At Castle Mead Academy, we believe that all scholars should have access to a wide range of opportunities to grow their skills and desired character traits so that they develop their whole self.

Therefore, all of our scholars are on a unique enrichment journey.

Castle Character Time

At the core of their journey is ‘Castle Character Time’. This is similar to an after-school club but takes place through our extended school day, on Monday and Thursday, to ensure all of our scholars access a broad range of experiences.

Scholars get to pick from a wide range of electives with something for everyone, regardless of prior experience. Scholars’ choices are guided to ensure that disadvantaged scholars in particular have access to enriching and challenging experiences. The elective activities change each term to give scholars a variety of choice and experience. This also provides staff the opportunity to share their skills and expertise from outside of school.

Each elective has three core pillars: mastery, courage and fulfilment. The intent is for all of our scholars to master a new skill, be taken out of their comfort zone and also feel immersed in their elective.

Please click the links below to see our current electives on offer.

Year 7 Elective Choices

Year 8 Elective Choices

Year 9 Elective Choices

Year 10 Elective Choices

Co- Curriculum

Furthermore, our enrichment journey complements our core curriculum through a variety of curriculum enhancing experiences and trips. The goal is to provide all of our scholars with enriching experiences which link directly to their learning in different subjects. Recent examples include historical re-enactments, a theatrical workshop on ‘The Tempest’, and a visit from 6 tropical rainforest animals.

Music Scholarships

Music scholarships are also made available to scholars, who are provided with an instrument of their choice, are given weekly peripatetic music lessons by professional teachers and practise weekly as part of our orchestra. 

CMA Cultural Enrichment Journey

All scholars at Castle Mead will achieve at least one nationally accredited co-curricular qualification during their five years at the academy, e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Award, CREST Award, National Maths Challenge, National Enterprise Project or a grade in a musical instrument, and many enrichment opportunities.

We are currently in the process of mapping the range of experiences all of our scholars should have access to by the time they reach the end of KS4.

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The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is obtainable at Castle Mead Academy.

During their time at Castle Mead Academy, scholars can undertake the Bronze award in Year 9 and the Silver award in Year 10.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a life-changing adventure that will not only add to the CVs and university applications of those scholars involved, but also allows them to build on their teamwork skills, survival skills, and allows them to learn new skills they would otherwise have not experienced.

The award consists of four sections that must be completed in order to achieve the award.

  • Volunteering: scholars undertake service to individuals or the community.
  • Physical: scholars aim to improve in an area of sport, dance or fitness.
  • Skills: scholars develop practical and social skills and personal interests
  • Expedition: scholars plan and train for the completion of an adventurous journey in the UK countryside.

Below is a breakdown of the time commitments to each award on offer at Castle Mead Academy;

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Approved activity provider

At Castle Mead Academy we use an approved activity provider (AAP) to assist in our expeditions. COG Youth Services organise our expeditions and provide training sessions to get our scholars prepared for their expedition. COG also provide qualified experienced staff to assist with the expeditions who are fully first aid trained.

At Castle Mead we believe that it is important to undertake a practice expedition before the assessed expedition. We feel that the practice is an important learning experience for the majority of the scholars as they can make mistakes and learn from them, under the guidance of trained adult leaders.

Castle Mead Academy, alongside COG, provide expedition equipment so our scholars can access the expeditions. Some of the equipment is listed below;

  • Tent
  • Maps
  • Rucksacks
  • Sleeping bags
  • Roll mats

So why should you do your DofE? 


It’s hard to list all the benefits of achieving your Bronze or Silver Award, so here’s a quick snapshot. You will…

  • Have lots of fun
  • Get healthier and happier
  • Meet incredible people and make lasting friendships
  • Have amazing new experiences
  • Find talents and passions you didn’t know you had
  • Gain skills that employers value, which you can use on your CV
  • Become more confident and independent
  • Stand out from the crowd in college, university and job applications
  • Make memories that will last a lifetime.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is recognition of a young person’s successful journey of self-discovery and development, renowned by employers and universities alike for the qualities young people have who’ve achieved a D of E Award.

Its balanced programme develops the whole person – mind, body and soul, in an environment of social interaction and team working.

There are three progressive levels of D of E programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

In order to achieve the Award participants need to complete a programme of activities in four sections that involve helping the community/environment (volunteering), becoming fitter (physical), developing new skills (skills), planning, training for and completing 2 expeditions.

With the help of DofE Leaders, participants select their own programme of activities and set themselves objectives. It’s not a competition or about being first. It’s all about self-development.

In order to achieve the Bronze Award students must attend all of the training sessions, plan and prepare for a practice expedition and complete an assessed expedition.

If you would like further information about the D of E Award please click here to go to the D of E website: http://www.dofe.org

As part of the Castle Credo, our pupils are encouraged to ‘Be Kind’. This includes being kind to their peers, but also to others outside of school through our nominated charities each year. We allow our whole school community (scholars, staff and parents) to be led by our Charity Society in deciding which charities we are going to support, and then scholars have opportunities to fundraise for these charities throughout the year. We will soon be deciding upon our charities for the 2022/23 academic year.

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