On Thursday 23 November, all pupils in school participated in our second ‘Extended Learning Day’ of the academic year.
A literacy day was the focus of learning for Year 7 that encompassed English and music. Pupils gathered in the hall to hear from children’s whodunnit author, Chris Martin, reading excerpts from his latest book ‘Inky Stevens- The Case of the Abominable Snowball’. Pupils used their questioning and comprehension skills to gather evidence and discover who committed the crime, and also had the opportunity to develop their dramatic reading skills. Another session gave pupils the opportunity to write and perform their own rap, looking at fluency of reading, finding the pulse and rapping to the beat. To promote reading for pleasure, pupils had the chance to borrow and read a book of their choice from the library and browse the book fair.
All pupils in years 8-11 spent time visiting a careers fair in the sports hall, finding out information to help them plan their own futures from local employers, FE and HE establishments.
Year 8 pupils enjoyed a day of business and marketing activities, incorporating languages, design technology, mathematics, business studies and computer science. Pupils worked in their form groups on their ‘business’ idea, a breakfast cereal brand. They made a marketing strategy, looked at the four p’s- product, price, place and promotion. They designed their own cereal boxes, incorporated their slogans, decided how they would like to promote their product, and explored business finance. Pupils enriched their business and marketing knowledge, and built valuable skills for their future.
Pupils in Year 9 took part in a day centred around the motion: Drugs and alcohol can never be consumed safely. They took part in 3 morning sessions: preparing to debate, theatre in education and listening to a speaker from The Amy Winehouse Foundation. During the 3 morning sessions, pupils were able to use their performance skills in drama to act out a moment from the play: I Love You Mum, I Promise I Won’t Die, which tells the true story of a young boy who sadly died because of drug misuse. The Amy Winehouse Foundation session allowed pupils to listen to a firsthand account of someone’s experiences with substance abuse.
They also took part in a preparing to debate session where pupils undertook relevant research and learnt debating protocol. This gave them an opportunity to collate as much evidence for their viewpoints on issues around drugs and alcohol. The knowledge that they acquired from these sessions aided the preparation for their form debate proposals. Impressively, during the afternoon each form presented their proposals in front of the entire year group and they had the option to offer their rebuttals in response. This was a brilliant way to argue constructively their viewpoints, which they did eloquently and maturely. The winning form in the debate was 9O, followed by 9U in second and 9S in third. A strong performance by Arrowsmith house! Finally, the day ended with a live recording of the play I Love You Mum, I Promise I Won’t Die.
Year 10 pupils took part in a science day with practical lessons and a session oriented to improving their maths skills for the science GCSE. The various practical sessions included making copper sulphate salt, osmosis required practical and reacting acid and alkali using the titration method. The maths session was useful in gaining an understanding of the formulae used in science and familiarising themselves with the equations sheet. Another activity looked at bridges, as pupils were tasked with creating a model of a new bridge to replace the new tram bridge in Preston. The bridge needed to carry the most weight using the least mass. Pupils also gained understanding of how colour is perceived and experimentally showed this using LEDs.
Finally, Year 11 pupils took part in a ‘Careers Workshop’ combining three career focused events that included a careers fair; how to developing key skills and mock interviews. The full day’s learning itself was designed to raise awareness of future career options and for pupils to become more aware of the skills and knowledge needed to enter the future world of work. The day’s learning had fifteen local employers, FE and HE establishments attend the event, all potentially looking for students and employees of the future.
Pupils participated in two ‘Future U’ workshops that focused on CV and cover letter writing and revision skills and growth mindset. They also had time to work with the chaplaincy team looking at marriage as a vocation. Finally, all pupils were in receipt of a fantastic opportunity to meet with employers at the end of the day for mock interviews where they were given feedback on performance and guidance on how to improve for future interviews.
Thank you to all staff and visitors for their hard work and support in ensuring our pupils enjoy these broader experiences, and to all pupils for their commitment and enthusiasm.