Co - Curricular
Students at Smithdon High School are offered a range of opportunities to enrich their learning experiences through our co-curricular clubs and activities, as well as a variety of trips and adventures.
A Schools Week report in June 2020 identified that a school’s co-curricular offer is part of “a relentless focus on building resilience and educating the whole child” and Ofsted highlighted our offer positively, stating in their 2019 report that “Pupils can take part in many clubs and activities that help to build their character”.
CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES
Smithdon’s activities and clubs aim to develop students’ creative and performance skills, as well as encouraging students to work together in teams to enhance their communication and leadership skills.
Some clubs are also designed to support our most able students to gain the knowledge, skills and ambition to meet their potential by offering opportunities which challenge students to learn beyond the curriculum, such as:
- The Brilliant Club (academic enrichment through a combination of university trips, in-school tutorials with university students and on-line resources, all delivered by Cambridge University) click here for more information
- Sutton Scholars (an enrichment project in collaboration with post-graduates at Cambridge University) run but the Sutton Trust
- STEMM Club (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) leading to the Youth STEMM Award
- Reading challenges, including the national Carnegie Shadowing Award
Subject areas offer clubs to support learning, where students can get help with assignments and revise for assessments, as well as further develop their interest in a subject through fun activities and events. See the Co-Curricular Timetable for the clubs that are currently available.
Year 11 students are offered bespoke clubs for intervention in preparation for their GCSE examinations. The current after-school timetable for these booster sessions can be found here.
Year 7 Reading Club - the CLS department invites Year 7 to join them every Tuesday and Wednesday between 3pm and 4pm to improve their reading skills, for more details click here.
Music and Drama activities allow students to develop their Creative Arts potential. Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of performing arts:
- Learn musical instruments - students are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through our peripatetic music lessons, in small groups or 1-to-1 tuition. (Funding support is available for these lessons – please see the learning support fund page).
- Join the School Choir
- Join or create their own band – who knows… The Beatles of the 21st Century could be born at Smithdon High School!
- Rehearse prepared pieces for performances, including our termly concerts
- Take part in the annual school production (with roles available on stage performing or backstage supporting with technical aspects of the production)
- Simply have fun taking part in performance activities
To view the Performing Arts Co-Curricular Timetable click here.
PE clubs allow students to keep fit and active, just for fun or to explore their personal sporting interests, whilst also preparing to represent the school in regular fixtures at local and county level. Our PE Department offers a range of sporting activities, including but not limited to:
Health & Fitness
Please find the current PE Clubs timetable here.
For students who have a sporting interest but are unable to commit to representing the school in external fixtures, Smithdon’s PE Department also organises half-termly House Sport Competitions, allowing students to compete against their fellow classmates to earn points for their sporting house: Ennis-Hill, Moore, Redgrave and Farrah. For more information, please see the PE Department’s own pages.
Science - Once a half term the Science department do a fantastic Science club session which runs from 3-4.30. This year we have had CSI; Whizz, Pop and Bang, and for this half term May the Force Be with You!
Students get the opportunity to have a go at experiments that we would not necessarily have the opportunity to do in lesson time. We have done tea bag rockets, funky foam, genie in a bottle, Cannon fire, marble run, racing balloons, soil sampling and loads more.
Look out for posters around school for details on the next date for a fantastic Science session!
Smithdon High School Quad Garden Project - Now more than ever it seems we are realising that being outside in nature can have a very positive impact on our health and wellbeing.
We have developed a garden in one of the quads, which is a large courtyard space. This garden acts as an outdoor science classroom, allowing us to teach identifying insects. We are able to care for the environment and promote sustainability. In the garden, we can make observations, take samples and measurements and conduct experiments.
Students also benefit from lunchtime and after school gardening clubs.
Further information from Mrs Soper
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
The DofE Scheme is incredibly popular with students at Smithdon High School. It is offered to students at Bronze and Silver level, with an official launch to students at the start of Year 9. The Award includes developing skills, volunteering and an expedition. For more information click here.
Over the years there have been a huge variety of clubs on offer at Smithdon, often depending on the personal interests of our staff – but also (and more frequently) based on the interests of our students. For currently operating clubs, please see our Co-Curricular Timetable.
- Film Club
- Chess Club
- Lego Group
- Sudoku Team
- Food Group/Cookery Club
- Art Club
- Gardening Group
- Dungeons and Dragons Group
- Board Games Club
- Debating Society
- Young Enterprise Scheme
- D of E
- Coding Club
- Astronomy Group
- Horticultural Society
Dungeons and Dragons Club
Dungeons and Dragons is a board game crossed with acting, writing, decision making and problem solving. Everyone makes their own character that is good at certain things and bad at others, while one person plays the role of "God" or the universe, saying what does and doesn't happen.
Usually that person is the one with the most experience but, recently, the students have been given the chance to run their own games.
Dungeons and dragons, although it may not seem it, is all about teaching students how to problem solve and develop social skills within the context of a make-believe world where their actions have fewer consequences. You may have heard stories about people setting fire to things or killing dragons, but this is a surface deception to get children to use maths, English, science and geography to outsmart villains and solve mysteries.
The greatest benefit of Dungeons and Dragons, however, is confidence. It gives students a chance to reinvent themselves and try new things without having to risk their own skin (and sometimes lives) in the process. The amount of creativity students display when playing the game is wonderful and helps them realise they are far better at things than they thought they were.
In addition, whether they like it or not, they need to make friends in order to play the game! You need at least two people to play it but often around 4-5 is ideal, so students very quickly overcome any awkwardness or boundaries between each other. Often it is because they want to enjoy the chaos of being allowed to throw goblins off bridges into the river below!
Dungeons and Dragons was not necessarily designed to be anything other than a fantasy game. However, it has grown into a large community that helps people who may not necessarily be very confident, come out of their shell, make new friends and build their confidence - and Smithdon's club group has proven to be no different!
If you are a student, whose interest is not represented here, please talk to your tutor about the possibility of us starting a new club for people who share your interest and launching a new opportunity!