Upper Key Stage 2 visit the Conway Centre, Angelsey, for an outdoor and adventurous residential visit.
Enriching the curriculum is much more than an enjoyable add-on to lessons in school. Rather it is an essential part of any good education. A myriad of activities constitute a rich and varied enrichment programme. Some enrichment activities are optional such as clubs and some instrument tuition, others, like school trips and visits are important for a child to benefit from deeper learning and understanding within a topic or unit of work in class.
Learning outside the classroom and the enrichment provided by a trip out or visitors in make for some of the most memorable learning in school. When children are in year 6 or at High School it is the trips, visits and visitors who so enriched children's learning that they remember and talk about with real passion. Trips, visits an visitors also provide children with 'cultural capital' - attitudes and confidence that prepare them to take their place in the world where they have to compete for places in further and higher education as well as jobs. Trips can change people's lives and one young person recently graduated with a first class honours degree in Sport Science with Outdoor Education, a passion that was first ignited on the Conway residential in year 5. Life changing!
Learning Outside the Classroom Inside School
As well as trips out our school grounds offer an environment rich in biodiversity for children to learn in and enjoy being in nature. A plant diary was developed some years ago by parent Mark Keeble and is a useful starting point for children identifying trees. Areas we share with wildlife include:
- A bog garden, made with help from Whitfield and Brown and designed by children from the Eco-group
- Pond area with dipping platform
- Kitchen garden, designed by parent Nicky Ward, who also gave her free time to complete the project
- Meadows bring a variety of wild flowers and pollinating insects
- Shrub areas with a bird hide (built by Wayne Lyndsey from builder Whitfield and Brown) is a safe haven for birds, foxes and at least one badger, as well as being somewhere for bug hotels which children like to build and refurbish
- A willow garden provides shade from the summer sun
- A butterfly garden (sponsored by Barclays at Gadbrook Park) attracts butterflies and moths, both in decline due to loss of habitat
In addition a large playing field, hard court and all weather pitch provide ample space for active playtimes as well as PE lessons and sports clubs.
Funding LOTC and Enrichment
By law we are only allowed to request parent contributions for events in school and trips out during the school day (with some limited exceptions such as music lessons and overnight stays). Nevertheless, without the support from families we would not be able to offer the trips and visits that bring learning to life and deepen children's achievement. In the current economic climate and with school cuts biting, the sad fact is that, without support from the overwhelming majority of families, trips may become less viable. The voluntary contribution requested is essential for us to provide the enriched education children deserve. The amount requested is determined by the cost for each child and no parent contributions are used to subsidise children who have received a bursary or whose families chosen for their child to participate without making a contribution.
We can offer support to any family in genuine hardship. Our policy for Charging and Lettings (which contains an application form for a bursary) can be found in the Information / Policies and Procedures.
Trips and Visits
Children love learning outside the classroom and we are blessed in living between three great cities: Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. Children have visited the Roman ruins in Chester, listened to the Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra and visited the Walker Art Gallery. They have cycled at the Velodrome in Manchester. We have also enjoyed lots of visits in Cheshire: Delamere Forest, the Marshall's Arm Nature Reserve, Jodrell Bank, Weaver Hall have all enriched children's learning back in school as well as further afield in Llandudno.
Children in years 2 an 5 have residential visits where the children participate in outdoor and adventurous activities that we couldn't provide in school. Activities are led by qualified outdoor education leaders and, as with other trips, the cost is per child for the activities, staff, food and accommodation. No element of the cost is used to subsidize other families.
Visitors to school
Visitors into school can be as enriching and exciting as visits out. The Young Shakespeare Company come every year introducing Upper Key Stage 2 to Shakespeare. The YSC provides excellent actors from London who tour schools with the plays adapted for younger audiences. We are grateful to the KFA who have funded this event, meaning we don't have to ask for a contribution from parents of carers. Children love it and asked when painting The Ambassadors (a large painting about caring for ourselves) that a Shakespeare play be included. The cost is a fraction of what it would be to take children to the theatre, and because it's in school it is more interactive and involves the children more directly. Other visitors to school have included artists in residence, musicians, theatre groups and dancers leading workshops. Humanists UK and the Sir John Deane's LGBT+ group have given talks to the older children. Many visitors rock up in Science Week in the Spring Term and these have included STEM ambassadors, a geneticist, inventors, naturalists, Chester Zoo, Space Lab, Mad Science and even a Planetarium. Rev Rob Iveson leads assemblies on a Christian theme in school once a term.
We charge for most clubs outside the school day, when these are provided by a external provider. External providers bring different expertise and enrich our curriculum offer beyond what our primary school teaching staff can provide. External clubs have included:
- Cheshire Judo who also provide fencing and archery from 8am for aspiring athletes and modern pentathletes
- Digital Wizards who provide a coding club for future computer scientists
- Extratime Sport for the athletes of the future and a fitter adult population
- La Jolie Ronde Club Français for future translators and international negotiators
- STEM club for the next generations of scientists
If your child is interested in learning before or after school and the cost is a problem, we encourage you to apply for a bursary.
Some before and after school enrichment is not charged and provided by school staff. We like to minimise these as teaching staff need to focus on the learning and teaching for all during the school day. These include:
- Art Club for the artists, designers and creators of the future
- Band for budding musicians
- Gardening Club for the horticulturalists the country is currently so short of
It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.
We offer two residential opportunities; both offer outdoor and adventurous activities, those things we just can't do in school. In year 2 children stay for one night at Petty Pool. Every two years, year 5 and 6 decamp to Anglesey for a two night residential.
Working in clay with Artist in Residence Jane Dixon
Sailing on the Menai Straits
Before School, Lunchtime, After School:
- Art and Textiles
- Band and Orchestra
- Crochet and Knitting
- Digital Wizards
- Eco Group
- Extratime Sport
- Games Club at Anderton Place
- La Jolie Ronde Club Français
- Mad Science
- Performances and Musicals
- Tag Rugby
- Year 6 Master Classes - here and at High Schools
School Trips and Residential Visits:
- Anderton Boat Lift
- Cheshire Show - Band and Orchestra
- Chester Zoo
- Conway Centre residential
- Delamere Forest
- International Slavery Museum, Liverpool
- Jodrell Bank
- Lion Salt Works
- Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- PettyPool residential
- Reaseheath Agricultural College
- Marshall's Arm Nature Reserve
- Manchester Museum
- Manchester Velodrome
- Maritime Museum
- Sir John Deane's Sports
- Tate Liverpool
- Walker Art Galley
- Weaver Hall Museum
- World Museum, Liverpool
Enrichment Within the School Year:In the interests of being memorable and significant we don't do all the things listed below every year!
- Action Transport Theatre - Adrift
- Anti Bullying Week - November
- Artists in Residence
- Black History Month - October
- Chester Humanist visit
- Edsential Music Teachers' Concert for Children
- Fair Trade Fortnight - March
- Gypsy Traveller History Month - June
- LGBT History Month - February
- Refugee Week - June
- Gypsy Traveller History Month - June
- Safer Internet Day - February
- Science Week - March
- Young Shakespeare Company