Why do we place so much importance and emphasis on this extended curriculum? We often talk about ‘educating the whole child’, but what exactly does that mean? Research done by Carl E. Schlesser reveals that students who participate in extra-curricular activities are three times more likely to have better grades compared to those who do not participate. Researchers also discovered that extra-curricular activities allowed pupils to learn life skills that benefit them right through to adulthood, in their professional, social and academic careers. Similarly, these activities will help you to discover more about yourself.
At Springmead we recognise the need to be immersed in a location that stimulates every sense, to feel part of it and to wonder and be amazed by whatever you find.
These rich learning experiences occur every week through our Go Explore programme. Throughout the whole school the children integrate outside learning with different areas of the curriculum making learning meaningful and memorable.
Mark and Lucy Hotson, former parents, are our Bushcraft leaders who work with our Year 6 children throughout the year. They have specialist knowledge within this area and their enthusiasm is inspiring for both children and staff. Mark himself has trained with Ray Mears.
In order to inspire and truly connect children with nature they have devised a programme which combines bushcraft and country lore with the National Curriculum. Over the academic year they work closely with the staff and older children to impart age old traditions, that are rich in exciting learning opportunities.
We are very proud of our swimming programme at Springmead School. Every child from reception to year 6 swims every week. The national requirement, that every child leaves primary school being able to swim 25 metres has always been met at our school, and more often than not exceeded, our school relay team has competed at the National Primary School Championships on several occasions.
Our swimming teachers are all qualified teachers and coaches with specific training and experience in this area of the curriculum.
Springmead School Council is made up of children from Year 1 to Year 6. Views of all children in the main school are sought by our council members at weekly ‘surgeries’ and discussed at half-termly council meetings. Children are elected by their class members and stay on the council for one and half terms.
Names of members of the School Council and dates of meetings are displayed in the school for the children to read. Minutes of the meetings, and decisions made, are fed back to the children through the council members with the support of class teachers.
Sport and physical education is fundamental to the early development of children. The holistic development of children is enhanced through the skills learned during play, physical education and sport. At Springmead, physical education and sport are given high priority from Nursery to Year 6. The children have regular P.E. lessons, both indoors and outdoors, delivered by specialist teachers with a passion for sport.
We believe so strongly in the development of the physical skills that we devote far more curriculum time to the subject than other schools; over three hours curriculum time each week, further supported by many extra-mural clubs and activities.
During P.E. lessons the National Curriculum is followed, covering gym, athletics, dance and swimming. Rugby, football, netball, hockey, cricket, cross-country, rounders and softball feature at various stages of the academic year, both during lessons and through clubs.
In the early years time is devoted to the acquisition of basic skills, the development of fine and gross motor skills and getting children to enjoy physical activities. Once the basic skills are in place, tactics, strategies and rules can be introduced to allow meaningful team games.
At all stages children are encouraged to participate and do their best and enjoy sport, whatever their innate ability. Inter-schools, intra-school matches, galas and Sports Day are chances for every child to participate competitively. See the calendar of events for sports fixtures.
Each child has a hands-on opportunity to experience a wide range of art forms, both in the class and through the many extra-mural opportunities on offer. We regularly invite local artists to work with our children with inspiring results. The children relish these chances to explore their creativity and enjoy seeing their work exhibited around the school with bright and inspiring displays.
Drama plays an important part in school life; at all ages children are given the opportunity to perform in front of the class, in regular class performances and school assemblies and in annual productions within the Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep departments. The children regularly compete in our Inter- house Poetry Competition. We also compete in local poetry and prose competitions including the Mid-Somerset Festival. The children have the opportunity to work with Lou Cox our specialist Speech and Drama teacher who works towards LAMDA exams.
Music is a key part of Springmead School. It is taught in all classes in addition, children have the opportunity to take individual lessons for musical instruments as extra-curricular subjects with visiting teachers. More than half the children at our school play a musical instrument or have individual singing lessons.
From Reception children can join the Pre-Prep Choir and develop further musical skills by joining relevant extra mural clubs. The Prep Choir regularly enter music festivals; winning at the Young Peoples Festival in Salisbury and at the Mid Somerset Festival in Bath. It’s a wonderful experience to be able to compete on these occasions and to be able to immerse ourselves in the musical experience.
In Year 2 children begin to read music and play the ocarina and the recorder.
There are many performing opportunities for young musicians including church services, special assemblies, a yearly music concert and a yearly showcase concert.