Enrichment at Blundell’s happens in a variety of ways. Most importantly, our talented and highly qualified staff are skilled at extending pupils in the classroom.
Our small classes ensure staff have time to spend with each individual pupil, understanding and responding to their particular needs. We know that our pupils have different strengths, and we take great care in finding ways to build on these strengths during class time.
We also have a unique, structured enrichment programme that runs through the school.
In Years 7 and 8, our School House pupils take part in our “Roots and Wings” academic enrichment program on Wednesday afternoons. There are a huge variety of activities and learning on offer throughout the year, covering everything from STEM challenges to gardening. Without the constraint of timetabled lessons, the pupils are able to experience a wide range of activities, from Bletchley Park Enigma machines making a visit with knowledge cryptographers, to making BBC News reports to learn about “Fake News”, to hands-on learning with a visiting biologist and various creatures to environmental and social lectures from nationally acclaimed experts. During these sessions, our aim is for all the pupils to find at least one thing each term that absolutely inspires them.
In Years 9-11 our pupils can join our “Phoenix Society”; this is a society for the intellectually curious, and is open to all who are interested in extending themselves. Pupils have a wide variety of different experiences, from visiting Hinkley Point power station to the Houses of Parliament. Here the pupils involved can follow their passion and trips are often organized to fill the needs of a pupil or a group of pupils.
In Years 11-13 our enrichment program runs on a Friday after school where the pupils have a range of compulsory and optional talks. The aim has been to offer a selection of talks every Friday afternoon, delivered by members of staff and/or outside speakers, that challenge, inspire and help to create a well-rounded person. Although some are compulsory, it is expected that pupils seize the opportunities on offer, when there are optional events and try something new. The programme has recently included a presentation on the power of creative industries; an informal talk from OBs on how to cope with the transition from school to university; sessions on Astronomy, How to Learn, and Banking & the City; a talk from Dr Helen Watson on applying for Oxbridge; and visits from environmental businesses and a talk on sustainability. Our Year 13s have had the opportunity to learn some important life skills, with sessions in self-defence, basic cookery skills and what to wear at an interview.
Alongside this we have a regular program of stretching our most able; pupils who have an academic scholarship are invited to evenings where they are cerebrally challenged, as well as scholars’ lunches, where they get to mix with like-minded pupils and have a lecture from an invited expert in a particular field.