A whole host of artists, musicians, dancers, chefs and sportsmen grappled alongside all SIJS students during our enrichment weeks at the start of June 2013. Each child received a variety of experiences that offered something special, outside the usual curriculum. The excitement throughout the school has been bubbling, as each day has brought something new. Amazingly, the legacy of these weeks is clearly visible for all to see in our middle corridor, in the shape of our superb inside mural entitled ‘Learning Together, Free to Fly’. These encounters really enabled all children to shine. We discovered talented dancers and artists, children with a new-found interest in spicy foods, gifted surfers and athletes as well as a growing belief that music-making is for everyone! A massive thank-you to all children (and staff!) who stepped into the stretch zone, with overwhelming resilience, energy, openness and focus. What a fantastic, inspiring few weeks we have enjoyed which will stay in our memories for a long time!
The enrichment weeks started with quite literally a ‘bang’ in Year 3, when learning to play boomwhackers with Matt from Big Bang Music. Boomwhackers are colourful, plastic tubes in different lengths, each one producing a different pitch when you hit them on the ground (or your head!) As you can only play one or two notes at a time, it was a good chance for us to practise collaborating together to play a piece of music.
Excitedly and expectantly, the middle of the first week saw us heading off to Plymouth to sleep with the sharks! We have shared our amazing experiences of Plymouth under a separate heading on this website – please have a look!
At the start of the second enrichment week, we created our own Brazilian Carnival dance sequences, using elements such as fire, air and water to inspire our movements. Learning to feel the rhythm and moving with it gave each class the confidence to perform for the rest of the year group in the afternoon, in a real celebration of the day!
Planning, preparing and enjoying our own Year 3 picnic provided the opportunity for our students to practise using spreadsheets while learning about the challenges of shopping for food within a budget. This also meant that we had to consider the importance of a balanced diet before learning to handle and prepare food in a hygienic and safe way. Finally, each small group of children had to collaborate effectively and show positive social skills while eating their picnic and playing the games they had prepared. Although it was very windy, we appreciated the fact that it was dry!
Our whole school athletics day proved no less fun for being held indoors due to the weather. Our students collaborated effectively when competing in teams, and showed real emotional intelligence whether winning or not throughout the day. The standing long jump in particular proved to be very competitive!
Designing and making our own pieces of felt was a fascinating experience. After laying out the fine, soft pieces of fleece, we added colours and shapes to make our own design. That was the easy bit as the children then needed to soak the fleece with water before ‘agitating’ it by pressing and rolling between pieces of bamboo. The finished products can be seen displayed in school.
Enrichment Weeks launched in Year 4 with fencing when we learnt many techniques of how to score points and handle the sword with accuracy and skill. The costumes were great too! The next day, we embarked on some orienteering which took us all around the school premises. Equipped with a map of the school, we set off to find clues that really tested our knowledge of the school and helped us practise our map skills. Meanwhile, the rest of us practised our collaboration learning muscle as we took part in team building games. Together we realised how much can be achieved when we set our minds to it!
The Big Bang workshop was noisy, noisy due to the amount of trumpets trumpeting at the same time. It was so much fun! During the workshop, we found out exactly how a brass instrument works, in particular the mighty trombone and we learnt how vibrations create sound. Using the instruments, we created high notes and low notes (altering pitch) and loud and quiet sounds (changing dynamics) through games. Puffed out and invigorated, excited and jovial, we ended the workshop with The Big Bang Marching Band, where we marched and played the instruments together, led by the Big Bang leader, across the school playground.
The latter part of the week was spent on financial education when Finance Fizz (our finance character) joined us to discuss our needs and wants, as well as using shopping websites to work out how much things cost, e.g a pet.
Daya joined us at the end of the first week to teach us Bhangra dancing. We wore colourful, silky costumes and learnt how to dance the traditional Indian dance using moves such as – ‘lightbulbs’ and ‘pat the dog’. We also got to perform to the rest of the school. It was a spectacle of colour and dance.
