The curriculum embraces a range of best practices designed to develop a broad range of skills impacting on the outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda and developing skills for later life.
Pupils’ personal development comes through engaging in activities which set out to encourage independence, adaptability, imagination and curiosity and providing opportunities to contribute positively to their school or local community.
Examples of enrichment
New Bangladeshi Floating Gardens
5I took part in a hands-on challenge to find a solution to a real life problem caused by climate change in Bangladesh. Heavier, longer rainy seasons in this part of the world is having a devastating effect on land where farmers used to be able to grow crops to feed their families but flooding is destroying the crops before they can be harvested.
The pupils were set the challenge of designing and manufacturing a structure that would enable farmers to continue to grow their crops even when the land floods. There were some ingenious solutions to the problem.
Once the design process was finished, each group chose two of their designs and made the structures which were tested in the classroom to see which would be put forward to the final. Cress seeds were planted on the designs to check which would produce the greatest yield of crop. The pond in the school garden was used as our testing area where we simulated flooding to eventually come up with a winner.
Congratulations to Team Titanic (Lewis Beattie, Alannah Brannen, Emma Walker and Isaac McCourt) whose final design floated for the longest and produced the greatest yield of cress.
Emma’s feedback demonstrated how much the pupils enjoyed the activity.
“I have learned that in Bangladesh they have a lot of floods, so they work very hard making mechanisms for their crops so that they can have food. I have also learned to work in a team.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this project to other other classes because it is fun and you can build your own designs.”
Show Racism the Red Card
As part of our Citizenship programme, Year 5 pupils undertook a 3 week anti-Racism project in DLE.
Pupils examined the causes of racism and how it manifests itself in our day to day lives. They looked at ways to prevent it in the future and how to spread the anti-racist word. The highlight of the project was a visit by the SRTRC team – led by ex-professional footballers.
Pupils spent a full day with our visitors in a variety of workshops. Feedback from pupils showed that they learnt some valuable lessons is being more inclusive to all and treating everyone with respect.
Making Winter Warmer
A parent introdued the school earlier on in the year to the Making Winter Warmer charity who provide clothing and goods to the homeless in Newcastle.
The school has held a non-uniform today and provided the charity with a large supply of clothes and toiletries, along with purchasing vouchers for Greggs from money donated on the day.
As part of their DLE curriculum, a Year 5 class has been helping the charity by making toiletry bags and knitting scarves/squares for blankets. New skills were learnt – sewing using a machine and knitting. As an introduction to the topic, pupils gained an appreciation of what it means to be homeless by constructing their own shelters from basic equipment (a cardboard box, 2 plastic bags and a newspaper).
Eight Year 5 pupils have taken part in a cycling challenge organised by Bike4Health. This involved a 6 week training programme to prepare the children for a challenging ride from Morpeth to Simonside, Rothbury.
Each week, the children were taught different cycling techniques such as gear changing, riding in pairs, uphill and downhill cycling, all with a view to getting them ready for the hills which were encountered on the route to Rothbury.
The weather was especially kind to us on our final ride day – hot and sunny (perhaps a little too hot!). Laden down with plenty of water supplies and food to keep us going, we set off at 9am somewhat apprehensive about the challenge ahead. However, we soon got into our stride and had an amazing day.
All of the children who took part in the final ride should be immensely proud of themselves. There were many hills to contend with, and on such a hot day, this was a real challenge. We finally made it to Simonside for a well-earned rest and lunch. The ride home seemed much easier and we cruised into the school drive just after 3.30pm, tired, happy and very proud.
Ellen should be congratulated individually for her decision to use this challenge to raise sponsorship for the Burns Unit at the RVI.
She raised an amazing £215 which she used to buy toys for the waiting room on the ward. She came to this decision herself having spent many hours visiting her sister who was a patient there.
Ellen told me, “There were loads of games and jigsaws with pieces missing. I thought it would be a good idea to try to raise some money to replace them so that other children have fun things to do while they are in hospital.”