Following 18 months of upheaval for the education sector, Christ College Brecon has reshuffled its weekly timetable to include more extra-curricular activity to help with pupils’ physical, spiritual, social and moral development.
Christ College already ensures each year group experiences ‘Adventure Days’ in the nearby Brecon Beacons National Park during the year, but as of the new academic year, the school has been offering its 370 pupils a mix of outdoor adrenaline activities such as mountaineering, climbing, paddle sports and trail running, as well as creative arts including musical production, cookery, action photography, robotics and video game development. The additional options have created a ‘second curriculum Saturday’ leaving weekdays primarily focused on academic lessons.
During the pandemic, Ofsted found that some children have regressed in their reading and writing and many have lost physical fitness. A recent Active Lives Children and Young People Survey found the number of children meeting the government’s guidance of an hour of activity a day dropped by more than 100,000 in the summer of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019 and nearly a third of young people do less than 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Christ College Brecon Deputy Head (Pastoral), Simon Hill, said: “The past year has not been easy for many school-aged children, but we believe that combining academic lessons and a rich extra-curricular programme with plenty of opportunities to experience the outdoors or try a new hobby or skill is a great way to help develop a young person and give them the best start in life.”
The Saturday programme, which has already been introduced to sixth form pupils as part of the school’s Curriculum for Life programme, joins the college’s Spirit Days which invites the whole community, including parents, to watch and enjoy the school teams, matches and performances on Saturdays during the year.
One Lower School pupil said: “Building the robot was great fun, but I really enjoyed the coding. I’ve done some of the coding before, but I’m really interested to see what else I can learn and how to use it.” While another said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how much I progress this term, but I love that I get to try new skills each week. I feel stronger already!” Speaking about music lessons, one pupil commented: “I already play musical instruments, but this club helps me to improve on my techniques as well as play pieces that are not for my exams! It’s really fun to play with other people too.”
A Senior School parent said: “My children are extremely positive about the timetable change as they can now really concentrate on their sport on Saturdays as there is more time available to do it. It is a big thumbs up from this household.”
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