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Enrichment Programme

You will have seen in our website that we focus a lot on how we prepare our pupils for tomorrow’s world. One of the key ways in which we do this is through our enrichment programme which we believe to be a genuinely unique offering at this stage of a pupil’s education.
We run a three year GCSE programme where we focus on 9 GCSEs but alongside this runs an enrichment programme that takes our pupils into completely new areas and offers additional experiences that we believe will prepare them for the challenges that await them when they leave Thorpe and beyond. This enrichment programme runs for four hours each week.

One feature of our enrichment programme is a continued focus on mental and physical well-being. We believe there is much to be said for the idea of a “healthy body, healthy mind” and so we retain an extra hour of sport within the programme. In most schools, once you start your GCSEs the pupils will have a reduced mount of physical activity but we consider physical exercise to be an essential component of the boys’ future academic success.

Therefore, in addition to our Games programme which consists of rugby, football, cricket and athletics, we utilise our state-of-the-art sports centre to facilitate both individual and team sports including basketball, trampolining, volleyball, badminton, cricket nets, five-a-side football, handball and circuit training.

In addition to the physical well-being of the pupils, in our carousel of activities we run classes on resilience, enabling the boys to learn methods of addressing stress and anxiety and building the blocks that will enable them to tackle challenges head on with confidence and a phlegmatic understanding and recognition of the need for perspective. It is so important that we recognise that we can’t always be successful at everything but our weaknesses can also help identify our strengths. It was Leonard Cohen, someone whom himself struggled with his mental health, who commented that “There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.” That level of perspective is what we encourage all our pupils to acknowledge so that they recognise all the incredible qualities that they have rather than focus on the difficulties with which they are constantly confronted with. With that approach, it becomes easier to believe that when you “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” (Dr Norman Vincent Peale).

Other areas that we cover in our carousel of activities include the following:

  • Mandarin (leading to achieving the HSK1 qualification by the end of Year 9)
  • Government, Politics and Current Affairs
  • CPR First Aid qualification
  • Great speeches from History
  • Psychology
  • Cookery
  • Study skills and revision techniques

There are two further larger projects that we undertake as part of our Enrichment programme in Year 10. We do a Project Qualification which is a half GCSE and enables the boys to study a topic of their own choosing. This is such an important part of the boys’ education because it allows them to take real ownership of their education and investigate a topic about which they are uniquely passionate. They are not told what they have to study (though they will be given support in how they subsequently approach their chosen topic) and it is a chance for them to nurture their intellectual curiosity. The task requires them to produce a write-up of their findings and to present an oral presentation which will be assessed. This project is one that builds confidence in the pupils and they become the experts in their chosen field. The confidence from this task is transferable to all their other subjects and enhances their participation and contributions in their other subjects leading to continued success across their GCSEs.

The final aspect of their Enrichment programme is perhaps the most exciting and certainly the most important. We are very conscious at Thorpe that our pupils are receiving a very privileged education and we want them to go onto be leaders in society. To achieve this, they need to look beyond the privileges they enjoy and develop empathy and understanding of the wider world where so many do not have the same opportunities. As such, we look to work with local charities and work on projects that will either promote their profile or help them to raise money for their cause. The boys work in teams to see how they can work with the charity and will learn how to work on web design and social media, they will be taught how to do business planning and event management to run an event and ultimately host one for the benefit of the charity with which they are working. These are real world skills that will be applicable to so many areas in life.

We hope that this Enrichment programme will be a launch pad for our boys to an incredible future.

Enrichment ProgrammeEnrichment Programme