At St George’s we take preparing our pupils for the future seriously and try to promote independence, self esteem and team work as fundamental skills to creating a positive member of the community. We do this by:
From their earliest days with us, pupils grow to feel confident speaking and performing in front varying audiences beginning from their small, non-threatening class groups, to involving themselves in our lively interactive whole school assemblies, to larger audiences of parents and friends and then to outside audiences as in the Bedfordshire Festival of Dramatic Arts. Some of the specific activities which help build children’s confidence are:
- English Speaking Board pupils have weekly classes after school and take external examinations annually and achieve remarkably high levels.
- Pupils run their own clubs and each week representatives of the clubs make presentations in assembly regarding their work.
- Bedfordshire Festival of Music and Dramatic Arts – A number of children participate in the Poetry Reading and Sight Reading Class every year. We have great success for the last several years.
- Choir presentations in and around Dunstable – the choir is invited to numerous events around Dunstable including the large NSPCC concert at Christmas.
- Arts evening – all children in the school present a variety of drama, prose, poetry and music to an audience of parents and other guests.
- Christmas Play – all children participate in a large production, generally in the form of a music play, again to an audience of parents and guests.
- All children from Reception have a week creative arts afternoon (dance and drama).
We benefit from working within a highly supportive, close working team within the school, thus the children are led by example when learning to work effectively as a team. We have worked hard to foster a caring, nurturing environment and as such all children happily forge relationships across the range of ages whilst working and playing together and also during more formal activities such as games, drama, charity events, Sports’ Day, etc.
We hold regular activities both curricular and extra-curricular where pupils work in teams learning to lead, take responsibility, respect each others skills and opinions. children work in mixed age-group teams on games and exercises and tasks. During our Life Skills afternoon, pupils work in mixed groups to develop Forest School, Gardening, Design Technology and Food Technology skills. Each year we host a day trip to Ashridge Park as part of our Forest School, here pupils work in mixed teams in a den-building competition and take part in other activities. Also, our residential ‘camp’ for Key Stage 2 is a superb team building opportunity and we watch our pupils literally blossom and flourish over the course of the ‘camp’.
At St George’s we encourage greater independence from our pupils. We aim to achieve this in school by:
- Encouraging the children to challenge themselves – in each class is a ‘Chilli Challenge’ area.
- Older pupils are given roles and responsibilities such as Head Boy, Head Girl, and House Captains.
- Older pupils plan and lead their own clubs based on their own skills and interests. They will then feedback to the other pupils in assembly.
- We provide opportunities within certain lessons for the pupils to make their own choices and follow them through as part of their learning journey.
- In Key Stage 2 we have Team Leaders in Games which make team selection and tactical decisions during matches.
- Explore their own ideas during more creative sessions such as Dance, Art, Drama, Forest School and Design Technology.
Involvement in the wider community
Alongside or work in school we try to get involved in the wider community when the opportunity presents itself. Here are some of the ways we achieve this:
- Harvest Festival – children bring in gifts that are gathered together and after a Harvest service are given to the Dunstable Foodbank.
- NSPCC Concert – the choir sing at this festival every Christmas to raise money for the NSPCC.
- Children in Need – all children participate in money raising activities.
- Red Nose Day – all children participate in money raising activities.
- Over 75’s Salvation Army group – pupils visit this group and talk to the pensioners. Sometimes they present songs and poetry as well.
- Friars lodge is a local care home – the children visit and talk to the ‘old folk’.
- Toy sales and other charity events – children find different ways to raise money for charities.
- Library Reading Challenge – a representative from the library visits the school to introduce a reading challenge over the Summer holiday. A high number of children take up this challenge.
- Asda and other local shop visits – children visit local stores in line with their healthy eating classes or as part of numeracy activities.
- Basic First Aid Course – children learn to be aware of the wellbeing of others.