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Headteacher's Blog Post - Saturday 26th November 2022

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Last month’s blog post described a number of the extra-curricular activities that our pupils are currently enjoying, such as music, reading and eco-activities. The importance of getting involved in activities over and above the curriculum activities can’t be under-estimated, hence our aim at Bishop Vaughan to ensure a varied offering.

Most obviously, extra-curricular activities such as clubs and teams allow those participating to do more of what they enjoy most! Spending time doing things that interest you promotes a sense of fulfilment and enhances wellbeing. In addition, it develops skills – certainly in the activity itself, but often transferable skills too, such as communication, teamwork and concentration. One of the most important benefits of extra-curricular involvement, however, is the social aspect. Attending the activities you enjoy will allow you to meet and make friendships with those similar to you. There will be others in those groups with similar skills and often with similar character traits, such as creativity in our craft clubs, or a strong sense of compassion in our charity-based activities.

That being the case, we are keen to encourage all of our pupils to take up at least one extra-curricular activity from those on offer. Very many pupils in fact participate in many, and it would certainly be possible to attend one every single lunchtime and every day after school for anyone who wished to do so!

Ideally, we would also encourage our key stage four and five pupils (Years 10-13) to attend the Learning Zone at least once a week. Offering free after-school tuition from subject specialists, it allows our pupils to hone skills in subject areas that they find difficult, as well as ensuring computer and printer access and a quiet space to complete homework. Details can be found here.

In addition to Learning Zone, there are numerous further options: Eco Club, countless sports groups, choir, orchestra, the Production Project, Book Club, chess, Crochet Club, lunchtime masterclasses, Art, Latin, Minecraft, the Legion of Mary, Maths, Classics, Alpha, Duke of Edinburgh, Science, bike maintenance, Geography, board games … truly, there is something for everyone! Our pupils are welcome, too, to suggest additional groups to their tutors or teachers.

Famously, Morgan Freeman credits the extra-curricular activities available to him as a teenager with having helped him to settle into school, and much has been written throughout the centuries about the benefits of cultural enrichment. Importantly, however, we can look back to the first benefit outlined in this post: doing more of what we enjoy. This acts as a counterbalance to the hard work our pupils engage in at school. As Pope Francis stated, “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way, people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport …”. Hopefully the extra-curricular prospectus, published here, will suggest some ways that each of our pupils can enjoy activities that balance their ‘work’ with enjoyable leisure activities, alongside members of their school family to whom they can relate well, as each person develops their God-given gifts and talents.

Mrs Pole


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