The Grange School Curriculum Enhancing Summer Workshops (St Elphin's (Fairfield) CofE Voluntary Aided Primary School, Warrington)
Late in the Summer Term the school holds a variety of eight curriculum enhancing workshops for approximately 250 Year 4-6 children from a number of neighbouring primary schools. Mr Robin Latham, Outreach Coordinator at The Grange School explains "Our summer workshops provide a range of fantastic educational opportunities: from Drama to Physics and Art to Sport, for children to do things they wouldn't get to do at their primary schools. Why do we do it? It's in our DNA at The Grange; we understand that education goes well beyond just teaching the children who come to this school every day".
The workshops incorporate a wide range of subjects, the ICT department allows for participants to have the opportunity to look at the thinking skills required by programmers, carry out problem solving tasks and, by the end of the session, begin writing their own programs.
To represent the science element of the curriculum we hold a Physics workshop focusing on the Electric Circuits and Sensors; Stability and Balancing; Electromagnets; Light and Colour; and Vibrations and Sound. Participants rotate around the five different activities with each activity guided by Grange Sixth Form students.
Other workshops include Drama and Music. During the Drama workshop the participants are encouraged to take part in a practical workshop in the school’s custom built theatre culminating in a performance of the work created with stage lighting, sound and special effects. The performance is then recorded and shown in the theatre with all children being given a disk of their performance as a souvenir. For the past two years the theme of the project has been "Beauty and the Beast". Alfie, from visiting school St Elphin’s commented, “My favourite part was the theatre with all of the lights and the fog – it was very exciting”. The Music workshop teaches the children songs from the musical Jonah Man Jazz and end the morning with a stunning performance. The session is enriched by the presence of a drummer and a selection of choir members from our Sixth Form.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department provide an “experience day” based on the language and country in focus. This includes language games, food and dressing up inspired by the culture of the country.
In order to ensure that no school is excluded on financial or geographical grounds The Grange provides transport for all that require it. Schools come from across the locality, including St Wildfred’s Primary, Lostock Gralam Primary, St Elphin’s Primary, Hartford Manor Primary and Sandiway Primary.
Visiting pupil Grace from St Elphin’s C.E. Primary School praised the workshops and commented “The staff and Sixth Form students were all so kind, friendly, encouraging and caring”.
Participating primaries are routinely effusive in their praise of the work done by our staff and the Sixth Formers who assist them.
The Outdoor Education workshop and Physical Education workshop include the visiting children partaking in a session on the school’s own low ropes course and a number of team building activities. There is also an off-site orienteering activity. These sessions are led by the Grange’s Head of Outdoor Education, Mrs Barbara Broderick with participants benefiting from her extensive experience. The Physical Education workshop involves participants being split into groups and moving around four activities during the course of the day. They are given coaching in the four activities from the school’s teachers and are supported by Sixth Form students. The activities are: Hockey, Rugby, Alaskan Football Rounders, and Low Ropes.