Enrichment and the co-curriculum is a key part of the fabric of Castle Mead Academy. The aim is for the opportunities afforded to our scholars to be as good as that of any type of school in the country. We will be growing our scholars’ skills and desired character traits, so as they develop their whole self.
Our extended school day allows us to deliver our enrichment curriculum for all scholars, through our ‘Castle Character Time’.
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. A ‘passport’ is developed to record pupil achievements, to encourage them to participate in a wide range of activities and to set personal goals. This will then support scholars in the future when they apply for sixth form and university.
The Castle Character Time offer is wide-ranging, with something for everyone, regardless of prior experience. Music scholarships are available for scholars, who in turn form the Castle Mead orchestra and choir. Curriculum enhancement societies complement the core curriculum well, as do local trips and trips abroad. Sports teams run in each year group, with scholars having opportunities to try new sports and represent the academy in fixtures.
Castle Character time is delivered twice a week at KS3. These electives happen on a Monday and Thursday from 3.00-3.40pm. Scholars’ choices are guided to ensure that disadvantaged scholars in particular access enriching and challenging experiences. At the end of each term calendared ‘Field Days’ allow greater activities to take place, including trips, expeditions and activities which need more time.
Current Castle Character Time electives include: Basketball, Board Games Society, Castle Choir, Chess Society, Creative Society, Drama Society, Law Society, Lego Society, Mandarin Society, Mindfulness Society, Netball, Mad Science, Pi Society, Reading Ambassadors, School Newspaper Society.
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 le 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 2020/21 academic year.