Year 11 and Sixth Form students spend one afternoon a fortnight doing enrichment activities, as part of their compulsory curriculum.
The aim is to provide something different to the experience of normal classroom lessons, enabling students to:
- Have opportunities for leadership
- Develop new interests
- Learn new life skills
- Challenge themselves
Year 11 and Lower Sixth enrichment focuses on co-curriculum and ‘self-enrichment’, with practical courses and activities, academic non-examined courses, and also some subjects which are available on the curriculum but which pupils do not study as examined courses, and would not otherwise have time to do. Options include securing a qualification in coaching and refereeing basketball, then running Perse clubs and matches; first aid; history of art; journalism; photography; TEFL; and young entrepreneurs – there is even an opportunity to learn to fly with our Aero Club!
Upper Sixth students all undertake community service, with almost all working with pensioners or with primary school pupils through our primary schools partnership.
We believe that we have the responsibility to play a full part in the life of the local community, and that such active participation is of equal benefit to us and to our partners. Through these links our pupils learn the importance of selfless service, develop a sense of social responsibility and acquire interpersonal skills.
Two groups work with the more elderly. One group runs a six week ‘Digitstart’ course for older people wanting to learn how to use the latest technology, from Skype to online shopping. Another works with Dementia Compass to run an intergenerational choir including community members with dementia and their families.
Each fortnight Perse staff and students can be found working with teachers and pupils in one of 17 local primary schools with which we have a partnership. Each primary school specifies the kind of support they would like – from one-to-one maths sessions to stretch their brightest young mathematicians and coding workshops, to helping children for whom English is a second language, teaching French or running a Latin club.
We run a mentoring programme with Colville and King’s Hedges primary schools, the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The aim of the eight-week course is to raise primary pupils’ aspirations, develop skills and enhance their confidence. Created with art history education organisation The Bigger Picture, the programme uses history and art history to spark pupils’ curiosity, with sessions also hosted by King’s College and Gonville and Caius College. Working closely with Education Officers at the museums, Perse students run fun workshops with the Year 5 and 6 pupils, using masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Laocoon to encourage pupils to think and speak analytically. The year’s sessions culminate in the primary school pupils producing a presentation and delivering it to their peers in an assembly at their school, alongside their Perse student mentors.