Key Stage 4 Enrichment Programme

As part of the Key Stage 4 curriculum, all Year 10 and Year 11 students have one double lesson each fortnight of enrichment.  The enrichment programme supports our aim and ethos of encouraging students to maintain breadth and balance within their studies.

All of the enrichment courses are taught by staff who have an interest and passion for the subject and have volunteered to deliver their course. The courses will introduce the students to topics not on the usual curriculum and/or extend their knowledge and understanding of a subject which they study at GCSE. While the courses will in most cases not lead onto a qualification or require homework to be completed, course teachers will be observed and student feedback on each of the courses will be obtained.

Courses that we are running this year include photography, cooking, improvised comedy, introduction to astronomy, psychology, economics, learning to play the guitar, radio and media production, creative techniques, philosophy and various STEM based activities.

In addition, we are constantly looking at ways in which we can help students cope with and prepare for GCSE and A Level examinations and this year, as part of the Enrichment programme, we have introduced some stress management and relaxation sessions into the programme. A local specialist company run the sessions and students can choose which sessions they would like to attend. Sessions include aromatherapy for exam preparation, yoga relaxation and relaxation and meditation.

Option forms for enrichment will be completed towards the end of the summer term once the timetable for the next academic year has been drawn up. Due to the nature of some of the enrichment courses, numbers for these courses are limited, for example cooking and photography due to the equipment and space required to run these courses. I will endeavour to offer the students their preferred choices, but obviously this cannot be guaranteed.

 

Course information

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STRESS MANAGEMENT AND RELAXATION SESSIONS

Aromatherapy for exam preparation and maximising potential

A workshop specially designed to combat the potentially negative effects of exam stress. Learn to understand what stressors can trigger in the physical and emotional self. Focus on ways to combat stress and maximise success by using essential oils in a variety of creative ways in the home and at workplace/school. This may help to reduce exam stress.

Stretch and Focus

This workshop creates an opportunity to clear the mind, calming both the body and spirit. Gentle stretches and positive affirmations will guide you to visualize your success for the future. Please wear comfortable clothes.

Relaxation and Meditation

Meditation is proven to help relax the mind and body whilst bringing space and clarity to help you focus on your intentions.

Meditation is a safe and simple way to help you visualize success and with a nurturing and positive approach you will help develop calming strategies for the future. Please wear comfortable clothes.

Introduction to Aromatherapy

Tranquil surroundings and a focus on calm, this workshop will offers all participants the experience of smelling and mixing oils. We are drawn towards oils that benefit us and so the sampling process is very important. Take away a mix that’s right for you. Use it to enhance your day- to-day life addressing everything from anxiety, exam stresses and promoting sleep.

Yoga Relaxation 1

Yoga offers you an opportunity to leave your worries at the door and focus on calming the mind, body and spirit. Learning the techniques for pranayama breathing will help to reduce stress and to create a positive intention to take you forward. Wear something comfortable and perhaps bring along a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

Balance the Mind

Balancing the mind and the body through gentle movements and focusing on the breath. Take away techniques that can be used before exams to help with concentration and anxiety for a calmer approach to the mind and body.

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YEAR 10

Cooking

This course will introduce students to cooking. Students will develop a wide variety of practical food skills, including both sweet and savoury recipes. The course will include a variety of healthy nutritious dishes that the students can personalise and use in the future. Clothing (jackets & caps) will be provided. However the students will be expected to provide some of their own cooking ingredients as well as bring suitable containers to store their meals.

Introduction to Photography

How do cameras work? What makes a good photo? What is the difference between my camera phone and something more advanced? We will explore the essentials of lighting, cameras, lenses, simple photographic techniques and how images are made and processed (digitally and in the school’s darkroom). This course will be helpful to those learning photography as a skill for Bronze award  D of  E, or who do Art or Digital Photography GCSE.

KE Aston School Radio

Enrichment classes for radio will give students basic radio skills: overviews of technical skills: audio editing, mixing for radio, production, microphone technique and live recording with portable recorders. Additionally, and probably more importantly, the course will develop speaking and scripting skills, and to develop team work where small groups work together to a common end. Research and marketing will also come in to the mix when finished programmes are ready to go up on the KE Aston radio website.

Improvised Comedy

There’s no better way to spend a Thursday morning than making stuff up and laughing like lunatics until lunch. You’ll also develop your confidence, creativity and capacity to perform along the way. Learn how to cope with the unexpected and the unplanned by developing the skills to take any situation that’s thrown at you and turn it into something funny. Improvised comedy will show you how to tap into your unconscious, turn nothing into something, and unlock the hilarious genius you may not realize is hidden inside you. Burn the script, jettison the plans, and come on a ludicrous journey to whatever random destination our unfiltered group mind decides to take us to each week.

