At Bluecoat Primary we are extremely proud of the rich and vibrant curriculum we offer to all our pupils. However, schools are facing significant challenges to maintain high quality curriculum provision, whilst balancing budgets and here at Bluecoat we have taken a creative approach as one way of tackling the issue.
In September, we introduced an enrichment afternoon on a Friday, where pupils across Chapter 2 & 3 have the opportunity to engage in a range of activities. Enrichment afternoon provision enhances rather than replaces what was already in place. It allows for the consolidation of the organisation of provision across the rest of the week; for example ensuring that additional activities that previously occurred at different times (and could sometimes cause disruption to teaching sequences) such as Bikeability or potato growing are moved to fit in within the Enrichment Afternoon. There is also the added benefit of introducing the option for pupils to receive peripatetic music lessons during enrichment afternoons without disruption to pupils learning in other curriculum areas and of ensuring that the potential marginalisation of subjects currently covered during PPA time is avoided.
Whilst the children are engaged in the enrichment sessions, teachers across Chapter 2 & 3 have their planning and preparation time, which has the potential to save thousands of pounds against the cost of teachers covering PPA sessions over the course of the academic year.
The main advantages identified for the enrichment afternoons are:
- Opportunities for pupils to engage in high quality enrichment activities with specialist practitioners, allowing them to develop expertise in areas of interest to them.
- Extension of opportunities to engage in extra-curricular activities such as Forest School, Cooking and Gardening.
- Opportunities for staff to work together and collaborate on planning during PPA time.
- Continuity of educational provision from Monday morning to Friday midday
- Consolidation of timing for activities which can otherwise sometimes disrupt teaching, e.g. Bikeability, Potato Growing, Community events.