Tuesday morning: ‘A walk through’ St Margaret’s CE Academy
With increasing national emphasis on academic pathways and sound linear style GCSE and A level qualifications it would be easy to see the wider aspects of the curriculum taking the side lines. Here at St Margaret’s we are keen to engage pupils with as many extracurricular activities throughout the year.
Even today as our Marketing Manager, took a short wander through the school she caught just some of the activities taking place in our classrooms.
Heading first to the Resources Centre she found two former students, now working as Engineers, talking to a group of Year 9 and 10 pupils about careers in Engineering. Our guest speakers shared their stories with pupils and offered advice on the various pathways into the profession. Students were keen to find out more and posed many enthusiastic questions.
Next was a visit to the dining hall where a school council meeting, chaired by deputy pastoral director Mr Kingston, was in full flow. Council members from each form regularly meet to discuss the issues which are important to them and their fellow pupils. The student voice is a really important part of daily life at SMA, with items brought to the table by our young councillors being treated very seriously. Issues raised in these key meetings often lead to positive changes to school policies and processes, meaning that the student body is able to take control and mould the future of their school.
Across the corridor some of our year 11 maths students were working with the help of their mentees, under the direction of Mr O’Halloran, Head of Mathematics. The mentoring programme has proved a really valuable tool in this year’s initiative to try to help students develop their skills, while working to better their grades. The students were really engaged and obviously valued the opportunity to improve on some of the more difficult aspects of study, ahead of examinations this summer.
Rounding off her short walk round in the Main Hall, the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) team, led by Mr and Mrs Ryding were talking to Year 9. Pupils were enthusiastically sharing their experiences and the benefits which taking part in the scheme has bought to them. The school has a long tradition of success with DofE, across all levels of achievement, and the skills gained in the scheme are invaluable. With a large group enrolled in this year’s cohort, this tradition looks set to continue.
Having just a short walk through the corridors of SMA showcases the importance placed on extracurricular activities, and the value of learning both inside and outside of the classroom. As students head on to the rest of their school day and the usual five lessons, they will hopefully go with plenty of ambition to take forward in another aspect of their young lives too.