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Electives – the first year

Salzburg tourWe introduced our electives programme at the beginning of this academic year, convinced of how important offering a wide range of activities is to ensuring that all students benefit from the sort of curriculum normally reserved for students attending public schools. The activities on offer included skiing, water sports, ice skating, psychology, pottery wheel work, circus skills and Japanese culture; over 90 in total and each lasting around six weeks. In contrast to the rest of the timetable students ‘elect’ which courses they wish to follow, up-to six different ones over the year.

There have been a number of notable achievements as a result of the electives programme; a student taking the judo elective for the first time was talent spotted and is now a full-time member of the club, another took the cycling course and recently completed the 100k cycle race around Melton, we have had students perform at our Christmas concert and in our musical Annie who would never have thought it possible before the electives programme.

We have also asked for feedback from parents, staff and students; of all the changes we have made over the last two years the electives is the one rated as having the most positive impact. It has allowed staff to teach something other than their subject area for which they have a real passion, it has helped staff and students build very positive relationships outside of the academic courses and allowed students to access courses they could only normally do at the end of the College day or at a weekend.

Last Wednesday I was invited to the gallery to hear a reading of original poetry and a song written and performed by students as part of their creative writing elective. It is fair to say that both pieces were of an exceptional high quality. In the theatre, shortly afterwards, I was privileged to be given a preview performance by our performing arts troupe who were rehearsing for their tour of Salzburg. I have uploaded video clips of these performances, which can be accessed below (please forgive the quality of the video, it was recorded on my phone!).

I would welcome feedback on the electives programme, what you like and how you think we could improve it further. The latest programme can be accessed here.

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