In Key Stage Four we offer our students the opportunity to try out a wide variety of activities which are carefully chosen to allow them to experience a full range of social practical creative and challenging classes.
Classes take place for one hour a fortnight and each year students select from an extensive list which is tailor made to enrich, enhance and develop student experience at Upton court Grammar School. What makes this so exciting is that this presents staff with an opportunity to share their skills and passions with students, and through a carefully structured programme the aim is for all involved to be truly enriched by the experience. Although most of the activities do not link directly to academic qualifications some do lead to certificates and awards, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme or the Saint John’s Ambulance first aid certificates.
The list of topics we offer is quite extensive, and while the classes below represent those on offer in 2013 the future holds nothing but infinite possibility - I know that one of the things I have heard regularly from parents, and older siblings over the last two years is, ‘I wish we had that when I was at school’ and that is definitely the case within school when form tutors see the list their tutees have to pick from. We are proud of the variety we offer, so read on and consider how many of these things you would enjoy doing yourself.
Enrichment and cross curricular Co-ordinator.
We have thriving groups in both year 9 and 10 which work toward the popular and well respected award scheme. We are independent licence holders and offer the full range of training, we currently use and expert expedition provider which ensure top quality training and safety for all our young people as they explore their limits in the great outdoors! More information can be found here.
For all the budding entrepreneurs in the school, our extremely experienced business department runs this enrichment activities which explores the world of business finance and enterprise in a way which is fun and encourages teamwork – based on the popular ‘grow my £10’ principle, classes work throughout the year to develop their own enterprise ideas to fundraise responsibly with an end goal in sight – treats for the group vary widely, but democracy rules and the course grows in popularity each year.
From street dance to Bollywood and from strictly come dance to contemporary shadow performances dance has never been so popular. Here at Upton court grammar we are proud to be able to offer Dance as an enrichment topic. Unlike GCSE, where students need some skill, it really doesn’t matter if they have no experience; all that is needed is enthusiasm, energy and a pair of leg-warmers!
For the last two years our film and journalism group has participated in the BBC schools report, a day where BBC news turns it’s broadcasts over to schools around the country. A lot of fun has been had and the group spend a whole day touring the school reporting on current affairs and events that affect us and the students here. They compose, film and edit their broadcast before submitting it to the BBC. It’s a really worthwhile experience that many enjoy. Of course that’s one day – and prior to that they group learn about their equipment and the software used to power it, they learn about scripting and all the media skills needed for a successful broadcast. it’s hard work but fun.
Upton Court Grammar School is proud of its successes in debating and public speaking competitions. This is an opportunity for students in years nine and ten to be part of that success and develop these skills – with sessions working on their ability to debate, argue and think on their feet as well as the formal mace debate skills that have been the core of high quality education since the early 1500’s. These are not the uproarous debates students might have previously experienced, but structured debating in the style held in Universities, Parliament and law courts. Competitions previously entered have seen our students compete against Eton and Wellington College, with excellent results.
The Musical Futures enrichment offers students a unique opportunity to become self- taught musicians. In Musical Futures students take full control of their own musical learning, the results are always very exciting and the students are very proud of what they achieve. The fundamental idea behind Musical Futures is to learn how music works through the eyes of an everyday musician, composer, singer/songwriter; learning while you play. The programme grows in popularity year on year with groups performing in open mic events at lunchtimes, gaining in confidence and raising money for worth causes at the same time.
Alongside Musical Futures our musical technology course offers those interested in the physics of sound a more technological approach to exploring their creativity. Students learn how to use sophisticated studio software and different recording techniques with a variety of recording devices; exploring how output is influenced by the physics of sound. Students will have an opportunity to put some of these skills to use in productions and events during the year and work alongside the Drama and art department and lots of exciting projects.
Many students are already quite computer literate and this enrichment course aims to teach them how to manage their web literacy in a safe and productive manner. Initially learning about trustworthy websites Students move on to learn how to use use Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML), as they project manage and develop their own website using Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop to create a professional grade final product.
