Enrichment Opportunities for Every Student
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Enrichment week sees students develop their passion across a wide range of activities
COVID-19 restrictions may have caused Enrichment Week to be toned down slightly this year, but Ivybridge Community College students still made the most of the wide range of activities on offer.
The College’s 2021 Enrichment Week, run between 28 June and 2 July, included a range of options, from onsite entertainment to offsite fun, with the aim of providing an enrichment opportunity for every student.
Years 7, 8 and 9 enjoy onsite excitement
All Year 7, 8 and 9 students were given the opportunity to participate in Sports Day for half a day, plus take part in one other onsite activity. Activities covered a whole range of interests, including workshops for Gymnastics, Circus Skills, Arts and Crafts, Dance, Creative Arts, Music Enterprise and English. In addition, students were offered a cinema experience, a geographical woodland walk or to remain on their Year Group curriculum timetable.
Year 10 offsite opportunities
Year 10 students were offered an even more extensive package, which included offsite trips to Splashdown, Paignton Zoo, Paintballing, Dartmoor and Crealy Adventure Park. There was also the opportunity to further develop their vocational and academic prospects, with a careers day, coursework sessions or to remain on their Year 10 curriculum timetable.
“It’s been a challenging 16 months for all students,” said Helen Reddy, Director of Enrichment, “so we were determined to ensure every child at Ivybridge Community College had the opportunity to do something enjoyable, rewarding or beneficial for their future. It was an opportunity to reflect on recent times, celebrate the strength of spirit and hard work of our students, reward the resilience that has been shown in online activities, and focus on student wellbeing and having fun.”
“COVID-19 restrictions meant that the week had to be pulled together in an extremely short time-frame, so I’m indebted to a wonderful team of staff and support staff from across the College who pulled out all the stops to make this happen. It was a great success and I’m proud of all Ivybridge Community College students who were responsible and great ambassadors for the College.”
Successful sports days demonstrate students’ resilience
Throughout Enrichment Week, the PE Department ran Sports Days for students in Years 7, 8 and 9, with seven Tutor groups at a time arriving at the all-weather astro pitch to take part in track and field events. It served as the first Sports Day at Ivybridge Community College for both Year 7 and Year 8 students, with very high numbers of participation and successful students earning prizes and points.
“It was a great week of athletics, with impressive participation figures, particularly for Year 7 and Year 8,” said Naomi Philpot, Head of PE Department, “Despite being in lockdown for much of the last 16 months, two Year 9 students, Devon and Jamie, set a new College record in the high jump.” Both boys jumped an amazing 1.60 metres.
Students learn traditional Indonesian fabric dyeing technique
Year 9 students were treated to a unique workshop experience, that of learning the traditional Indonesian technique of Batik, a wax-resist dyeing technique that is applied to cloth.
Stacey Goss, Assistant Head of Creative Arts said, “The students made beautiful ocean-themed pieces. Fabric dyes were then used to add vibrant colours to their work. Some stunning outcomes were created from scratch and the students should be very proud of their work.”
Car-building workshop challenges students’ STEM skills
The Wacky Races activity gave students two challenges, starting with a task to make a car using just four wheels, a motor, a battery, two axles, two cogs and some card. Students then raced their cars to see whose was the fastest.
The second Wacky races challenged students to build a car using Lego, fix a fuel cell onto it, and detonate it from a distance. The winning team was the one whose car travelled the furthest.
“It was a wonderful challenge,” said Denise Smith, Director of Science. “Some cars flew into the air immediately, barrel-rolling away from us as they went. The winning team’s car travelled about 15 metres along the ground.”
Hamilton workshops demonstrate students’ creativity
PE and Dance teachers, Natalie Gardiner and Hannah Mattinson, ran a workshop based on the musical Hamilton, and were “blown away” by the enthusiasm and creativity shown by Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 Dancers. Starting with a warm up, taught by Year 12 A Level students on work experience, students were introduced to the movement in Hamilton, taught a selection of material from the musical, and then pieced it all together into a series of short performances.
“It was an action-packed day for the students,” said Hannah, “and the energy in the studio never faltered. After such a positive day, our students are excited for further dance and performance opportunities over the next 12 months.”
The workshop served as a new experience for both groups of students, as Sixth Form students gained valuable work experience and developed their leadership skills, whilst the workshop dancers had an insight into A Level Dance opportunities at Ivybridge Community College.
Eclectic mix of music styles teach students new techniques
In Music, students took part in a variety of music making activities to celebrate Enrichment Week, ranging from learning the art of Japanese Taiko drumming, to playing rock and pop music as bands, including writing their own songs.
Katya Padlyevs’Ka, Head of Music Department said, “It was a wonderful experience and a chance to rejoice through music, as our students immersed themselves into learning new performance techniques. For some, this included learning to play a new instrument, such as a guitar or the drums. It was phenomenal to see students collaborate and rehearse music together, thoroughly enjoying themselves.”
The workshops culminated in a range of live performances at the end of every activity, with the vast majority of students expressing an interest in having similar opportunities more regularly.
One Year 8 student said, “It has been the best day this year and I really want to do GCSE Music now.” The Music Department is now looking forward to organising even more performance opportunities in and out of Music lessons.
Debating workshop focus on world challenges
The Year 8 Debating Workshop asked, ‘Which of the world’s challenges should the UN focus on in the coming years?’ With each student taking on the role of a different country, they engaged in detailed research to consider which issue would benefit them most – reducing poverty, disarming nuclear weapons or providing education for all. They then merged together as a team to deliver their final outcome.
Chris Meikle, teacher of History, said, “The four students who took part were all exceptional in their speeches to one another and listened to each other’s viewpoints very respectfully. It was a very worthwhile workshop.”
Blackout Poetry helps students get creative
The Blackout Poetry English Workshop saw students re-using the lyrics from various songs to create their own material. To add to the creativity, the Year 7 and 9 students dressed up to create characters to inspire their writing. They then presented their work in their own anthologies.
“It was an excellent and inspiring workshop, allowing our students to be creative and explore a range of ideas,” said Tess Watkinson, teacher of English. “A special mention must go to Olivia from Year 7 who not only did all of the main tasks but also created some fantastic Nonsense Poetry of her own creation.”