Each day of the week, slots after lessons include activities such as art, photography, robotics, cookery, card making /crafts, netball, rounders, media studies, gardening, bird watching, walking, instrumental lessons, music technology, school band, dance, outdoor pursuits, films, trampolining, basketball, horseriding, board games, debating society, jewellery making, nature club, Lego club, athletics, cross country, outdoor learning, First Aid, Reading, Gifted & Talented, Newspaper, Sudoku…..
At the weekends during Saturday afternoons and Sundays, students put forward ideas and work with the Duty staff on organising sessions in school and outside of school.
Yeovil Town FC and Taunton Cricket Club often host Home games which are always popular with a contingent of the student population. Similarly martial arts and dance are something we source locally for students to experience. The West Country has a lot to offer, and our staff team are dedicated to ensuring that we utilise local resources and expertise to the students’ advantage.
The choice is flexible and new activities are arranged in response to student voice.
“In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows” –Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Our students thrive by getting out there and doing things. It helps them to learn and to remember. We aim to bring the outdoors in and get the indoors out. Learning by doing at it’s finest. Nature has so much to offer and cross curricular themes can lend themselves to expression via outdoor activities. We are developing an Outdoor Learning curriculum that formalises what we already do and focuses on what more we can provide to strengthen it.
“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration” –Claude Monet
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Shapwick students are encouraged to complete the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, throughout Years 9 -11. We are looking at extending this to Gold across Years 12 - 14.
To gain the Award pupils must complete four sections, involving an expedition, a physical activity, a skill and voluntary service in the community.
The qualifying expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is usually on the Mendip Hills, camping overnight at Longbottom Farm. The pupils begin at Bleadon Hill, in groups of between 4 and 6, navigating their way to Priddy via Shipham, Velvet Bottom, Black Rock, Bradley Cross and Draycott. The purpose of the expedition is to look at footpath erosion along the route. This expedition follow training sessions and a practice camp on Exmoor.
For the volunteering section of the award the students study how the Police in Somerset carry out their work in the community. The course is organised by Bridgwater Police Station and include many busy practical evenings from the scenes of crime officers, the riot squad, the firearms officers, the dog handling department and the Courts. The students visit Taunton Magistrates Court where they are given an excellent tour and talk culminating in seeing a court case first hand. They also visit Bridgwater Police station where they are able to experience one of their peer group being ‘arrested’ and taken through the procedures in the custody suite. The various cars and vans used by the Police are fun to sit in and learn about.
In addition to the Expedition and Volunteering sections of the award all participants have to complete a physical activity of their choice and a skill that is non physical outside of normal lesson times. Pupils tend to use the after-school activity time to complete this half of the award. Typical physical activities include outdoor pursuits, rugby, football, table tennis, swimming, kayaking, netball, cricket, walking for fun, horse riding, judo, basketball and triathlon and the skills are: piano, guitar, gardening, card making, mahjong, wildlife walks, drums and lego club.
Many Shapwick pupils continue the award in their post 16 education with a view to reaching gold as it is open to all until the age of 25 years.
Outdoor Pursuits is provided as an option to Key Stage 4 students who choose it as an option given within Core PE.
Each term a schedule is created from the following activities.
• Climbing (Outdoor rock & Indoor wall climbing)*
• Low & High ropes courses
• Hill walking & Scrambling on Quantock and Mendip
• Mendip Caving
• Dry slope skiing
*Students participate in the NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Assessment Scheme) offered through the British Mountaineering Council. The Bristol Climbing Centre is a validated venue and the teacher in charge conducts assessment at each level.
The aim of the Outdoor Pursuits course is to provide qualifications and experience essential for students who wish to progress into college, university or workplace furthering a career in Outdoor Pursuits or Education. Alternatively, the activities may be continued purely for recreational and social purposes and the skills and experience allow the students to continue in the Further Education College Climbing Club.