Introduction to Psychology

Are you interested in finding out what psychology is? Are you considering it for A-level? This introductory course could help you to decide if psychology is the right subject for you! During the enrichment lessons we will look at some of the core areas of psychology, including cognitive, social, behavioural and biological psychology. Within each lesson there will be various activities and discussions to give you some understanding of the basics. We will also be looking at psychology from a historical view point: When and how did it develop? What does the early research tell us? By the end you should have a better understanding of how psychology can be used to explain your own and other people’s behaviour.

It’s The Economy, Stupid – Why Economics Explains Almost Everything

Why is there a light in your fridge but not in your freezer? Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?  Why are whales in danger of extinction, but not chickens?  The answer to these and other everyday issues is simple; its economics.  Economics doesn’t just happen in banks.  It is everywhere and influences everything we do and see.  Does immigration help or harm our economy? Are austerity measures the best way to tackle a financial meltdown? Is the NHS in crisis?  These are issues that affect you now and will affect you in the future so come and find out how we can apply economics to real world issues.

Introduction to Astronomy

Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. It is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and nebulae) and processes (such as supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation), the physics, chemistry, and evolution of such objects and processes, and more generally all phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth. The course will cover the history of astronomy, how to observe and photograph the night sky, planets, stars and galaxies.

Music

This is a course that is only suitable to those who play a musical instrument and are looking to improve their performance in their graded and theory music exams.  Students will have the opportunity to improve their performance skills, their technical skills, their notation skills and listening and musical perception skills through theory and practical activities.  Students will be prepared for practical ABRSM, Trinity and GCSE exams, as well as ABRSM theory exams. Students will have the chance to compose music scores and understand how musicians and composers make music.

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YEAR 11

Cooking

This course will introduce students to cooking. Students will develop a wide variety of practical food skills, including both sweet and savoury recipes. The course will include a variety of healthy nutritious dishes that the students can personalise and use in the future. Clothing (jackets & caps) will be provided. However the students will be expected to provide some of their own cooking ingredients as well as bring suitable containers to store their meals.

Photography

There are two practical courses and you will be allocated to either:  Introduction to photography (for those who have not studied photography before or Improving your photography (for those who took the photography enrichment course in Year 10.  You will explore how to understand images, exposure, the qualities of light and composition.  You will undertake photographic projects, edit and present images and explore a variety of photographic techniques.

KE Aston School Radio

Enrichment classes for radio will give students basic radio skills: overviews of technical skills: audio editing, mixing for radio, production, microphone technique and live recording with portable recorders. Additionally, and probably more importantly, the course will develop speaking and scripting skills, and to develop team work where small groups work together to a common end. Research and marketing will also come in to the mix when finished programmes are ready to go up on the KE Aston radio website.

Philosophy Unleashed

This is a chance for you to explore big philosophical questions free from the constraints of GCSE or A-level specifications and RE. We will explore topics such as philosophy and science, philosophy and economics, philosophy and sport, philosophy and politics, philosophy and conspiracy theories, philosophy and the news and philosophy and human interactions.

Introduction to Psychology

Are you interested in finding out what psychology is? Are you considering it for A-level? This introductory course could help you to decide if psychology is the right subject for you! During the enrichment lessons we will look at some of the core areas of psychology, including cognitive, social, behavioural and biological psychology. Within each lesson there will be various activities and discussions to give you some understanding of the basics. We will also be looking at psychology from a historical view point: When and how did it develop? What does the early research tell us? By the end you should have a better understanding of how psychology can be used to explain your own and other people’s behaviour.

Introduction to Astronomy

Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. It is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and nebulae) and processes (such as supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation), the physics, chemistry, and evolution of such objects and processes, and more generally all phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth. The course will cover the history of astronomy, how to observe and photograph the night sky, planets, stars and galaxies.

Creative Techniques

This course will look at a range of Art techniques from Mendala inspired designs to using a sewing machine to stitch on to paper designs. Some of the work will involve using the laser cutter and 2D design to Photoshop inspired stencils. All pupils will be expected to engage in painting and drawing and should come prepared for lessons with images/photographs they would like to develop further. Pupils will engage in Photography skills and be expected to discuss the artistic and conceptual aspects of their work and others. The concluding three weeks of the course should see each pupil decide on a final piece to produce in conclusion to their work over the last few weeks.

Learn To Play the Guitar

This does exactly what it says on the tin!  If you have ever wanted to learn to play the guitar or you know at least one chord and you want to improve your playing, then this course is for you.  You never know, you could end up being the next Jimi Hendrix!

STEM Club

This course will give students the opportunity to further explore aspects of science, technology, engineering and maths beyond the regular curriculum. It will take the form of a series of practicals, tasks and challenges based on the interactions of different STEM skills.  This course will also enable you to gain team work and leadership skills as well as helping you to explore the opportunities to follow STEM subjects at higher education level.

  • STRESS MANAGEMENT AND RELAXATION SESSIONS
  • YEAR 10
  • YEAR 11