Ms Matthews, Trent College Deputy Head (Co-Curricular) and teachers across the school have been working hard to provide excellent provision of Co-Curricular activities whilst pupils are learning at home. Ms Matthews reminds us of the importance of pursuits beyond the curriculum and how we can make the very best of co-curricular life under lockdown.
We pride ourselves on the breadth of opportunities available to our pupils, and the huge variety of co-curricular activities which enable our young men and women to:
• embrace new challenges
• uncover new skills
• develop new enthusiasms as part of a happy and healthy life
With opportunities for interaction with others currently so limited, the co-curricular programme has never been more important. It is vital that young people fully engage remotely with a broad range of activities in order to:
• stay motivated
• keep connected
• develop resilience
• maintain a healthy balance
The new remote programme we have put together certainly allows this. The value of taking on something a bit different – exploring new ideas; facing new challenges – cannot be underestimated, and I sincerely hope that all of our pupils see these unprecedented times as an opportunity to try out new activities as well as returning to old favourites.
During normal school times pupils and staff sometimes feel that there are simply not enough hours in the day – or in terms of co-curricular, not enough lunchtimes and after school slots in the week – in order to fit everything in that they would like to do.
With remote co-curricular activities, however, pupils can dip in and out of activities at a time that suits them and which fits in around their academic studies. There should be a reduced risk of clashes, too, as staff are able to use a more flexible timetable and in some cases give pupils the option of engaging at a time which suits them: it’s no longer Classics, Chemistry or Coding – it can now be all three!
Of course, for some of our co-curricular mainstays there are some significant challenges to be faced.
• What do we do without concerts, fixtures and shows?
• How do we make progress with our Duke of Edinburgh Awards when there are no expeditions?
• How can our CCF finish their curriculum when they’re unable to train and parade?
Staff have been working very hard nevertheless to come up with creative and meaningful solutions which will continue to challenge and engage our pupils. We have already had our pupils taking part in:
• online ensembles
• fitness challenges
• nationwide performances
There are many more challenges and activities in the pipeline.
We have now launched a programme of more than 40 clubs and societies, ranging across the curriculum from Boot Camp to Vet Soc. Nearly half of these are brand new initiatives, added to the programme in order to further support pupils and enrich their remote learning experience.
Whilst we look forward to coming back together as a community, all are determined to make the very best of co-curricular life under lockdown. I genuinely believe that the current ‘remote’ opportunities for engagement and breadth will bring lasting and far-reaching rewards, which will stay with us all in the months and years to come.