The Horrible Histories is an interesting and engaging look at topics in History that are not covered at GCSE. The first part of the course will be a Jack the Ripper enquiry. Looking at the victims of these awful murders and the possible suspects the group will move on to consider the broader issues surrounding Law and order at the time. The second part of the course will focus on the Horrible Histories show itself. Our Year Nine students are looking forward to writing songs and making films and sketches about all sorts of grisly and gruesome topics.
This Enrichment topic is designed to take the elements of performance arts skills that help Students to build confidence and make them useful in other situations. Whether it is finding your strength of voice to give a presentation in lessons or speaking confidently at interviews, developing your own self-belief is really significant to your success as you move on toward higher education.
Using all those drama games and activities that students loved in Key Stage Three (and lots of new ones too) students who take this course can look forward to having fun and learning that self-confidence is the route to success in whatever you choose to do.
At Upton Court Grammar School, we have many talented singers, however, not everyone has had the opportunity to have formal singing training and learn important vocal techniques to improve their performance.
Being a good singer does not just happen over-night – it requires dedicated practice and an understanding and knowledge of how to get the best out of your voice. This course offers students the opportunity to explore their voice via coaching, group work and choral sessions, learning useful techniques in order to improve, and grow the confidence to perform in public and to any audience.
Not the dessert, but rather a small computer that’s been on the market for just over a year. A Raspberry Pi is about the size of a credit card – and it’s green, not red, as you might expect from its name. It actually looks like a small circuit board.
During this enrichment course students will learn the basics of Python programming language, using this knowledge to program a Raspberry Pi which can be connected to other devices such as cameras or iPhones.
Specifically focused on how sports people can develop mental strategies to excel beyond their goals. On this Enrichment course students will consider, debate and come to understand the strategies behind a variety of examples: from the England football team’s inability to take penalties, to tips from Rugby World Cup winning captain, Francois Pienaar, and world marathon record holder, Paula Radcliffe. Designed for those with a keen interest, rather than those with ability, this course is for anyone who wants to discuss, dissect and recognise the issues surrounding sporting success and the psychological mind-set that achieves it.
This enrichment opportunity will delve into the stories, characters and creation of the world of comics, graphic novels and films.
The goal is to create your own comic book using the theory and skills you develop in these enrichment sessions. It is an opportunity to develop ideas in a creative environment with like-minded people and produce, share and create alongside others – ending up with something to be truly proud of.
A career in medicine can be very rewarding, but getting into medical school is a challenge in itself. These sessions are designed to allow students to gain a clearer understanding about what it means to be a medical professional, and what you might expect from a typical day as a doctor.
Year Eleven students will learn more about the multitude of career paths available, the various challenges and the training they could expect to undertake. They will have a chance to talk with doctors and medical students to find out what it is really like. Our students will also learn more about what they can start doing now to prepare for a future in medicine.
This course gives students a practical introduction to national and global economics, and to how businesses operate. They will be given time to explore the world of Business and Economics and to try out some activities for example: ‘mock’ running the economy for a day; making virtual money on the stock market; testing their immunity to advertising and so on. This course also allows students with ambitions to enter the world of business and economics to try the subject and experience the skills and topics typical of courses at a higher level of study prior to making choices at Key Stage 5.
This course will combine the basics of photography with student’s imagination to create a selection of high quality photographs; students have the opportunity to try SLR and Digital technology as well as exploring the exciting things that a simple phone camera can do when you know how. As well as learning about the chemistry and development processing side of photography the group learns at what makes a good shot; including lighting and what all of those funny numbers on the side of the lens mean. Students learn how to frame an image, digital editing using different software, both MAC and Windows, and our visiting tutors explain about the different styles of photography. Students take a range of photographs as over the year and as their knowledge and skills develop. All the work develops into a portfolio of images, the best of which are shown in an exhibition of at the end of the year.