Here at the school we are pleased to offer the following extra-curricular activities to all children.
We offer a gentle introduction to ballet starting at the very beginning with fun and a feeling of harmony with the music. Children enjoy the relaxed classes from the very first sessions for 3-year-olds through the simple steps and burgeoning technique towards the achievements of exams, when the child is ready. Ballet gives children excitement, confidence, fitness and fun. A beautiful dance medium to enjoy with friends creating poise, posture and balance.
Children are born with an innate sense of play as a way to explore the world around them. Board games are a structured and rule-orientated form of play which demand high levels of social interaction and decision making. The play environment allows shared play experience where children have to practise positive social and life skills to work together within the game. Board games require many learning skills that are needed for success such as organisational skills, communication skills, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Cognitive skills involved in playing range from remembering and recalling information to higher order thinking skills such as analysing, checking and evaluating. Board games also promote speech and language skills, hand-eye coordination and strategic planning. High quality board games do support learning outside the classroom and can involve using logic, word play, basic arithmetic reinforcement and challenging scenarios that allow them to develop their critical reasoning skills. With today’s ever increasing focus on computers and technology, it’s important to a child’s development to have some hands on experience promoting these skills!
These are lessons from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, which feature small groups of children who would like to explore drama in a more specialised way. First and foremost the classes are all about enjoyment and self- expression, as well as artistic awareness, and fluency of speech. We spend several classes on speech, punctuation, fun tongue twisters and poetry and as individuals the children have access to many more scripts, stories and challenging roles. Drama is a great chance for general knowledge too, as well as a more in depth exploration of the characters and styles required. Above all else, drama is for self- confidence, and creative thinking. The framework from the syllabus supports and develops the children’s learning across the curriculum. It helps to support class reading, and aids a child’s confidence. Drama is one of the “performing arts”, and as well as the professional exams that are offered to the children, they are encouraged to perform their set pieces in front of an audience whenever they have an opportunity. Many secondary schools offer Lamda, so lessons here at Bricklehurst Manor School puts children in good stead for the continuation of their drama lessons to a much higher level if they wish to continue.
Spanish is a good language to learn for ‘fun’ – one of the easiest for English speakers to pronounce correctly, it is also a good choice as a language to introduce to children as an increasing number of secondary schools offer Spanish instead of French. At Spanish Club, we approach the language using songs, video clips and games, and other informal activities designed to introduce the children to the rudiments of the language, and to stimulate the children’s curiosity about the culture and traditions of the many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. While the emphasis is definitely on the word ‘fun’, we also begin to compare the language with our own, and with the other language taught in school, French.
Each year we run a two day Christmas Craft workshop for children between years 1 and 6. We give the children the opportunity to explore a wide range of art techniques using different materials, working in small groups with an adult. The children are encouraged to express their own ideas and creativity to produce a wide range of high quality pieces including glass painting, flower arranging, printing, cooking and beading to name but a few. The emphasis is on fun and enjoyment at a festive time of the year.
Outside curriculum time Bricklehurst offers three Recorder Clubs – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced, as well as two choirs – Junior Choir for Years 2 and 3, Senior Choir for Years 4, 5 and 6. The Bricklehurst Orchestra encourages any player who can confidently play and read a minimum of five notes to participate. We have an ad hoc Guitar Group. There are opportunities during each year for all our musical ensembles to participate in the Harvest and Carol services at Stonegate church as well as our spring term Arts Afternoon and summer term Prize Giving concert. Specialist visiting musicians offer children one-to-one tuition on piano, cello, violin, flute, clarinet, brass, guitar and singing as well as preparation for Associated Board examinations. Music theory lessons are also available. Children learning an instrument or taking singing lessons are encouraged to share their musical achievements by performing in a Class Concert at the end of each term.
Model club is a really fun afterschool activity. We offer a variety of Airfix model kits to the children ranging from WWII planes and tanks to modern jets. We learn a little bit about the history of each vehicle and then carefully construct the models. We learn the required modelling skills as we go. Sometimes we even get to play with the completed planes afterwards!
Origami is a club that is available for Year 6 children. We start by making simple Origami animals, each one demonstrating a different basic technique. Once a small zoo has been accomplished we branch out into more complicated folds to make anything from a shirt and tie to a horses head. We have a lot of fun helping each other to follow the instructions and find our way through a particularly difficult fold so that we all succeed in the end!
Bricklehurst Manor aims to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Games and PE are an important part of the curriculum but we also offer other extra-curricular clubs such as gymnastics, football, tennis, athletics and swimming.
In gymnastics the aim is for each child to not only learn how to do forward rolls, handstands and cartwheels but to develop coordination, flexibility and strength. All children will be encouraged to perform in front of each other and participate in our annual gymnastics display, helping to improve self-confidence.
After Easter all pupils are offered swimming lessons within the school day. In pre-prep (including nursery and kindergarten) the children are encouraged to float and move around in the water with or without the support of swimming aids. Moving on into prep, each child will progress according to their individual ability with the aim of swimming unaided for a distance of at least 25 metres, and progressing to be able to swim a distance of 100 – 200 metres on both front and back. The children will be introduced to front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke and butterfly along with some personal survival skills.
At Bricklehurst we offer group tennis lessons during lunchtimes. These are run in small groups by a LTA qualified tennis coach. The lessons follow the LTA guidelines and offer three different levels. Mini Tennis Red is for players aged 8 and under (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2). It is played on small courts with short rackets and soft balls. Mini Tennis Orange is for players to continue their progress from Mini Tennis Red and is for players aged 8 and 9 (Years 3 & 4).
Mini Tennis Green allows players to continue their progress from Mini Tennis Orange and is aimed at children aged 10 and above. We also hold the annual Bricklehurst Tennis Tournament which is open to all pupils at the school.
Boys and girls of all ages are welcome to learn and enjoy football either at break or after school. Typically we practise close control, passing and shooting drills before finishing off with small-sided matches. In football club the emphasis is always on enjoyment and it takes place on the Astroturf or the pitch depending on the weather.
In athletics we allow all children to learn the fundamentals of running, jumping and throwing. In pre- prep this is done by integrating play with the basics of sport. In prep (year three and above) the children are given the opportunity to try long jump, triple jump, high jump, discus, javelin, hammer throwing and shot putt. For track events the children aim to improve their sprinting and hurdles with the emphasis on personal development.
Boys and girls of all ages are welcome to learn and enjoy rugby either at break or after school. Typically we practise ball handling drills , tagging or tackling exercises before finishing off with small-sided games. In rugby club the emphasis is always on enjoyment and it takes place on the Astroturf or the pitch depending on the weather.
Boys and girls of all ages are welcome to learn and enjoy cricket after school. Typically students practise different types of batting shot and refine their bowling whilst playing pairs cricket, or more age appropriate variants of the game.