where the normal timetable is replaced by a theme that all subjects focus on. This links up all parts of the curriculum and helps pupils make vital connections between their existing knowledge and new information and experiences.
The Enrichment Weeks encourages them to make sense of the world and develop their capacity for learning by showing them how they can apply skills learnt in one subject to other areas of their education. For example, using the data handling they learn in Maths to develop their knowledge in Geography and the Sciences or employing their experience of rhythm and patterns learnt in Music lessons to the way they move and use their bodies in PE. Strong links like these enhance learning across the curriculum, strengthening pupils’ ability to transfer their skills and appreciate the relevance of their education; transforming them into ‘metacognitive’ learners who can adapt their learning to new situations. Most important of all, these occasions are great fun for everyone involved.
Teachers have the freedom to be more creative and inspire their pupils with imaginative activities and ideas that take them above and beyond the normal curriculum.
The whole school experience at least one Enrichment Week per year where the timetable collapses and the week is dedicated to a theme – recent examples include Harry Potter, Our Intellectual Characteristics, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. During Harry Potter week, Beachborough was transformed into Hogwarts; the school was filled with Hermiones, Rons and Moaning Myrtles brandishing wands and chanting spells. Quidditch replaced hockey, pupils made magic potions in Science, owls were seen flying around the theatre and the Maths department transformed into Diagon Alley. During the Boardman’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream enrichment week, there was a trip to Stratford, children performed the play, and everyone wanted to be Bottom. They dressed up as Elizabethans and explored Shakespeare’s original text and its history – everyone could quote it by the end of the week.
Since the recent opening of our TED Suite (Technology, Engineering and Design Suite) Forms V to VIII each spend a full day working on a STEM project; most recently Form VI designed shadow puppets on the computers, which they produced using the laser cutter and then used the drills and saws to make moving joints. They also discovered how to change light and scale to create their own shadow puppet shows.
Beachborough pupils are encouraged to be creative, adaptable, lifelong learners who are able to take full advantage of changing social and employment situations in the future. Enrichment Weeks and STEM Days are an important element in developing these characteristics.