Bishop Thomas Grant School offers all students the opportunity to develop skills and interests which complement the main programme of study and help them to develop into thoughtful and mature young adults.
Every Wednesday, and in some cases Monday, afternoon the timetable is collapsed in order to allow students to take part in courses chosen from a wide variety of options, which include:
- Police Cadets
- Young Enterprise
- JEDS Driving School
- Additional A-Levels
- Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate
- Model United Nations (MUN)
- Art and Set Design
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
Students applying for Higher Education and employment are able to enhance their personal statements by outlining their involvement in the Enrichment Programme. Information about some of the activities can be found below.
Mentoring is a particularly popular enrichment activity at Bishop Thomas Grant School. After receiving some ongoing training, the mentors are either paired with targeted students from the lower school or with the English, Mathematics, Science or Languages departments. They are then able to provide academic (literacy) and/or pastoral support in regular, one-to-one sessions or within the classroom. Students who are in their second year of mentoring have the opportunity to work with one of our feeder primary schools. On successful completion of both the course and their mentoring the pastoral mentors are given a certificate of introduction to counselling skills.
Students who select sporting enrichment take part in a variety of sports. In the past these have included: boxing, karate, sailing, table tennis, zumba and dance along with the more traditional sports at Bishop Thomas Grant School such as football and basketball. This year we are making good use of the fitness sweet as an added option. Competitively, the boys’ Sixth Form football team play a number of friendlies against local schools and enter the Sixth Form football league with fixtures. Competitive football helps with the overall assessment of the abilities of AS and A2 PE students and therefore reinforces why students studying sporting qualifications might want to select this option. We are looking at school hubs sites for sporting enrichment and National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications for our students to help give them an economic possibility within a sporting environment.
Year 12 Music Enrichment is varied and fun. Over the years this has involved the preparation of songs for school concerts – which have been very successful – or it can also comprise improvisation and the development of the students’ own compositions on a variety of instruments during lesson time.
Another aspect of this enrichment activity involves music mentoring for those who want to help Lower School students during music lessons. Participants are allocated students at times that are mutually convenient during the course of a week.
A further music enrichment option is involvement in the School Orchestra and the Chapel Choir.
This year the focus is playing in a band as well as music production.
The Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) is a uniformed voluntary youth organisation, supported by The Metropolitan Police Service, open to young people aged between 14 and 19 from across London's diverse communities, irrespective of their background or financial circumstances and including those vulnerable to crime or social exclusion.
Bishop Thomas Grant School has over 48 Volunteer Police Cadets who attend each Wednesday night from 7pm to 9.30pm. The cadets, aged 14 to 19 take part in drill, team games, outward-bound activities and various camps. Most just join to have some fun and meet with a great bunch of like-minded youth. Some, but not all, go on to join the Police. Most however, just use the cadets as a fun way to be inspired, do something positive for the community and learn about respect and discipline.
Cadets also volunteer to help with crime prevention events and operations, test purchasing operations, ceremonial events, camps and competitions, and all are encouraged to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award (all parts of the award can be delivered within cadets).
For more information and video please see the link below:
The Young Enterprise Company is an amazing opportunity for students to develop themselves into becoming dynamic, confident and wise entrepreneurs. Over a year, students undertake the following:
- Develop their own product or service
- Market and promote their product or service
- Work together to create their business plan
- Carry out market research
- Manage the company finances
- Take part in local Young Enterprise trade fairs and compete with other schools and colleges in the company of the year competition
- Trade with the public
- Open and use their own company bank account
- Raise real finance by selling shares
Moreover, universities and employers value Young Enterprise greatly, so this is certainly an opportunity not to be missed.
JEDS Driving School
This is a unique opportunity for students to gradually learn, over the course of 15 sessions (both theoretical and practical), the fundamentals of safe driving. Although they do not receive their licence at the end of the course, they will develop a sound knowledge base as to what the test would require and will definitely need fewer paid driving lessons.
Hairdressing is a fantastic life-long skill. Over the course of 15 sessions, students are given an insight into the knowledge and skills that are essential when pursuing this as a career. Getting involved in many hands-on tasks e.g. cutting, highlighting, and blow drying techniques, will give the students a taster of many skills involved. A certificate of proficiency is issued at the end of the course.
Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate
Food Safety and Hygiene in Catering is a professional qualification. It gives students an insight into the world of Catering and Public Health. Over the 10 sessions, students learn how to work safely within a professional kitchen environment and the fundamentals of Public Health rules and regulations. Students who successfully pass the course achieve a professional qualification that can be used to gain employment in the Catering and Hospitality industries.
Model United Nations (MUN)
Imagine you are a diplomat representing a specific country.
Imagine everyone else in the room is representing a different country.
Imagine that you need to reach the best possible solution to a current global issue.
Imagine that you have to accommodate the egos of every country represented in the room before you reach that solution.
Imagine that you need all of them to agree to your resolution.
Model UN is a globally recognised secondary school and university programme which develops public speaking skills, confidence, research skills, sophisticated written communication, a broad knowledge of international relations, deeper understanding of global issues, negotiation, lobbying and diplomacy in a fun, stimulating environment, surrounded by like-minded people.
For more information about MUN please click here.
Art and Set Design
The focus of Art Enrichment varies each year. Sometimes it is focused on set design and therefore working in collaboration with the performing arts. Frequently students are able to explore artistic areas of their choice with some interesting results. This is a great way for budding artists, who haven’t chosen an A level/BTEC route, to enjoy expressing their creativity.
Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh Award demands that students are stretched beyond what is normal to them, with each one having to complete, in their own time, three different activities including: a physical activity, volunteering their time to help others, and learning a new skill. The students throw themselves into these occupations with gusto, taking part in activities as diverse as mentoring, tennis, playing the piano, shooting, running, instructing army cadets, and being the Lambeth Youth Mayor.
At the same time as this, the students also take part in a period of intense training in school, split between team building skills, map-reading skills, first aid training (leading to the St John’s Ambulance first aid test) and preparing for the expeditions by being able to erect a tent and cook and prepare food whilst fundamentally living in a field.
The students (and staff) very much look forward to spending two nights under canvas and practising their navigation on the hills of the South Downs for the practice expedition, before they are then let loose to navigate and fend for them themselves on the qualifying expedition in July of each year.
Duke of Edinburgh is an over-arching qualification. This means that during the Wednesday (or Monday) session students are pursuing one of the other activities as either part of their skill or volunteering module.