We believe that enrichment through educational trips and visits and extra-curricular activities are valuable and are to be encouraged. Such activities can develop social skills,
team-work, independence and an appreciation of the environment. They can provide deep learning experiences. They add fun, excitement and life‐long memories that greatly enrich the curriculum.
Five whole-school enrichment days per year provide opportunities for trips and visits in a structure which does not disrupt other school learning. They provide opportunities too for other social and cultural experiences and for immersive, deep learning.
There are well over 100 trips and visits that take place and over 40 different clubs and enrichment activities that run each year. Some examples of these can be found under the following faculty and whole-school headings below.
Many extra curricular activities and trips and visits take place which do not fit under any specific faculty heading. Some of these include a Kidzania trip for all of year 7, raising aspiration trips to Oxford and Cambridge, an annual ski trip, Duke of Edinburgh and World Challenge (2018, to Swaziland).
One of our whole-school enrichment days is fully personalised, with around 30 different activities offered to students from which they have free choice in selecting what to do. Popular choices included paintballing, karting, rock climbing, fishing, a food tour, boxing, baking, sport, dance, and zoo trips.
The BMS supra-curriculum is a selection of quality reading materials at a level above what is usually studied at secondary schools and sixth form around which students can choose to engage in a range of activities. This provision is designed to extend student literacy and to develop their skills; for example, by pushing themselves to comprehend new information, getting to grips with different concepts, and by challenging assumptions they hold.
A supra-curricular activity might be as simple as reading an article or book on a higher education/career field that the student is interested in or following subject related media stories. Such activities give students the opportunity to think about what kind of area of study/work they might want to look into. This provision provides ideal preparation for university, especially if applying to Russel Group Universities or Oxbridge, and the world of work as well as deepening and extending student knowledge as these activities are an ideal way of showing how interested they are in relevant areas to prospective tutors and employers in university applications and job interviews.
The supra-curricular builds student confidence as it enables them to develop and explore their thinking around subjects of interest as well as to reflect on and articulate findings in order to make connections with existing knowledge.
The process of engaging with the supra-curriculum at BMS is simple:
- Identify subjects you want to know more about
- Look at what resources you have available to you
- Decide which resource is the most relevant/of interest to you at this time
- Start reading
- Write a summary paragraph to help ingrain your developing knowledge.
Reading reviews underpin our school reading scheme during the early years, with a big trip to the Harry Potter Studios awaiting those having shown most effort. Visits from authors are also popular, with prolific children’s author, Sue Hampton, lighting fires in student imaginations during three separate activity days last year.
Theatre visits are arranged for the older students, to support their literature studies. And many older students benefit from an additional creative writing course.
The humanities faculty offer a great many trips and visits, both for option subjects and for whole-school experiences. These include field trips to St Albans and to Brighton for all students in a year group, a poignant Flanders Trenches trip and a residential Poland Concentration Camp trip. In Year 10 all students visit, as part of our RS education programme, centres of worship from different religions.
Geography A level and GCSE students further benefit from specialist field trips relating to their examination courses.
A history club, focused on the production of a periodical of historical stories, gives students the chance to further their interests in any particular period of time.
Students from years 7 & 8 show tremendous enthusiasm from the competitive ‘Mathletics’ challenge weeks, in which they compete with students across the globe on timed mental arithmetic. Later in their school careers, the UK Maths Challenge awards provide further competitive excitement.
Whole-school enrichment days give students the opportunity for immersion in engaging maths challenges for the whole day.
In Year 8 students benefit from the chance to visit, for a whole residential week, Spain or France. Further language residentials are also arranged for senior students. On whole-school enrichment days students have visited French and Spanish schools in London too and arranged a whole day immersed in the target language and culture.
Students at Bushey Meads benefit from a burgeoning club and fixture programme for all major sports. An updated full weekly programme is published on the website. Additionally, a health and fitness week is built into the school’s annual programme of events – all students take part in a cross-country day, all students engage with a range of fitness testing and benefit form the chance to take part in a special healthy-eating Masterchef competition.
Those studying for GCSE or A level in PE (or equivalent) take part in specialised trips and visits which include a day sailing, a day bmx biking and a residential experience in Cornwall. Gymnasts take part in a key local annual competition.
In our regular science club students explore a different scientific principle each week in a stimulating, practical environment. A CREST award programme runs in addition to this, providing students with the chance to design their own experiment to investigate a chosen phenomenon. Then, during science week students help organise a range of scientific demonstrations each day.
Science students benefit from various trips and visits which stimulate interest too, such as Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, the Science Museum and Greenwich Observatory and Planetarium. Whole-school enrichment days also give opportunities to explore scientific concepts in a dynamic and competitive atmosphere.
Biology A level students also benefit from a residential trip to support that specific examination.
Although mainly focused on Key Stage 4 & 5, the Social Science faculty use the opportunity afforded by whole-school enrichment days to provide younger years with their first experience of psychology, sociology, business & economics, law and child-care at age 11.
At GCSE and A level, students’ experiences are enriched with many trips and visits, including London Zoo, ‘The Clink’ in London, Parliament, the Law Courts, the Wellcome Collection and specialist lectures. Other extra curricular experiences include the Coca Cola competition and the very successful debate club.
Weekly after school Tech clubs provide the opportunity to design and create according to student interest and to prepare for various competitions, such as the Rocket Car challenge, Karting competitions, the Rotary Club design competition and various cooking events.
Trips, such as those to the Design Studio, to the Grove Kitchens, to Santa Pod Raceway, to Spitafields Food Market, to the Truman Brewery (a London Fashion Week venue ) provide extra curricular excitement. Whole-school enrichment days provide further opportunities for young technologists to immerse themselves in various design and build challenges for the whole day.
The faculty put on a major show each year, comprising contributions from all faculty departments. There is a choir and orchestra, which perform regularly and many varied drama productions that also form part of GCSE and A level courses, some of which are performed at external events. Works of art are exhibited outside of school in local and nation events. Dance students take part in competitions and visits, which have recently included the famous Pineapple Dance Studio in London.
Whole-school enrichment days provide opportunities for all students to immerse themselves in V&P Arts subjects for the entire day. The art department take all students to visit top galleries in London and the drama department frequently take examination students to see professional productions.
Almost every lunchtime and after school, students are to be found working on their art, drama or practising in one of the many music practice rooms.