In the second week, we were put thorough our paces by Mr Lucas and staff from Duchy College as we took part in some Army Training. Skill and agility were the key words of the day, with everyone demonstrating and practising their resilience and absorption learning skills. We were exhausted by the end of the session yet satisfied with our achievements.
Our final experience was designing and creating 3D art (sculptures) with Amanda Lorens. We used ‘Gardens’ as our inspiration to make bulky, flat and long shapes using newspaper and masking tape. Carefully and cleverly, we moulded the shapes into insects, leaves and flowers before adding colour with tissue paper. It was very sticky and messy but we loved it and our creations, which we are really proud of, will be displayed in and around the school.
Enrichment weeks in year 5 began with Chris Buxton from Truro fencing club coming in to teach us all about the Sabre. We learnt the proper way to move, score points and defend ourselves whilst fully kitted out in our jackets, gloves and masks! The next day was spent outdoors as we tested out map skills and knowledge of the school as we took part in an orienteering challenge. As one half of the year group developed their noticing skills the others were building the collaborative skills in a series of team building exercises that really challenged them to grapple together and think creatively to solve problems.
Since we had brief moment of summer, we decided to take to the town of St. Ives to create a photo gallery themed ‘St. Ives in Summer’. Using a range of different digital cameras, we set off to take creative pictures from a range of perspectives and of different things that we felt represented our theme in as many locations as we could squeeze in. When we returned to school we selected the best pictures to display and created a fantastic gallery in the learning zone. Just to remind us that summer visited briefly!
The Big Bang drumming experience came next for year 5 and it came with a boom! We learnt to play different rhythms and beats on the Djembe drum under the sail in the playground. It was great fun as we developed our skills and tried to keep up the beat. We finished the week with a performance for the rest of the school. We finished our first week with Indian dancing with Daya. Bhangra dancing was the order of the day as we jingled with bells and bangles, moved elegantly in bright Indian clothing! We learnt a range of traditional moves using some rather modern terms such as ‘light bulbs’ or ‘pat the dog and answer your phone!’
Our second week started with art, lots of art. One half of the year group began their Withies projects while the others created pop art with sweets! The withies twisted and bent into a range of shapes to continue our St. Ives theme. Using famous faces we recreated their portraits using sweeties resulting in a wonderful array of colour. The food theme continued in the week when we were treated to a session of Jamaican cooking. We chopped, peeled, sliced and tasted our way through as we learnt how to make a jerk marinade for chicken, salt fish and ackee and rice and peas.
After our exciting trip to the Minack theatre to watch Arabian nights we were treated to an acting workshop to finish off our fantastic enrichment weeks! Year 5 should be really proud of the resilience and enthusiasm they showed to every experience we had, well done!
What an exciting, exhilarating two weeks of activities Year 6 experienced during our enrichment weeks. Sandwiched between two successful mornings at the secondary school, our first activity was drumming with the Big Bang team. Sitting under the outdoor sunshade on a beautiful summer’s afternoon each class in turn took part in a drum workshop where they learnt about rhythm and how to make different sounds on a traditional Mali, skin covered drum called a djembe. This culminated in a performance to the whole school a few days later. We also honed a range of bush craft skills with Mr Lester, from chopping wood to using striking irons to build our own fires which we then used to cook sausages! Not only did we stretch ourselves physically but mentally too, as we learnt how to debate issues and think deeply thanks to Jason Buckley, the philosophy for children expert. Throughout the two weeks each class had the amazing opportunity to take advantage of where we live and embarked on surfing lessons. Many successes were enjoyed by those who managed to stand up and ride the waves! Year 6 were also privileged to have a renowned mural artist called Cosmic visit us for three days and teach us how to feel freedom in our ideas and sketching. As a year group, we all took part in designing a fantastic, funky mural which was then spray painted by all on an inside wall of the school, a lasting legacy indeed. Year 6 rounded off their two inspiring weeks with a Jamaican cooking class, in which they discovered and savoured new tastes, flavours and methods of cooking.